News | METRANS Receives Five-Year Funding Renewal

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by Tyler Reeb, Phd., Dr. Jennifer Hong, Ed.D., and James Reuter

The METRANS Transportation Consortium has received another five years of funding to carry out important research in freight and goods movement. Since 1987, the U.S. Department of Transportation has supported university transportation centers across the country.  This funding, provided through grants to the Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center (PSR UTC) and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST), provides the bulk of financial support responsible for this vital partnership between the University of Southern California (USC) and the Center for International Trade & Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).


Industry, academia, government, and the public at large benefit from the work carried out at UTCs, which sheds light on the pivotal role mobility and goods movement plays in every important discussion about the past, present, and future of our transport systems. Furthermore, this funding also provides unique hands-on research and professional development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students – and grants much-needed visibility to transportation sector careers for students and professionals alike.


“The Pacific Southwest Region UTC leverages an exceptional talent pool to solve transportation problems in Region 9. This region is where the future of transportation is being invented – from dockless travel to zero emission trucks—but we also face access gaps, inequities, congestion, and inefficiencies” said METRANS Director Marlon Boarnet. “By bringing together an extraordinary faculty spanning ten institutions, we will work in partnership with government, nonprofits and the private sector to improve the transportation system,” added Boarnet, who is also a professor in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.


The Pacific Southwest Region UTC is home to ten metropolitan areas of one million population or more, four of the nation’s ten busiest airports, the nation’s largest port complex and the largest high-tech region on the planet—along with vast desert regions and some of the most remote pacific islands. "The new UTC awards mean that CITT and METRANS can continue the work we have been doing in freight systems policy analysis and workforce development,” said Dr. Tom O’Brien, CITT Executive Director and Deputy Director for the METRANS Transportation Consortium. “I'm particularly excited about the launch of a new Transportation Planning Professional + certificate that will enhance the skills of working transportation professionals by providing training in areas like cybersecurity and human resource management. That would not have been possible without the UTC award. The biggest impact, however, will be on student support. The UTC grants allow us to employ undergraduate and graduate students who will develop their research skills and knowledge of transportation."


METRANS is a collaboration of USC and CSULB. Founded in 1998, METRANS was the first university transportation center in Southern California.