About PSR

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About PSR


Welcome to Pacific Southwest Region 9 University Transportation Center

The Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center (UTC) is the Region 9 UTC funded under the US Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers Program. Established in 2016, the Pacific Southwest Region UTC (PSR) is led by the University of Southern California and includes nine partners:

  • California State University, Long Beach
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Pima Community College
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The Pacific Southwest Region (PSR) University Transportation Center (UTC) serves Region 9 with a comprehensive, integrated program of research, education and technology transfer built upon the priority needs of the region: 1) closing access gaps, 2) increasing sustainability and resilience of the goods movement system, and 3) expanding workforce opportunities.

This is a moment of great change. Technology is enabling new mobility opportunities, but many people are being left behind. Our vulnerabililty to external shocks (natural and human-made) is increasing. We must build a transportation system that promotes equitable access, while sustainably supporting the economy, with a workforce that is trained for and connected to new jobs.

Region 9 is the right place for transformative research that will change practice. Region 9 includes Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories. The region has enormous variation geographically, economically, and socially. It has the second largest meropolitan area in the US (Los Angeles), as well as vast tracts of rural lands. Income disparities are extreme, with concentrations of poverty in central cities as well as remote tribal communities. It includes the center for US maritime trade (the Ports of Los Angeles and Long BEach) and the inaccessible Pacific islands and territories. We identified five characteristics of Region 9 that frame our research program and inform our research themes.

  1. Uneven transportation access across our enormously divers region, particularly among transportation-disadvantaged travelers and communities
  2. Our region’s central role in global supply chains, and the growing risk of disruption to the supply chains
  3. Transportation’s central role in sustainability: reducing criteria emissions, meeting ambitious climate goals, and our region’s particular vulnerabilities to climate risks such as wildfires, sea level rise, drought, and extreme weather
  4. Our region’s role as the global center of the information and communications technology (ICT) revolution, which is transforming transportation
  5. The changing nature of transportation work, potentially placing hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk but creating new jobs as well

The PSR UTC is structured to have a truly regional focus and is intended to build a strong university-government-industry partnership. Our consortium of universities and community colleges, together with partnerships with state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), forms a region-wide network to guide the development and implementation of the center’s research, education, and technology transfer programs.