Researchers are exploring the transition to sustainable transportation, emphasizing innovations in planning and policy to reduce the need for travel within cities; shifting travel to non-automobile modes such as walking, cycling and public transit; and low-carbon transportation fuels and propulsion technologies. Researchers are also studying social equity related to transportation policies and planning as well as historical research to understand the economic, cultural and policy contexts of current policy "paths."
Faculty engaged in teaching and research in the areas of transportation planning and policy work across multiple disciplines and problem areas. A primary aim is to achieve the goal of "sustainable transportation." This emphasizes planning and policies to reduce aggregate travel, the shift to non-automotive modes of travel, such as walking, cycling and public transit, and the transition to low-carbon transportation fuels and propulsion technologies. A second research areas focuses on social equity and addresses the benefits and costs to different groups of transportation policies and planning. A third research area is more contextual, seeking a deeper understanding of the historical, cultural, economic, and policy frameworks that have created status-quo travel behaviors. Research tools include original surveys of travel behavior, modeling regional travel and land use, scenario analysis, project evaluation and impact analysis, and studio courses directed toward applied research with local and regional agencies.
Faculty in the transportation area have worked in many parts of the world and offer a certificate in Transportation Planning.