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UVM TRC on the ITS Davis team selected by US DOT as the National Center for Sustainable Transportation
- By TRC Staff
The University of California, Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) was selected in a national competition to lead a new two-year, $11.2 million research consortium for the U.S. Department of Transportation. UVM’s TRC is one of the institutional partners lead by Lisa Aultman-Hall who spent last year on research assignment at ITS Davis with the organizing team.
The new National Center for Sustainable Transportation will help the federal agency reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions from passenger and freight travel that contribute to climate change, and also prepare U.S. transportation infrastructure for the extreme weather that climate change is expected to produce.
In addition to ITS-Davis and UVM TRC, the other consortium members are University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside); University of Southern California (USC); California State University, Long Beach (CSULB); and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).
Dr. Aultman-Hall observed that “Vermont and California are very different states that have shared vision and passion, for not only sustainable transportation systems, but the solutions, including education and research needed for the future. This will be a very fruitful partnership.”
The United States has sharply reduced many of the transportation sector’s most damaging environmental impacts on air, water, natural ecosystems and human health,” said UC Davis professor of environmental science and policy Susan Handy, who is director of the UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center, and will be the director of the new National Center for Sustainable Transportation. Dr. Handy is currently hosting UVM PhD student, Phoebe Spencer in her research group this fall, the first of many joint endeavors in this partnership.
The National Center will receive $5.6 million from the U.S. DOT and $5.6 million in matching funds from state, regional and local agencies to support its research. Caltrans, the California Air Resources Board, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District have committed to providing matching funds for projects at UC Davis, USC/CSULB and UC Riverside. Georgia DOT has agreed to match projects at Georgia Tech.
“The goal of the National Center is to transform the transportation system to improve environmental sustainability nationwide. We aim to provide leadership that produces meaningful action by mobilizing innovative research teams and partnering with influential stakeholders,” said Dan Sperling, director of ITS-Davis, and the new national center’s executive director.
The National Center will:
- Mobilize a network of universities to generate knowledge and tools that address climate change and environmental sustainability in transportation;
- Design and evaluate real-world strategies that contribute to mitigation of GHG emissions and other environmental impacts; and
- Deliver knowledge and tools to state DOTs, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and local governments to support implementation of these real-world strategies.
The new Center includes a Leadership Council that will guide its work and Brian Searles, VTrans Secretary has agreed to serve on this prestigious group with other national leaders.