The Circulator2020-06-03T14:56:20-07:00

The Circulator

A blog featuring stories, research updates, student projects, news, and more from the campuses of the Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center and beyond.

PSR Research: Deep-learning traffic flow predictions

By |April 20th, 2022|

In their white paper “Deep-Learning Traffic Flow Prediction for Forecasting Performance Measurement of Public Transportation Systems,” Luan Tran, Min Mun, Yao Yi Chiang, and Cyrus Shahabi of the University of Southern California use the largest traffic sensor data warehouse in Southern California to better predict where and when this traffic occurs.

Meet the PSR Undergraduate Student of the Year

By |April 13th, 2022|

Jenny Benitez, who graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, was recently named the Pacific Southwestern Region Undergraduate Student of the Year.

PSR Research: Automating wildlife-vehicle conflict hotspots

By |March 16th, 2022|

It’s not good for anybody when a car strikes and kills a deer on a highway. The deer, of course, is dead; the driver is likely dealing with a traumatic experience, a severely damaged car, and even injuries; and those using the roads must navigate around the dead animal until someone at a state agency uses time and resources to remove the dead animal from the freeway. Because these occasions are altogether unpleasant in a number of dimensions, it’s in the best interest of everybody to limit their occurrence. In their research report “Automated Analysis of Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict Hotspots [...]

PSR Research: Long Beach Transit’s sustainability plan

By |March 2nd, 2022|

As one of the largest transit operators in the state of California, Long Beach Transit has the capacity to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the surrounding region. The system, which recorded over 23 million boardings in fiscal year 2018, recently introduced its strategic sustainability plan, where it documented its efforts to meet emissions reduction targets. The “Long Beach Transit Strategic Sustainability Plan,” spearheaded by USC professor Hilda Blanco, attempts to answer how LBT can best accomplish these climate goals. To assist in this process, Professor Blanco and her research team conducted interviews with LBT’s executive leadership team, [...]

PSR Research: Improving access to the Davis Amtrak station

By |February 16th, 2022|

The Davis Amtrak station is too popular for its own good. Attracting the third-most riders of any station on the popular Capitol Corridor Amtrak line, the ridership from the station — prior to the pandemic, at least — was steadily increasing. Unfortunately, the parking lot — which is, at present, free to park at — fills up at 6 a.m., leaving many residents out of luck when it comes to accessing the train station. In response to these accessibility issues, the city of Davis is developing a shared use mobility pilot program to deploy at the conclusion of the COVID-19 [...]

UCLA doctoral student named PSR student of the year

By |February 9th, 2022|

Julene Paul, a PhD student in urban planning, was named the 2021 student of the year for the Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center, a federally funded network of eight partner campuses in Arizona, California, and Hawaii. Julene’s initial interest in transportation was stoked while studying urban policy and working as a research assistant for the Education Innovation Laboratory as an undergraduate at Harvard. Later, while pursuing her master’s degree in city and regional planning at Rutgers, Julene experienced the professional world of planning for the first time while working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. [...]

PSR Research: Automation, electrification, and shared mobility in freight

By |February 9th, 2022|

In America, people buy lots of stuff, and in order to get that stuff to the people who want it, a lot of fossil fuel must be burned. As a result, pollution pours into the air; noisy trucks disrupt people’s lives; traffic backs up for miles. Thankfully, innovations in transportation are improving the efficiency and reducing the environmental impacts of goods movement. In the research report “Automation, Electrification, and Shared Mobility in Freight,” UC Davis professor Miguel Jaller highlights the advancements made in what he calls transportation’s third revolution (3R). Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are one clear place where [...]

PSR Research: Employment and education can predict daily travel patterns

By |January 26th, 2022|

Fragmentation is defined as the sequencing of multiple short activities and trips in a person’s daily schedule. Fragmentation is a normal aspect of travel behavior — people need to travel for a wide range of work, education, household, and leisure purposes — yet researchers have little understanding of how and why fragmentation occurs. In “An Analysis of Accessibility, Social Interaction, and Travel Fragmentation in California,” Konstandinos G. Goulias and Elizabeth C. McBride at UC Santa Barbara and Adam W. Davis at UC Davis used data from the California Household Travel Survey to understand where people go and how long [...]

PSR Research: Safety and public transit for Los Angeles university students

By |January 19th, 2022|

Sexual harassment in public spaces is an all-too-common feature of life in the United States, and public transportation is not exempt from this unfortunate reality. In “Public Transportation Safety Among University Students,” UCLA researchers Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Madeline Brozen, Hao Ding, Miriam Pinski, and Fariba Siddiq surveyed nearly 1300 students from three secondary institutions in Los Angeles, aiming to better understand whether fear of these experiences dissuades riders — particularly female riders — from taking transit. Their survey provided some bleak truths. 72% of respondents using the bus system reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment over the last three [...]

Transfers Magazine wins APA award

By |September 29th, 2021|

At a virtual ceremony Sept. 15, the California chapter of the American Planning Association validated this work by presenting Transfers with the Communications Initiative Award of Merit.

PSR Celebrates Students of the Year

By |July 2nd, 2021|

The Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center honors exceptional students from member institutions for their promise in the transportation field.

Outdoor Dining Designs: Benefits and Drawbacks

By |August 4th, 2020|

Outdoor dining has become more popular as cities look for ways to respond to COVID-19. But what does this mean for the future of cities and their residents?

Are ride-hail fees fair?

By |April 22nd, 2019|

A tax on ride-hailing to reduce congestion may appear logical at first glance. But will it actually work — and is it fair?

The little bus lane that could

By |April 1st, 2019|

They might look like ordinary bus-only lanes, but Tactical Transit Lanes represent a new approach in tackling an old problem: how to speed up buses that get stuck in traffic.

Smart, Sustainable, and Equitable: TRB 2019 recap

By |January 25th, 2019|

Many of us on the Transfers team started 2019 at the 98th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, the Super Bowl of transportation research. Here are a few highlights.

Transferring to 2019: The year in review

By |December 18th, 2018|

2018 was a big year for Transfers Magazine and The Circulator. From LeBron James, to scooters, to the #MeToo movement, here are some of our favorite posts from our inaugural year.

New technologies require new norms

By |December 5th, 2018|

Providing safe infrastructure for dockless scooters and bikes will will only go so far in addressing community concerns: we need to establish new norms.

Q&A: Planning for the worst

By |November 27th, 2018|

Unfortunately, many cities don't plan for disasters, especially if they haven’t experienced them before. But disaster planning shouldn't happen in a vacuum: Disaster planning should be seen in the terms of creating more resilient cities.

Why parking spaces are perishable goods

By |November 1st, 2018|

Like airlines and hotels, effective parking management requires charging variable demand-based prices, improving access, traffic, and the environment one parking space at a time.

LA shows off its new bike infrastructure

By |October 9th, 2018|

The recent NACTO Designing Cities conference was chance for LA to highlight some much-needed downtown street safety improvements. Take a GIF tour with us.

Why scooters are the future of transportation

By |October 2nd, 2018|

The e-mobility revolution has begun, with scooters and dockless bikes likely the first of many sustainable vehicles that can replace short car trips. Planners and policymakers should get on board.

Dreams of utopia: The future of AVs

By |September 14th, 2018|

Self-driving cars are at once tangible and distant. A Los Angeles conference brought industry leaders together to think about autonomous vehicles across axes of technology and equity.

The federal government is derailing transit projects

By |August 28th, 2018|

Trump administration officials have been slow-walking nearly $1.4 billion in funding for new projects in several cities, and delaying implementation of crucial policies to improve old systems.

What can we learn from ridehail data?

By |August 6th, 2018|

Despite intense interest in the impact of ridehailing on the broader transportation landscape, companies have not shared their user data publicly. A first look at Lyft reveals key insights.

Donald Shoup’s three parking reforms

By |July 19th, 2018|

Parking requirements subsidize cars, encourage sprawl, raise housing costs, and much more. The author of "The High Cost of Free Parking" and "Parking and the City" offers three solutions for cities.

How do people perceive transit in LA?

By |June 25th, 2018|

To solve the problem of declining transit ridership in Los Angeles, we must first understand why so many people feel like driving is a superior option. So we asked — and got some telling reactions.

Q&A: #MeToo and making transit safer for women

By |June 6th, 2018|

USC graduate student Quinn Graham Wallace wrote an award-winning paper about how transit agencies can get with the times and take steps to reduce sexual harassment.

Could California set better speed limits?

By |May 30th, 2018|

Why did updating speed limits for safety result in some speed increases? Blame California’s "85th percentile" methodology based on driver behavior rather than local needs.

Q&A: How San Francisco improved its garages

By |May 16th, 2018|

Ensuring that cities get the most out of their parking garage spaces requires making them profitable yet available, and reliably so, through pricing that balances different needs.

Are millennials killing traditional transportation?

By |May 8th, 2018|

Millennials are constantly told that we’re a ruthless generation, out to kill the tried and true staples of American life. And when it comes to transportation, we’re apparently just as merciless.

What is Transfers?

By |May 8th, 2018|

With this publication, we hope to help transfer the knowledge of experts into policy actions that improve people’s lives.