The UC Berkeley Center for Future Urban Transport was established in 2004 after the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations designated it as a Volvo Center of Excellence in a competition involving a large field of international candidates. It is housed at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and its director is Carlos Daganzo, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The Center's mission is to study the mutual interdependence of urban transportation policy and technology and use the understanding of that concept to devise sustainable transportation strategies for the world's cities.
It addresses this undertaking on three levels:
- strategic, so that the research is guided by a city's vision of its own future;
- tactical, where policies are tailored for specific environments; and
- operational, where technologies are developed and the results fed back into tactical-level decisions.
The Center's research is divided into five research areas:
- Mobility & Accessibility
- Adapting to Urban Form
- Telework Solutions
- Congestion Mitigation
- Wireless Infrastructure
Schedule-based or headway-based control schemes to reduce bus bunching are not resilient because they cannot prevent buses from losing ground to the buses they follow when disruptions increase the gaps separating them beyond a critical value. This critical gap problem can be avoided, however, if buses at the leading end of such gaps are given information to cooperate with the ones behind by slowing down. This paper builds on this idea. It proposes an adaptive control scheme that adjusts a bus cruising speed in real-time based on both its front and rear spacings, much as if successive bus pairs were connected by springs. The scheme is shown to yield regular headways with faster bus travel than existing control methods. Its simple and decentralized logic automatically compensates for traffic disruptions and inaccurate bus driver actions. Its hardware and data requirements are minimal.
Slow speeds in a special-use lane, such as a carpool (HOV) or bus lane, can be due to both high demand for that lane and slow speeds in the adjacent regular-use lane. These dual influences are confirmed from months of data collected from all freeway carpool facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both influences hold for other types of special-use lanes, including bus lanes. New US regulation stipulating that most classes of low-emitting vehicles, or LEVs, be banned from slow-moving carpool lanes. While LEVs invariably constitute only about 1 percent of the freeway traffic demand in the San Francisco Bay Area, forcing some or all of these vehicles to regular-use lanes can significantly add to regular-lane congestion, and that this, in turn, can also be damaging to vehicles that continue to use the carpool lanes. Counterproductive outcomes of this kind are predicted first by applying kinematic wave analysis to a real Bay Area freeway. The site stands to suffer less from the regulation than will others in the region but the site’s people-hours and vehicle-hours traveled during the rush are predicted to each increase by more than 10 percent and that carpool-lane traffic will share in the damages. Real data from the site support these predictions. Further parametric analysis of a hypothetical, but more generic freeway system indicates that these kinds of negative outcomes will be widespread. Constructive ways to amend the new regulation are discussed, as are promising strategies to increase the vehicle speeds in carpool lanes by improving the travel conditions in regular lanes.
Residential Relocation and Commuting Behavior in Shanghai, China: The Case for Transit Oriented Development
This paper examines the effects of residential relocation to Shanghai’s suburbs on job accessibility and commuting, focusing on the influences of proximity to metrorail services and neighborhood environments on commute behavior and choices. The policy implications of the research findings on the planning and design of suburban communities in large cities like Shanghai are addressed in the conclusion. Our research suggests that TOD has a potentially important role to play in placing China’s large, rail-served cities on a more sustainable pathway.