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Open Access Publications from the University of California


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

UC Berkeley Center for Future Urban Transport: A Volvo Center of Excellence

There are 36 publications in this collection, published between 2005 and 2010.
Recent Work (36)

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.

Evaluation of Traffic Data Obtained via GPS-Enabled Mobile Phones: the Mobile Century Field Experiment

The growing need of the driving public for accurate traffic information has spurred the deployment of large scale dedicated monitoring infrastructure systems, which mainly consist in the use of inductive loop detectors and video cameras. On-board electronic devices have been proposed as an alternative traffic sensing infrastructure, as they usually provide a cost-effective way to collect traffic data, leveraging existing communication infrastructure such as the cellular phone network. A traffic monitoring system based on GPS-enabled smartphones exploits the extensive coverage provided by the cellular network, the high accuracy in position and velocity measurements provided by GPS devices, and the existing infrastructure of the communication network. This article presents a field experiment nicknamed Mobile Century, which was conceived as a proof of concept of such a system. Mobile Century included 100 vehicles carrying a GPS-enabled Nokia N95 phone driving loops on a 10-mile stretch of I-880 near Union City, California, for 8 hours. Data were collected using virtual trip lines, which are geographical markers stored in the handset that probabilistically trigger position and speed updates when the handset crosses them. The proposed prototype system provided sufficient data for traffic monitoring purposes while managing the privacy of participants. The data obtained in the experiment were processed in real-time and successfully broadcast on the internet, demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed system for real-time traffic monitoring. Results suggest that a 2-3% penetration of cell phones in the driver population is enough to provide accurate measurements of the velocity of the traffic flow.

Structure of Competitive Transit Networks

This paper describes the network shapes and operating characteristics that allow a transit system to deliver a level of service competitive with that of the automobile. To provide exhaustive results for service regions of different sizes and demographics, the paper idealizes these regions as squares, and their possible networks with a broad and realistic family that combines the grid and the hub-and-spoke concepts. The paper also shows how to use these results to generate master plans for transit systems of real cities.

The analysis reveals which network structure and technology (Bus, BRT or Metro) delivers the desired performance with the least cost. It is found that the more expensive the system’s infrastructure the more it should tilt toward the hub-and-spoke concept. Both, Bus and BRT systems outperform Metro, even for large dense cities. And BRT competes effectively with the automobile unless a city is big and its demand low. Agency costs are always small compared with user costs; and both decline with the demand density. In all cases, increasing the spatial concentration of stops beyond a critical level increases both, the user and agency costs. Too much spatial coverage is counterproductive.

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