A new group of newly admitted students in the Berkeley Graduate Transportation Engineering Program spent a couple of days on campus getting to know the program, the Institute of Transportation Studies and UC Berkeley April 5-6, 2018.
"Visit day is such a great opportunity to reach out to and welcome our newest cohort of exemplary admitted students and tell them about what we truly enjoy about studying at UC Berkeley,” says doctoral student Stephen Wong, who worked with the Transportation Engineering Program to coordinate student visitors.” Moreover, the day showcases the intellectual curiosity of our professors and students, the innovation of UC Berkeley research, and the exciting community that furthers our outstanding program."
The 26 visiting potential students started their visit with dinner and drinks with faculty and current students in the ITS Library, before exploring the Bay Area night life April 5.
The following day, potential students were introduced to The Transportation Engineering Program and round-robin table discussions with faculty and students getting to know what UC Berkeley offers with Professors Mike Cassidy and Max Shen, our Transportation Curriculum: MS, PhD, MS/MCP and more with Professor Mark Hansen, The Institute of Transportation Studies and research opportunities with Professors Joan Walker, Susan Shaheen, and Alexander Skabardonis, and career paths with Wong and others graduate students.
Students also talked with currents students about Transoc and student life at Berkeley in a Q&A format, enjoyed a campus tour and had office hours with Faculty and Student Discussion on Navigating Funding at ITS Berkeley in the Library.
The event culminated with the ITS Transportation Seminar: “How Do We Finance Transportation Infrastructure?” featuring panelists: Tilly Chang, Executive Director, San Francisco County Transportation Authority; Matt Coogan, Consultant; Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (Invited); Therese McMillan, Chief Planning Officer, LA Metro and moderator: Susan Shaheen, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The panel discussion focused on different views of how we can finance transportation infrastructure. While many states are experimenting with Road Usage Charging and California passed a gas tax increase in 2017 (SB1), we will need more funding to keep the nation’s infrastructure safe and operational, and address the needs of other modes such as rail, air, and maritime. Furthermore, emerging technologies, such as automated vehicles, need to be integrated into this infrastructure—requiring policy and rights-of-way changes. This panel will explore the challenges and opportunities to financing transportation infrastructure and preparing for the future, including a range of perspectives—federal, state, and local.