San Jose State & Mineta Transportation Institute to Lead SB 1 Research Consortium

December 03, 2017

SAN JOSE -- San Jose State University and the Mineta Transportation Institute have been chosen to serve as the California State University’s lead center, under Senate Bill 1, to conduct and oversee research that provides answers for California’s traffic and transportation problems.

The CSU Office of the Chancellor notified San Jose State/MTI of its selection on Friday. The choice was applauded by Senator Jim Beall, who authored SB 1, legislation that invests billions of dollars to repair the state’s aging transportation infrastructure, a process that will also create thousands of new jobs.

“To stay ahead in the global economy, California must plan wisely for the challenges our transportation system faces,’’ said Beall, who authored Senate Bill 1. “SB 1 directs the state to use the brightest research minds in our universities to help us solve our traffic problems and increase efficiency in completing projects. I am more than confident the Mineta Transportation Institute and SJSU will meet this mission.’’

Under SB 1, the Legislature budgeted up to $2 million annually to the CSU system and $5 million annually to University of California to conduct transportation research, transportation-related training, and workforce education, and development.

San Jose State will receive and administer the SB 1 funding, soliciting research proposals from other CSU campuses, and subcontracting with schools whose projects are approved. MTI will select the best research proposals by examining the research proposals for their academic merit and scientific rigor. MTI conducts research, education, and information transfer programs regarding surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. It is part of the Lucas Graduate School of Business at San Jose State.

Karen Philbrick, Executive Director of SJSU’s Mineta Transportation Institute, said the selection of San Jose State/MTI offers an important opportunity to improve the future of transportation.

"We are honored and delighted to be selected as the lead transportation research center and to administer funds provided to the CSU by SB 1," Philbrick said. “MTI's focus on providing access to equitable, affordable and sustainable surface transportation through the highest quality research aligns well with the legislation's vision for accountability in ensuring the best possible use of these resources. We look forward to collaborating with other CSU research entities on such impactful work.”

San Jose State/MTI was in competition with California State Polytechnic University-Pomona for the lead center designation.

The Office of the Chancellor evaluated the candidates based, in part, on criteria that included:

  • The lead campus must have a specifically identifiable research center devoted to surface transportation research, education and technology transfer that has been in operation for a minimum of 15 years.
  • The lead campus should be guided by a diverse, hands-on, nationally prominent board of trustees that meets twice yearly to provide oversight.
  • The lead campus must demonstrate a record of successfully delivering K-12 workforce development initiatives that target disadvantaged populations.