February 23, 2018


The Future of the Transportation System: A California Perspective


1:40pm - 3:00pm


1605 Tilia, Room 1103
West Village


This presentation discusses the Future of the Transportation System in general, and California’s in particular. The discussion will cover a number of innovations and initiatives ongoing or already implemented by Caltrans to support, maintain, or improve the system. More importantly, the presentation will go beyond the technical aspects of transportation, and discuss the importance of psychology and social sciences to achieve the goals of a sustainable transportation system.

The presentation will also provide insights about the convergence of academic and practitioners work, and give an inside perspective on the advantages and shortcoming of basic and applied research, and the benefits to the agency’s work.

Biographical Sketch

Chris Schmidt is the Division Chief of Transportation Planning for the California Department of Transportation, Caltrans, where he oversees six hundred positions and a budget of $200 million. His office is responsible for the initiation of hundreds of capital projects annually amounting to a multi-billion dollar portfolio. In addition, focus areas include State, Regional, Multi-modal System, Freight, Smart Mobility and Climate Change planning efforts.

He develops and implements policies and procedures in concert with federal, State, and regional transportation planning partners and regulatory agencies on statewide issues. Advances technical policies on planning issues affecting delivery of Caltrans’ projects and establishes the strategic direction for the transportation planning programs.

He previously worked in Caltrans District 11, San Diego where he focused on multi-modal programs. Most recently he served as project manager for the visionary California Sustainable Freight Action Plan.

He is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and holds a Master of Planning degree from the University of Virginia and Master of Health Science degree from Ball State University. He has also been a research team panel member for the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board’s National Highway Cooperative Research Program for studies related to highway pricing, modeling bicycle/pedestrian activity and environmental justice.

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