New Video Spotlights UC Davis and Partner Universities of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation

How do we move the nation toward a more sustainable transportation future? A new video spotlights the UC Davis-led National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST), one of five federally established University Transportation Centers helping the nation meet the “need for safe, efficient and environmentally sound movement of people and goods.”

The UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) was selected to lead the two-year, six university, $13 million research, education and outreach consortium for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Other institutions partnering with ITS-Davis include: California State University, Long Beach; the University of California at Riverside; the University of Southern California; Georgia Tech, and the University of Vermont.

The goal of the National Center is to enhance the environmental sustainability of the United States’ transportation system through reduction in fossil fuel consumption and emissions. The National Center is addressing the U.S. DOT’s strategic goal to advance national environmentally sustainable policies and investments to reduce emissions from transportation systems while supporting climate adaptation activities and continued mitigation of air pollution and other environmental impacts. NCST is committed to delivering research that helps federal—as well as state, regional, and local agencies—identify and tackle the nation’s most pressing transportation issues.

In this new four-minute overview video of NCST, Center Director and UC Davis Environmental Science and Policy Professor Susan Handy notes that “the Institute of Transportation Studies here at UC Davis has been a leader in sustainable transportation research for more than two decades.”  She expresses her and UC Davis’ “excitement” at working with the NCST partner schools and describes the “cutting-edge” research that each of the six universities are bringing to the consortium.

In video’s second interview, NCST Co-Director and ITS-Davis Director Dan Sperling discusses the national need for an “economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable transportation system.” He focuses on NCST’s four main research areas: infrastructure, fuels and vehicles, land use and mobility, and policy Speaking to the issue of institutional change, Sperling asks: “How do we take all the research and make sure that it is impactful and used to influence decision making?”

The video’s concluding interview features California Energy Commission Commissioner and NCST Leadership Council member Janea Scott explains why academic institutions like NCST are vital to a state like California that is at the policy forefront.

“The relationship between government and academic institutions is incredibly important. It’s great to have [a center] like NCST to dig into to some of the data that is there to help us think through what types of data we do need to continue to inform our decisions. When academia and government work hand in hand we have a great opportunity to have really well informed policies with great data provided by academia,” said Commissioner Scott.

Click to view the video, “National Center for Sustainable Transportation: A Six-University Consortium.”

To learn more about NCST, visit

The National Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation along with the California Department of Transportation, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, and through sources in the states of Georgia and Vermont.