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CTS and Joint CTS Programs

Roadway Safety Institute

The Roadway Safety Institute is a regional University Transportation Center, funded by the USDOT, that conducts research focused on user-centered transportation safety systems. The Institute is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, the University of Akron, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Western Michigan University.

Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)

Administered by CTS, Minnesota LTAP provides critical training, information, and technical assistance for Minnesota's local transportation agencies.

Airport Technical Assistance Program (AirTAP)

Similar in mission to LTAP, AirTAP provides training and technical assistance to Minnesota airport operators and aviation personnel.

Accessibility Observatory

The Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota is focused on the research and application of accessibility-based transportation system evaluation.

Transitway Impacts Research Program

The Transitway Impacts Research Program answers questions about the economic, travel, and community impacts of transitway corridors in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The program was launched in 2006 by the Hennepin County-University of Minnesota partnership and has grown to include a mix of funding partners and program supporters.

Global Transit Innovations (GTI) Program

The Global Transit Innovations (GTI) program connects leading researchers and educators in the field of transit planning across the globe. The program aims to discover innovative solutions and inspire positive change in transit planning through cutting-edge research and education. The program is dedicated to meeting society's persistent and complex challenges, including climate change, income inequality, auto dependence, energy shortages, and growing disparities in health and well-being.

Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness (TPEC) Program

The five-year Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness (TPEC) Program investigates the links between transportation and economic competitiveness, with a focus on three topics: finance, industry clusters, and technology.

Context Sensitive Solutions

Context sensitive solutions (CSS) is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders in providing a transportation facility that fits its setting. This website provides a CSS toolbox, information on upcoming events, and other resources.

Minnesota Traffic Observatory

The Minnesota Traffic Observatory (MTO) is the University’s next-generation traffic laboratory. The vision of the MTO is to become an internationally recognized leader in traffic science and engineering through advanced knowledge and understanding of traffic phenomena. The mission of the MTO is to be a unique resource to public, private, and academic stakeholders in the transportation community in the following research applications:

  • Traffic Flow Modeling/Simulation
  • Traffic Operations and Management
  • Special Event/Evacuation
  • Transportation Network Modeling
  • Travel Behavior Modeling
  • Safety Analysis

HumanFIRST Laboratory (Human Factors Interdisciplinary Research in Simulation and Transportation)

HumanFIRST brings together a core staff of cognitive psychologists with a broader network of transportation researchers, focusing on innovative interventions to improve transportation safety based on a scientific understanding of driver performance and cognitive functions. The program houses VESTR, a state-of-the-art immersive driver simulation system.

Intelligent Vehicles Program

The IV Program's engineering and computer science professionals work closely with an interdisciplinary team of specialists, including cognitive psychologists specializing in human factors and experts in visibility, geospatial databases, road-weather and other traveler information systems, virtual environments, image processing, and traffic-signal operations.

Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths

Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) is a multi-agency partnership that includes representatives from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Minnesota State Patrol, Federal Highway Administration, and the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota. The program's goal is to raise awareness of traffic safety issues and to develop tools that can be used to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents in Minnesota.

Transportation Engineering and Road Research Alliance (TERRA) (2004-2015)

TERRA was a research governance structure formed in 2004 to foster a comprehensive road research program. TERRA brought together government, industry, and academia in a dynamic partnership in other states and in Europe to advance innovations in road engineering and construction. The TERRA partnership ended as of June 30, 2015.

Transportation & Regional Growth Study

Coordinated by CTS in cooperation with state and regional organizations, the TRG study was an effort to better understand the linkages between land use, community development, and transportation in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

CTS Affiliated Programs

State and Local Policy Program

A highly visible regional policy resource drawing on University faculty from a variety of specialties, with a major focus on transportation policy. Housed within the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, SLPP works with individuals and institutions from government, business, academia, labor, and nonprofits to develop improved public policy, particularly in the Upper Midwest.

Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratories (NATSRL)

Located on the University's Duluth campus and funded in part by the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, NATSRL collaborates with Mn/DOT District 1 to carry out research on a wide range of topics including transportation for small urban centers, winter transportation issues, visual and electronic sensors, transportation data management, and inventory management of transportation infrastructure.

Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)

An applied research and technology center that connects faculty and students with nonprofit organizations, ethnic and racial minority groups, businesses, rural towns, inner-city neighborhoods, suburban communities, local governments, and public agencies in Minnesota.

Active Communities/Transportation (ACT) Research Group

Faculty, researchers, and students conducting research on policies governing land use and transportation, and exploring programs relating to "active" transportation (such as bicycling and walking) and "active" communities. Specific research areas include household location choice, travel patterns, and planning for active modes of transportation.

Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems (NeXus)

The group is engaged in a number of projects understanding the inter-relationship of People, Places, and the evolving Social and Physical Networks that connect them. The research conducted by the group uses a variety of techniques, including agent-based modeling, database, game theory, GIS, and advanced survey and statistical techniques.

Multi-Axial Subassemblage Testing System (MAST) Lab

Created by the Civil Engineering department through a National Science Foundation grant, the MAST Lab is a next-generation structural testing facility designed to test large structures such as bridge components under static load conditions. Operational in October 2004.

Center for Diesel Research

Established in 1996 by the Mechanical Engineering department, the Center specializes in the characterization of exhaust emissions, emission controls, alternative fuels, certification of on- and off-highway engines, and control technology.

Metropolitan Design Center

An endowed center within the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture that investigates how design can be used to make the metropolitan landscape more livable and sustainable.

Center for Distributed Robotics

Operating within the Computer Science, the CDR's work with CTS focuses on distributed sensor systems and small autonomous vehicles for traffic system monitoring.

Center for Supply Chain Research

A collaborative effort by faculty from Industrial Engineering, Operations Management, Economics, Computer Science, and Mathematics. Research focuses on modeling, design and optimization of the processes through which goods and services are created and distributed.

Safety Security and Rescue Research Center

This NSF I/UCRC is focused on the emerging field of Safety, Security, and Rescue Research, which includes a variety of topics in homeland security and emergency preparedness and response. As a true cooperative venture, university researchers, member company executives, and invited public safety officials play a role in the selection of research projects the Center pursues. In fact, it is the Industrial Advisory Board that allocates funding for specific projects.

Erosion/Sediment Management and Control Program

The Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota in partnership with Mn/DOT offers this program to ensure compliance with erosion and sediment control provisions on Mn/DOT projects and to provide comprehensive training of inspectors, project managers, contractors, and designers.

Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power

The vision of the NSF Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power is to create new fluid power technology that is compact and efficient, leading to major fuel savings and new technology applications. The University of Minnesota is the program's headquarters. The other core universities participating in the center include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Purdue University of West Lafayette, Indiana, and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Outreach universities and organizations are the Milwaukee School of Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, the National Fluid Power Association, Science Museum of Minnesota, and Project Lead the Way.