Transportation, Sustainability & Equity in the I.E. - The 2020 LTC Student Research Challenge
The LTC Research Group Challenge Project will find creative solutions to difficult questions surrounding the Inland Empire transportation system. Research will be conducted by multi-disciplinary teams of students from the three major public universities in the region. This project will get regional students (undergraduate and graduate) from CSUSB, Cal Poly Pomona, and UC Riverside to think innovatively, learn research techniques, and find solutions to the tough transportation related questions facing the region.
Specific Research Program Outputs:
To find innovative solutions to problems and questions surrounding the IE transportation system. Each project will address some or all of the following:
- climate change/pollution reduction/community adaptation;
- new industries/entrepreneurship based in transportation technologies;
- smart city technologies;
- international and domestic impacts/forces on the system to understand ; and
- transportation cybersecurity in the public sector
Student Research Challenge Expert Speaker Panels
In 2020, with the goal of engaging young leaders in the Inland Empire on transportation research, the LTC designed and implemented a new research program called the Student Transportation Research Challenge (STRC). The inaugural topic focused on defining and analyzing the broad question of how we can obtain and measure a sustainable and equitable transportation system in the Inland Empire.
To assist the group with their research, the LTC hosted a series of expert panels from across the community in the summer of 2020. Panelists represented experts from regional logistics and transportation companies; public transit; political leaders; environmental justice community-based organizations; and the transportation and planning agency sector. By exposing the students to the opinions and ideas across the community, they were able to obtain a greater understanding of the different perspectives that exist around the concepts of sustainability and equity. Thus, this not only allowed them to hear from various perspectives but enabled them to think critically to tackle the region’s issues.
Meet the 2020 Research Team
Oscar Corona is a recent graduate from UCR with a bachelor’s in philosophy. He was formerly an intern at the Office of Sustainability at UCR and a Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow where he focused on the subject of transportation. His favorite hobbies include playing music, board games and cruising around on his skateboard. As a resident of the IE he is excited to work on this research with the potential to help the transportation network of the area.
Vanessa Gonzalez holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from UC Riverside, as well as an M.A. in Social Science and Globalization from CSU San Bernardino. For the majority of her academic career she has focused on the politics that drive international relations. However, she recently has shifted that focus towards applying her analytical skills towards micro-level issues that affect local politics and communities. As a future educator and resident of the Inland Empire, Vanessa recognizes the importance of establishing equitable and sustainable transportation solutions for all in the region.
Marven Norman is an Inland Empire native and has spent many years traveling around the region by bike, bus, car, foot, and train. He has been more closely involved in bicycle and pedestrian advocacy for many years and takes an avid interest in sustainable transportation and urban design. As a graduate of the CSUSB MPA program, he is focused on good and effective government and brings a wealth of perspectives and viewpoints to the team in the search for answers to the issues which face our growing region.
Christian Lua is currently a proud CPP Bronco in his final year at Cal Poly Pomona as an urban and regional planning undergraduate and is the first in his family to attend a university. Born and raised in the Inland Empire, Christian has seen how the Inland Empire is growing and developing rapidly. With his other interests related to his current major like architecture, environmental studies, and policy, he hopes to bring his interests and utilize his planning background to the LTC research with his team. In the planning field, he has experience as an intern in public health planning with Riverside County’s Riverside University Health System (RUHS). He is currently an intern with the City of Anaheim working on projects with the departments of Community and Economic Development and Planning, and currently is the University Liaison with the American Planning Association – Inland Empire Section (IES-APA). In his free time, he enjoys hiking, going to the beach, playing soccer, and spending time with his friends and family.
Nicole Aquino is a fourth-year civil engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona interested in the transportation and traffic engineering industries. She is an active member of her campus community, serving as Cal Poly Pomona’s ASCE Vice President Internal and ITE Membership Chair. Nicole is also a Civil Engineering Intern at WSP USA where she works on rail projects, and she is looking forward to working as a Student Research Assistant at CSUSB’s Leonard Transportation Center and learning more about the transportation industry!
Smart Cities Student Independent Study
The LTC has also collaborated with University of California, Riverside (UCR) to create an independent study course for a group of students. Under the guidance of Professor Ronald Loveridge (UCR) and Professor Kimberly Collins (CSUSB), the student researchers defined the key issues in the region by proceeding with online expert dialogues, literature review, and interviews with regional transportation leaders. Furthermore, they analyzed the policy capabilities and organizational framework of local and state governments to see if the current governing bodies are ready to adapt to smart transportation 2.0 technologies. To learn more about their research, please visit the website below.
City of Rialto Safe Routes to School Project
Parents of school children have become skeptical of letting their children walk or bike to school due to traffic safety, crime, access to transportation, pollution, health issues and other factors.
The CSUSB Leonard Transportation Center has been working closely with the City of Rialto in providing research assistance with the development of a grant application for the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program. The grant provides funding for infrastructure projects that aim to make walking and biking safer for students of Rialto schools.
The Leonard Transportation Center assisted by:
- Providing recommendations on the best practices for community outreach.
- Providing different funding strategies for program sustainability.
- Conducting a socioeconomic and environmental analysis of potential program barriers.
- Compiling prevalent academic literature on the topic of Safe Routes to School.