Founded in 1974, the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Irvine (ITS Irvine) is the second ITS branch in the UC system. The mission of ITS Irvine is to serve as the the premier university-based transportation research and education center in the world, and to provide technology transfer and continuous education to practicing transportation engineers and planners in California. ITS Irvine has over 25 faculty associates from Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning, Economics, Computer Science, Business, Law, and Public Health; and routinely host faculty and graduate students for extended stays that support collaborative research leading to cross-fertilization of research ideas. Each year ITS Irvine hosts over 60 transportation graduate students and 30 urban and regional planning graduate students with many going onto to serve as leaders in the public and private sectors in the U.S. and abroad as well as in faculty positions. ITS Irvine also joint administers the interdisciplinary Transportation Science degree program, which educates students in a broad set of competencies and perspectives that mirror the actual practice of current transportation research and practice.
Research at ITS Irvine covers a broad spectrum of transportation issues. Current funded research projects focus on intelligent transportation systems, analysis and simulation of urban traffic networks, transportation system operations and control, artificial intelligence/expert systems in transportation, travel demand forecasting and analysis of complex travel behavior, transportation/land use interactions (particularly those which encourage alternative modes of travel), planning and evaluation of advanced public transit systems, transportation pricing and regulation, energy and environmental issues (particularly demand for alternative fuels), and the growth of automobile use in the U.S. and Western Europe. Research on advanced transportation technologies is a strength of ITS Irvine and encompasses a wide range of programs, including the Advanced Testbed Research Program, Improved Vehicle Demand Forecasting Models initiative sponsored by the California Energy Commission, and a partnership with UC Berkeley on Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH).