COVID-19 has exacerbated trends of increasing transit ridership and increasing costs that existed before the pandemic. What has happened? What changes will be short-lived? Which may change transit for the longer term?
Transportation Equity Research Fellow
Dr. Regan F. Patterson is the Transportation Equity Research Fellow at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF). Prior to joining the CBCF, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Dr. Patterson earned her Ph.D. in environmental engineering at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the intersection of sustainable transportation and environmental justice. She uses air quality models to quantify traffic-related air pollutant emissions and concentrations in urban, disenfranchised communities. Dr. Patterson holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from UCLA and an M.S. in environmental engineering from UC Berkeley.
Director and Professor
Brian D. Taylor
Professor Taylor explores how society pays for transportation systems and how these systems in turn serve the needs of people who – because of low income, disability, location, or age – have lower levels of mobility. Topically, his research examines travel behavior, transportation economics & finance, and politics & planning. A principal focus of his research is the politics of transportation economics & finance, including (1) alternative ways to evaluate the access and economic effects of traffic congestion on people, firms, and regional economies, (2) the history of freeway planning and finance, (3) emerging trends in pricing road use, (4) the equity of alternative forms of transportation pricing and finance, (5) linking of subsidies to public transit performance, and (6) measuring equity in public transit pricing and finance.
Dr. Kari Edison Watkins, P.E., is the Frederick Law Olmsted Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her teaching and research interests revolve around multi-modal transportation planning and the use of technology in transportation, especially as related to transit planning and operations and improved traveler information.
At the University of Washington, Dr. Watkins’ research focused on transit travel time reliability and the effects of transit traveler information. She co-created the OneBusAway program to provide real-time next bus countdown information and other transit information tools for transit riders in greater Seattle-Tacoma. OneBusAway has won numerous awards and Dr. Watkins dissertation was awarded the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Wootan Award for best dissertation in transportation policy and planning. As a long-time cyclist, Dr. Watkins has recently begun to explore cyclist infrastructure preferences through survey research and crowdsourced cycling data through the Cycle Atlanta program. Dr. Watkins was recently recognized by Mass Transit Magazine as a Top 40 under 40 and she is a three-time invitee to the National Academy of Engineers Frontiers of Engineering.
Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Watkins worked for a decade as a senior transportation engineer at Wilbur Smith Associates in New Haven, Connecticut. In line with her years in industry, Dr. Watkins’ teaching focus is on including multimodal transportation concepts throughout the curriculum and sending top-notch engineers into the workforce through practical experience in the Senior Capstone course.