A message from CTS Director Laurie McGinnis
Many transportation issues have been with us for years: safety, funding, and so on. But today, they seem to be getting bigger, faster, more urgent. Driverless cars have moved beyond test tracks; the Highway Trust Fund came close to insolvency. Lyft and Uber are attracting subscribers, not owners; extreme weather is prompting resilient infrastructure. And right in front of our CTS offices, the Green Line opened light-rail service between St. Paul and Minneapolis. Combined with other trends and technologies, the implications of these developments are profound.
Such times demand big ideas—and the U of M has the big thinkers to create them. Our campuses are home to some of the brightest minds in transportation, in disciplines from engineering to planning to public policy. Their research generates the real-world solutions and out-there vision needed to tackle the transformative issues of today and tomorrow.
CTS brings these thinkers together to cross-pollinate disciplines and enable new ways of understanding. We connect world-class scholars with funders and stakeholders to ensure that research meets short-term and big-picture needs. We also support and educate the students who will be the thinkers and doers in the future workforce.
Our new annual report presents highlights of this work in FY14. It’s one of the places where we share stories about big thinkers and big ideas at the U of M—part of our mission as a catalyst for transportation innovation.