About the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS)

Black and white mural of transportation scenes in CTS office

CTS is the hub for transportation research and education at the University of Minnesota. It supports research in many disciplines, cultivates the transportation workforce, and shares new thinking with various stakeholders and audiences.

CTS was established in 1987 to meet a need for greater connection between the state’s transportation agencies and University researchers. That underlying goal—applying U of M thinking to solve real-world issues—still drives CTS today.

Our Mission

CTS is a catalyst for transportation innovation through research, education, and engagement.

Annual Report

What We Do

CTS is one of the top transportation centers in the country.

  • Research. CTS manages a coordinated research program funded by various local, state, regional, and national organizations. It creates connections between researchers and funders, practitioners, and policymakers to ensure research meets real-world needs; strengthens University expertise by attracting and supporting faculty and researchers; and initiates and coordinates transdisciplinary research on critical and emerging issues.
  • Education. CTS promotes transportation-related education in several disciplines, helps develop curricula, and supports current U of M students through research funding, student awards, and networking opportunities. It conducts programs to inspire K-12 students to consider careers in transportation and attend the U of M. It also offers continuing education and training opportunities for current practitioners.
  • Engagement. CTS links researchers and stakeholders in various ways to produce solutions to societal issues. It convenes University thought leaders and the transportation community in a broad participatory framework; holds events that bring national figures to Minnesota to broaden perspectives; disseminates research findings through seminars and communications; and provides access to information through extensive electronic resources and library services.

In addition to its core research and education mission, CTS manages a portfolio of programs. This allows us to reach and meet the needs of a wide range of audiences, cross-pollinate views, and leverage resources.