KYLE SHELTON, CTS DIRECTOR
Every day, CTS and the University of Minnesota are working to understand what’s coming next in transportation. Whether that means identifying challenges, embracing opportunities, innovating new technologies, or improving existing systems, we strive to help produce transportation systems that are sustainable, serve the needs of all users, support a strong economy, and improve our collective quality of life. To do so, we have to look forward constantly.
The disruptions caused to transportation by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the massive transportation investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, are propelling our forward gaze even further. The pandemic has tested our daily mobility practices—stressing supply chains, changing work commutes, and altering how we view and move through our communities. The BIL and IRA laws offer a huge opportunity to build from that disruption: We can improve our old systems, identify new tactics and technologies, and invest in infrastructure that will serve us for the next 20 to 30 years.
At a moment such as this, it is critical that our universities and leading researchers help us grapple with the transportation future. Whether that future is next week, next year, or a decade from now, researchers are providing a foundation from which our public agencies and officials, communities, engineers, and planners will build new systems and embrace new best practices.
Because this moment is a nexus of investments and attention on the centrality of transportation and mobility to our lives, CTS is making it foremost in our next year of work. In 2023, CTS and our partners will be focused on the “Future of Mobility.” We will aim to share research, hold convenings, and support learning that helps us understand where we are going and the many ways we might get there.
In the months to come, we hope you’ll join us in this conversation. In early 2023, keep a lookout for the release of an exciting series of publications from the U of M and national experts about what they view as the next horizon in transportation. Throughout the year, we’ll be hosting speakers and webinars geared toward asking “What’s next?”—and, most importantly, connecting that next to where we are today and helping to chart a path that gets us from here to there, together.