MTI Research

The Mineta Transportation Institute research program involves a diverse and growing number of certified Research Associates (RA), Consulting Associates (CA), and student research assistants in a wide spectrum of research projects. These are judged by peers and other experts to advance the body of knowledge in transportation policy and management from an intermodal perspective.

All completed research reports and the proceedings or reports of MTI events can be accessed using the publications link on this page. Also available are descriptions of research in progress; a list of Research and Consulting Associates; the forms to apply for RA and CA certification, manage research projects, and respond to the annual request for proposals.

Research Teams

MTI supports research projects staffed entirely by SJSU faculty or by teams of SJSU faculty collaborating with researchers from outside the university.

Research teams for all projects submitted in response to a Request for Proposal must meet the following guidelines:

  1. All teams must include at least one SJSU faculty member. The SJSU faculty member need not be the PI but must contribute substantially to the project in multiple phases (e.g., research design, data collection, data analysis, and/or report preparation).
  2. All teams must include at least one SJSU student who contributes substantially to the project.
  3. All personnel paid through the MTI project grant (other than students) must be approved MTI Research Associates (RAs) or Consulting Associates (CAs). Exceptions for hiring personnel who are not RAs or CAs will be made only for individuals with specialized expertise who are hired to consult on the project and who are not named authors of the final report. (For example, a team may wish to hire a statistical expert to advise on appropriate modeling techniques for the project.)
  4. Normally the PI on a project must be an approved RA. However, in exceptional circumstances a CA may serve as the PI if at least one other member of the research team is an RA with a record of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

MTI certifies all research and consulting associates prior to their involvement in any project. Certification requires a completed application with references, a résumé, and a sample of published research. The Research Associates Policy Oversight Committee (RAPOC), composed of the department heads or representatives of the SJSU academic departments with which MTI works most often, reviews the applications and recommends certification where appropriate. Certification is approved by the executive director and must be renewed every five years.

Research Projects

Project selection begins with an extensive needs assessment by staff, including input from Caltrans and MTI´s Board of Trustees. The staff researches those needs identified by federal agencies and seeks input from the US DOT Western Resource Center. Following the needs assessment, the institute issues a formal Request for Proposals (RFP). RAPOC, Caltrans, and representatives from the US DOT subject all proposals to peer review and rigorous discussion before selection.

MTI emphasizes policy and management research, rather than technical research, and selects only those projects with immediate and practical value for transportation officials and practitioners. To that end, MTI has adopted the following areas of emphasis:

  • Safety and security of transportation systems
  • Financing public and private sector transportation improvements
  • Transportation, land use, the environment, and the economy interrelationships
  • Transportation planning and policy development
  • Intermodal connectivity and integration
  • Sustainability of transportation systems
  • Labor and workforce issues
  • Transportation decision-making and consensus building

Transfer of Research Information

All research is posted in the publications section of this web site, and each report is professionally printed following successful peer review, author revisions, and editing. MTI has developed a number of other approaches to information transfer, including sponsoring symposia, funding post-research travel for researchers to address professional conferences such as TRB, providing financial incentives for publishing in peer-reviewed journals, and developing cost-effective formats to present research summaries for distribution to practitioners.