April '24 Newsletter

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April 2024


Garrett Morgan Sustainable
Transportation Competition

Congratulations to the Winners!
MTI proudly announces this year’s winners of the national Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition for middle school students. Congratulations to the teams on providing innovative solutions to our nation’s most critical transportation issues centered on the theme #VisionZero2030.

Interested in participating in next year’s competition? Each team will receive a $550 teacher honorarium and material stipend, and additional awards will go to the top 3 teams. Please contact MTI's Program Liaison, Susan Vinh.

Watch the Video Compilation
Kennedy Middle School
1st Place
Kennedy Middle School
Cupertino, CA

Project: Hexa-Grooves for a safer future

$1,000, plaque and an invitation to MTI’s annual awards banquet

William Hopkins Middle School
2nd Place
William Hopkins Middle School - Team D
Fremont, CA
Project: Protecting Pedestrians at Night

$500 and a plaque

Peter Hansen & Julius Cordes Elementary Schools
3rd Place
Peter Hansen & Julius Cordes Elementary Schools
Mountain House, CA

Project: DriveLink - The Technology connecting thousands of cars daily

$200 and a plaque

Youth Mentor Spotlight
Mentoring, writing and publishing, earning credits toward a college degree—Meera Bhaskar has already done all of these, and she’s only a high school junior. Meera has always been fascinated by sustainable transportation and urban mobility. She envisions transportation as a catalyst for living our lives, something critical to everything people do. This interest led her to attending the Mineta Summer Transportation Institute last year and inspired her to continue her engagement with the industry by serving as a youth mentor for this year’s Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition for the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council Boy Scout troop. This summer, Meera will be on the other side of the mentoring experience as part of a team with the aviation systems division at NASA Ames. In this internship, she will explore existing and emerging aviation technologies, identify a challenging problem, and help propose innovative ideas for different applications of aviation technologies to help solve the problem and benefit the public. Meera shares everything transportation on her  blog , and she even published an  eBook  on electric vehicles and sustainable mobility. Meera’s passion for transportation is clear, and it’s evident she will continue to impress!


Brightline West Groundbreaking

Brightline West Groundbreaking
This month, MTI's ED Dr. Karen Philbrick and Trustees (with Trustee Kimberly Slaughter featured in the photo) joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and many other federal, state, and local officials to break ground for the Las Vegas site of Brightline West! This major high-speed rail milestone—a public-private partnership—will bring fast, reliable, and safe transportation and create thousands of jobs. It’s safe for people with zero at-grade crossings, and for wildlife too (the system will maintain or improve existing wildlife crossings). When it is operational, it will take 3 million cars off the I-15 and cut 400,000+ tons of CO2 each year. Brightline West supports California’s and Nevada’s climate strategies. Moreover, it is another step toward a system of U.S. high-speed rail that supports a safe, sustainable, and efficient future.
New Research
How Will California’s Electric Vehicle Policy Impact State-Generated Transportation Revenues? Projecting Scenarios through 2040
How Will California’s Electric Vehicle Policy Impact State-Generated Transportation Revenues? Projecting Scenarios through 2040 

California’s ambitious agenda to reduce fossil fuel use by transitioning the state from gas and diesel vehicles to electric ones promises important climate benefits—but also sets up a potential transportation revenue crisis. New MTI research explores this challenge. The study analyzes how much revenue the state might lose annually from fuel taxes and two registration fees on personal vehicles. Researchers consider eight scenarios that assume different rates of electric vehicle adoption, changes in how many miles Californians drive, and changes in the number of personal vehicles registered.

Key findings include:

  • It is impossible to project future revenues with any confidence for more than a few years into the future. By 2040, annual revenue ranges from a low of $4.81 billion to a high of $12.15 billion.
  • The state may lose substantial revenue if the SB 1 taxes and fees are not changed and/or replaced within the coming few years. In 2027, just three years out, projected annual revenue for some scenarios drops by more than a billion dollars below 2024 revenue.
  • A fast ICE to ZEV transition would significantly reduce annual revenue—but so could changes in VMT.
  • Fuel taxes currently provide most SB 1 revenue, but by 2040 California may rely on vehicle registration fees to provide most of the revenue.
Read the Report
The Transportation Sector, Cap-and-Trade and Blockchain: A Carbon Credit Trading Platform
The Transportation Sector, Cap-and-Trade and Blockchain: A Carbon Credit Trading Platform

This study offers a solution that facilitates direct trading of carbon credits with no intermediaries by using blockchain technology aligned with the cap-and-trade system. With this solution, along with other major transformations in the industry, the transportation sector can take more ownership of emissions and mitigate the impact of its role as the largest contributor of greenhouse gasses. This study shows how a democratized trading system for carbon credit trade can be constructed in which the parties conduct trades directly, with no third-party involvement, speeding up the process and potentially making it more secure and efficient. The intersection of cap-and-trade and blockchain may increase global participation in peer-to-peer exchange, which will help increase universal participation in carbon offset credits trading and allow the transportation sector to contribute actively to both short- and long-term climate change solutions.

Read the Report
Upcoming Events
Pedaling Progress: Equity Assessment of San José's Urban Bike Infrastructure via SJ-BikeEquity Tool
Pedaling Progress: Equity Assessment of San José's Urban Bike Infrastructure via SJ-BikeEquity Tool

Bike networks are growing nationwide—including in San José, which is keen on becoming “one of the most bike-friendly cities in North America.” Expanding bike networks and allocating funds require careful planning to ensure a fair distribution of bike infrastructure, but most assessment methods neglect differences in bike path classes that provide different safety and comfort levels for cyclists. Join experts to discuss an equity assessment of San José’s bike infrastructure, driven by a weighting system for different safety and comfort levels of the urban bike network, and what it could mean for traffic congestion, sustainability, and Bay Area communities.

0.5 PDH credit available to attendees. 

To Register
Beyond the Pump: Rethinking Transportation Funding Without the Fuel Tax
15th Annual Mineta National Transportation Policy Summit

While the climate benefits from booming electric vehicle sales, the nation’s transportation system faces an unfortunate predicament: less gasoline and diesel purchased means dwindling fuel tax revenue. Fuel tax revenue provides a core funding source for operating, maintaining, and improving transportation systems, so policymakers must find a replacement as soon as possible. This event explores such options as mileage fees, higher annual vehicle fees, or abandoning the user-pay principle and relying on general fund revenue.

2 PDH credits and 2 CM credits available to attendees. 

To Register
Emergency Preparedness in Motion: The Role of ICS in Transportation
Emergency Preparedness in Motion: The Role of ICS in Transportation

If a wildfire, earthquake, or cyber emergency impacts a transit system—what happens next? How do transportation agencies respond in an emergency? The use of an Incident Command System (ICS) allows for a uniform response method for emergencies and is required by FEMA and the FHWA. ICS, however, is rarely used by transportation personnel. Join transportation and emergency response experts for a discussion of the pros and cons of implementing ICS training for field-level transportation supervisors and staff. Don’t miss this opportunity to better understand emergency response best practices in our industry.

0.75 PDH credit available to attendees. 

To Register
We are now accepting applications to the Summer Transportation Institute. Open to Bay Area high school students who have completed Algebra 1 and (Freshman) Science 1.

MTI's 2024 MSTI will be held weekdays, July 8-26, 2024, M-F 9am-3pm* at San José State University. While engaging in stimulating hands-on STEM activities and venturing on exciting local field trips, students will learn about transportation innovation and earn 3 transferable college credits in Environmental Studies from San José State University. This program is completely free and open to high school students.

For more information about MSTI, please contact Alverina Weinardy.

*On specific occasions and with notice students may be required to arrive earlier or may be released later due to field trip travel constraints.

Learn More



Contact Us

SJSU Research Foundation   210 N. 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA 95112    Phone: 408-924-7560   Email: mineta-institute@sjsu.edu