National Transportation Finance Center Director

Asha Weinstein Agrawal, Ph.D.Asha Weinstein Agrawal, Ph.D.

Asha Weinstein Agrawal is Director of MTI’s National Transportation Finance Center at San José State University, the MTI Education Director, and a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at San José State. Her research agenda is guided by a commitment to the principles of sustainability and equity: what policy and planning tools can communities adopt to encourage environmentally-friendly travel and improve accessibility for people struggling with poverty or other disadvantages?

Dr. Agrawal has worked in transportation finance for more than 20 years. Her transportation revenue policy research focuses on holistic evaluation of the pros/cons of different tax and fee options for raising transportation revenues, as well as public opinion about different tax and fee options. Dr. Agrawal has been the lead researcher on 14 state and national public opinion surveys on the topic, and she has also analyzed hundreds of public opinion polls on transportation finance and other transportation topics.

Dr. Agrawal is actively involved with service to the professional planning and policy community. She has been invited to present her research on transportation finance to policymakers at hearings held by the California Transportation Commission and California Senate Transportation Committee, among others. In addition, she is regularly invited to serve on committees and expert panels. For example, she has been a member of TRB’s Committee on Congestion Pricing since 2012 and served on the oversight panel for an NCHRP Synthesis Project on Forecasting Transportation Revenue Sources: Survey of State Practices (2015). Within the Bay Area, her service includes membership on SPUR's Transportation Pricing Task Force (2019-2020), MTC's Regional Means-Based Transti Fare Pricing Study Technical Advisory Committee (2015 - 2017).

Dr. Agrawal’s research on contemporary policy issues has been cited in the popular media. Stories quoting her or citing her work have appeared in such outlets as The Washington Post (on gas taxes and mileage fees), CBS Evening News (on mileage fees), ABC News/KGO-TV (on mileage fees), the San Diego Union-Tribune (on transit fare policy), WBUR (on the history of traffic congestion), and the San Francisco Chronicle (on transportation taxes).

Dr. Agrawal earned a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.