MTI Empowers Local High-School Students to Pursue Future Transportation Careers

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Local high school students toured the nation’s first high-speed rail project as part of the Mineta Summer Transportation Institute
August 14, 2023
San José, CA

A group of 32 Bay Area high school students attended a special tour of the nation’s first high-speed rail project on Friday, July 21. These students were participants in the Mineta Summer Transportation Institute (MSTI), a three-week program where students learned about transportation sustainability and career opportunities in the industry. This program is free, and students can earn three college credits in Environmental Studies from San José State University (SJSU).

As part of the program, students headed to Fresno to witness the construction of the nation’s first high-speed rail project, thanks to the California High Speed Rail Authority and MTI partnership. They viewed the section of the high-speed rail project that will connect Merced and Bakersfield—busy hubs in the Central Valley.

Students also learned first hand how California high-speed rail will bring together the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs, and preserve agricultural and protected lands. Students visited the San Joaquin River Viaduct with the Authority’s engineers and had the opportunity to learn more about other parts of high-speed rail planning, such as train interiors, station design, and safety & grade separations. This trip was sponsored for the second time by DB E.C.O. North America Inc.

“California High-Speed Rail will have the most profound impact on our youth who will be among the first to ride 220 mile per hour trains powered by renewable energy in our 500-mile high-speed rail network,” said Boris Lipkin, Northern California Regional Director at California High-Speed Rail Authority. “We hope this up-close tour inspires our future transportation leaders.”

Click here to see the video of the field trip released by the Authority.

Students in the program also:

  • Participated in hands-on STEM activities led by SJSU professors and students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Aviation and Technology, and the Spartan Racing team;
  • Studied environmental science while earning college credit and contributed to discussions on how transportation impacts climate change;
  • Explored various transportation sectors and career pathways from public and private organizations, such as San José Department of Transportation, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Bay Area Connectors (a joint venture partnership between AECOM and EPC), HNTB, and United Airlines;
  • And even experienced college-readiness workshops delivered by SJSU’s Writing Center and Peer Connections.

The MSTI program engages and educates students, connecting them to empowering experiences, information, and career opportunities. This program was delivered in partnership with Caltrans and is a crucial step toward building the transportation workforce pipeline to ensure the industry has the diverse, robust workforce it needs to make transportation safe and equitable for all.



At the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University (SJSU) our mission is to increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nations’ transportation system. Through research, education, workforce development and technology transfer, we help create a connected world. Founded in 1991, MTI is a university transportation center funded by the US Department of Transportation, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants, including those made available by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB1). MTI is affiliated with SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.


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