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“ The central premise of the MIT Transit Program is that investment in intellectual capital is as important as investment in the physical infrastructure."

Fred Salvucci
Transit Lab Senior Research Associate and Former Secretary of Transportation for Massachusetts

The MIT Transit Lab program is defined by many simultaneous partnerships with some of the largest transit agencies in the world, enabling cross cultural learning by agencies and students alike. Our students and staff embed within the agencies to understand needs and produce actionable research.


Specific research topics are defined jointly with each agency sponsor on an annual basis, and each topic has a designated transit agency liaison who provides essential data and who works closely with the research team in formulating the problem, evaluating alternatives and implementing results. MIT faculty take the lead in interactions with the agency, based on years of professional experience directing the planning, design, financing, construction and operation of public transportation systems. These projects enable the students to develop in-depth knowledge of a particular area, and their research provides new thinking on topics of importance to the transit agency.

Here are some of our current and past agency partners - click for more details:

Featured Projects:

• Mitigation of passenger effects of state of good repair projects using automated data sources
• Towards 3 minutes: application of holding and crew interventions to improve service regularity on a high frequency rail transit line
• Transit fare policy: use of automated data to improve incremental decision making

Featured Projects:

• Detecting and quantifying bus operation impedance: the balance between reliability and speed
• Uncovering individual mobility patterns from Transit Smart Card data: trip prediction, activity inference and change detection
• Disruption management on high-frequency lines: measuring the effectiveness of recovery strategies

Featured Projects:

• Estimating the impacts of route changes for Chicago’s Rapid Transit System
• Bundled mobility passes: a framework for partnership between public transit and new mobility services
• Modeling crowding levels by trains in high-frequency transit service operating near capacity

Featured Projects:

• Estimation of left-behind passengers during periods of near-capacity service
• A framework for identification of systematic service deterioration in urban rail systems
• Capacity-constrained network performance model for urban rail systems

Featured Projects:

• Job accessibility in the San Juan Metropolitan Region (SJMR) -- Maximizing the benefits of Tren Urbano
• Developing high-density housing near Tren Urbano stations: financial feasibility for transit supportive condominiums
• Older adult perceptions of transit security and their utilization of public transportation: ridership strategies for the elderly on Tren Urbano

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