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Research at the MIT Transit Lab is carried out principally by faculty and students in MIT’s Master of Science in Transportation program. Student researchers develop expertise through a combination of class work, field trips and interaction with practitioners. Guided by the faculty, these research projects enable the students to develop in-depth knowledge of a particular area, and their research provides new thinking on topics of importance to transit agencies worldwide. Our research generally falls into one of three areas, although we are always looking for new ways to apply our knowledge.

Research Areas


Operations & Analysis

Using state-of-the-art analysis methods, we review system design and operations to identify risks and opportunities for improvement.

Image by Adelin Preda

Customer Behavior

We specialize in understanding and forecasting customer behavior using  statistical inference combined with modern transit data sources.

Image by Bernard Hermant

Policy & Planning

From developing schedules for new rail lines to prioritizing bus lanes, we develop new methods that meet the challenges faced by transit agencies.

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