Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session

Description and Objectives

Introduces transportation systems analysis, stressing demand and economic aspects. Covers the key principles governing transportation planning, investment, operations and maintenance. Introduces the microeconomic concepts central to transportation systems. Topics covered include economic theories of the firm, the consumer, and the market, demand models, discrete choice analysis, cost models and production functions, and pricing theory. Application to transportation systems include congestion pricing, technological change, resource allocation, market structure and regulation, revenue forecasting, public and private transportation finance, and project evaluation; covering urban passenger transportation, freight, aviation and intelligent transportation systems.

The main objective of this course is to give broad insight into the different facets of transportation systems, while providing a solid introduction to transportation demand and cost analyses. As part of the core in the Master of Science in Transportation program, the course will not focus on a specific transportation mode but will use the various modes to apply the theoretical and analytical concepts presented in the lectures and readings.

Course Requirements

  1. Readings: will be assigned from three textbooks and a variety of articles and papers. Additional readings may also be assigned over the semester.
  2. Problem sets: five problem sets will be assigned over the semester.
  3. Midterm exam: an in-class midterm exam is scheduled in Lec #11.
  4. Final exam: a three-hour exam will be scheduled during exam period.


Problem sets 60%
Midterm 10%
Final exam 30%


The course draws on three primary textbooks, listed in the readings section. We have also provided a list of additional readings, some required and some recommended. Further readings may be assigned over the semester.

Policy on Academic Honesty

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering adheres to the strictest standards of academic honesty. An important aspect of achieving these standards is to be sure that students are aware of expectations of faculty as regards academic honesty.


Assignments performed by students for submission have a dual purpose. They are intended as educational devices, including the teaching of skills such as working in teams. They are also evaluation tools for the faculty in judging the quality of performance of individual students. Our policies are intended to balance these two purposes and, unless otherwise stated, these policies apply to all assignments.

Students currently taking this class can work together to conceptualize general approaches to assignments. However, unless otherwise specified for a particular assignment, the work you submit should be done completely on your own. This includes text, numerical calculations, mathematical derivations, diagrams, graphs, computer programs and output. Reference any written source you use in your submission, including Web sites.

It is inappropriate to use assignments submitted in previous years as a source.

In-Class Exams

All work on in-class exams should be performed only by you. All exams are open book and open note.

If you have any questions about how these policies relate to a specific situation, you should speak to Prof. Ben-Akiva for clarification.