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In Memoriam: Martin Wachs

"Martin Wachs was a giant in the field of transportation planning, with special interests in policy, finance, and equity. He was devoted to his students, his colleagues, and of course his family.  He had unlimited energy for all. A true friend. He is missed." - Professor Joseph Schofer, Northwestern


Martin Wachs passed away on April 11, 2021. The Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA is encouraging people to add remembrances of Wachs in the comments section of a post on the ITS website. Email tributes may be sent to

Martin Wachs was a professor of civil and environmental engineering and professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also served as director of the Institute of Transportation Studies. Prior to this, he spent 25 years at UCLA, where he served three terms as chairman of the Department of Urban Planning. He retired as senior principal researcher and director of the Transportation, Space and Technology Program at the RAND Corporation.

Martin Wachs is the author of 160 articles and four books on subjects related to relationships between transportation, land use, and air quality; transportation systems; and the use of performance measurement in transportation planning. His research addresses issues of equity in transportation policy, problems of crime in public transit systems, and the response of transportation systems to natural disasters, including earthquakes. His most recent work focuses on transportation finance in relation to planning and policy.

His other areas of interest include professional ethics, transportation and aging, transportation and land use, transportation and the environment, transportation finance, and urban transportation planning.

He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships, a UCLA Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award, the Pyke Johnson Award for the best paper presented at an annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the Carey Award for service to the TRB.

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