Tierra Bills

Tierra Bills

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering


Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
B.S in Civil Engineering Technology, Florida A&M University

Areas of Interest:

Redesigning Transportation Systems, Transit Design and Reliability, Transportation Accessibility, Transportation Equity





Office Location:

Public Affairs 6381

Tierra S. Bills is an Assistant Professor of  Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. She specializes in the measurement of transportation planning and system outcomes, and travel demand modeling, with a special emphasis on transportation equity. Dr. Bills brings a unique and innovative perspective to the challenge of transportation inequity, aimed at impacting transportation science, practice, and quality of life for disadvantaged communities. She has worked in the transportation equity domain since 2009 and her current work builds off this long track record, including her master’s research, dissertation work, study and training as a Research Scientist at IBM Research, Michigan Society Fellowship research, and previous work as an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University.

Dr. Bills has extensive training in travel demand modeling and is engaged in ongoing work on representation of transport disadvantaged groups in household travel surveys, which are traditionally used to estimate and validate travel demand models. This is the first step to developing travel models capable of reflecting the preferences and behaviors of disadvantaged travelers and fine-grain transportation equity outcomes. Dr. Bills also works to advance accessibility measurement for transportation project evaluation, and develops strategies for ranking alternative transportation plans using equity-based criteria. Her work is published in a range of journals including Transport Policy and Transportation Research Record, and a recent contribution to the popular planning research press: The Metropole. She also currently serves as a Guest Editor on a Special Issue of Transportation Research Part D.

Dr. Bills has a strong record of advocacy for transportation equity and representation in STEM fields, including providing testimony for the a U.S. House of Representatives’ subcommittee hearing (see: https://science.house.gov/hearings/field-hearing-smart-mobility-its-a-community-issue), membership on the Equity in Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and co-developing an entry on her research in the ColorMePhD coloring book series (see: https://ce.berkeley.edu/news/2511).


Selected Publications

Bills, Tierra (2022). Advancing the Practice of Regional Transportation Equity Analysis: A San Francisco Bay Area Case Study. Transportation Research Part A. (Pending)

Goodspeed, Robert, Meixin Yuan, Aaron Krusniak, and Tierra Bills. (2021). Assessing the Value of New Big Data Sources for Transportation Planning: Benton Harbor, Michigan Case Study. 17th International Conference on Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM).

Bills, Tierra. S., & Carrel, A. L. (2021). Transit Accessibility Measurement Considering Behavioral Adaptations to Reliability. Transportation Research Record, 0361198120986567.

Nahmias-Biran, Bat-hen, Tierra Bills, and Yoram Shiftan. Incorporating Equity Consideration in Transport Project Evaluation: San Francisco Bay Area Case Study. Presented at the 96th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 9th, 2017

Bills, Tierra, and Joan Walker (2017). Looking beyond the mean for equity analysis: Examining distributional impacts of transportation improvements. Transport Policy, 54, 61-69.

Bills, Tierra., Bryant, R., & Bryant, A. W. (2014). Towards a frugal framework for monitoring road quality. In Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC), 2014 IEEE 17th International Conference on ITS (pp. 3022-

3027). IEEE.

Bills, Tierra, Elizabeth Sall, and Joan Walker (2012). Activity-based Travel Demand Models and Transportation Equity Analysis: Research Directions and An Exploration of Model Performance. In Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C.