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Manish Shirgaokar, AICP

Assistant Professor


Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

About Me

The transportation sector contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions (and to climate change). One way to mitigate this impact is to tweak behaviors for personal travel choices. To do this, however, we need to understand why and how households and individuals make decisions about transportation consumption. I'm interested in how people travel and in understanding the choices individuals make for regular/everyday trips - with a focus on current as well as new transportation technologies. For example, why do those working downtown travel by car to rail stations and then get on transit? What portion of this decision is based on land use constraints and how much is about personal preferences? How do Transportation Network Companies (e.g., Lyft/Ola/Uber) expand choices for those who do not drive?

In my research, I do not think of the population as an undifferentiated group, since we know that subsections of the population have different pressures that limit the choices they can make. Women, for example, on average have less time on their hands due to taking on maintenance tasks for the household. Does this limit women's choices for travel? Seniors (> 65 years) have cognitive and other burdens that limit their transportation choices. Further, older women have different pressures than older men with respect to travel.

My work is focused in three areas currently - Canada, United States, and India. My research is about trying to understand the burdens that guide travel choices in subgroups of the population in these geographies. In the process, there are discoveries to be made that are often surprising. For example, do women in Canada and India have similar or different pressures guiding their travel behavior? The answers to such questions can be used to design social policies and to think of equitable ways to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. 

Emerging Scholar Award

Regional Development & Planning Specialty Group - American Association of Geographers (Boston, MA, April, 2017)


Ph.D., City & Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 2012

Master of City Planning / Master of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 2002

Bachelor of Architecture, MS University, Baroda, India, 1998


Current research areas:

- Travel behavior (choices at individual and household level)

- Transportation consumption (current and emerging forms of travel)

- Disadvantaged groups (seniors > 65 years, women, and minority groups)

- Geographies: Canada, United States, India

Current research projects:

- Seniors and transportation deficiency

- Transportation-related taxes, climate change mitigation, and transit supply

- Racial bias in policing - enforcing traffic laws?

- Social media, big data, and policy extraction