Jesus M. Barajas headshot
Jesus M. Barajas. Photo: Jen Perez

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I received my PhD in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on transportation equity. I’m interested in three main questions: Why and how do people travel? What accounts for the differences we see in travel behavior and safety, particularly for historically marginalized population groups? And what do those differences mean for planning and policy?

My current research projects explore questions of pedestrian and bicycle safety, the representativeness of crowdsourced safety data, travel burdens associated with school travel, and the connections between affordable housing, transit-oriented development, and access to regional opportunities. Read more about my current research on my research page.

At the University of Illinois, I teach courses in transportation equity, travel behavior analysis, and urban studies. At UC Berkeley, I taught courses in planning methods and statistics, and transportation and land use planning.

Prior to coming to Illinois, I was affiliated with the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley. During my pre-academic career, I was a data analyst and associate program manager for NAVTEQ (now I managed federally-funded contracts with state departments of transportation, conducted data quality tests on ITS data feeds, and developed an asset tracking database to support maintenance operations.