Jinhua Zhao

Jinhua Zhao is the Edward H. and Joyce Linde Assistant Professor of City and Transportation Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Prof. Zhao aims to establish the behavioral foundation for transport policies, including

  • Sensing travel behavior with new data technology and measurement instruments 
  • Understanding travel by incorporating behavioral economics and social psychology
  • Nudging travel behavior through preference shaping and demand management 
  • Regulating travel by designing behavior-sensitive transport policies

He applies this framework to managing automobile ownership and usage, optimizing public transit planning and operation, promoting active transportation modes, and designing multimodal urban mobility system. Prof. Zhao has been working with London, Chicago, Boston, Vancouver, Shanghai and Singapore to help improve their urban transportation systems and policies. He sees transportation as a language, to describe a person, to characterize a city, and to understand an institution. Prof. Zhao directs the urban mobility research lab JTL and is the co-PI for the Transit Lab at MIT. He holds Master of Science, Master of City Planning and Ph.D. degrees from MIT and a Bachelor's degree from Tongji University. He very much enjoys working with students

Research Clusters



Areas of Interest
Infrastructure Systems, International Development, Transportation and Mobility, Urban Information, Technology, and Media and Analytics


Master of Science in Transportation, MIT
Master of City Planning, MIT
1996 -
Bachelor of Engineering in Planning, Tongji University

Academic Experience

Assistant Professor, MIT
Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia