Cambridge Systematics (CS) is an independent, employee-owned firm, recognized throughout the nation as a leader in transportation.  

CS was founded in 1972 by four Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors and a colleague who shared an understanding that transportation's greatest challenges call for thoughtful, research-based solutions. To this day, our staff are dedicated to forging strong partnerships and delivering innovative solutions for our clients and their communities. 

Honoring the Past › Shaping the Future

Scroll through the timeline below for a glimpse of the key projects, milestones, and events that have happened over the course of five decades at Cambridge Systematics. 


Riding the Wave

The decade begins with unfathomable tragedy, natural disasters, and a recession. In the face of these events, CS maintains hope for the future. We open eight more offices throughout the country and produce several groundbreaking studies, including the first comprehensive highway safety plan.

Offices Icon
3 Offices
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120 Employees
2000 ›
Figure 1.3 from Public Transportation and the Nation's Economy
CS Completes Two National Policy Studies

CS completes Unclogging America's Arteries: Prescriptions for Healthier Highways and Public Transportation and the Nation's Economy

The U.S.' First High-Speed Rail Service Begins, Connecting Boston to Washington, DC.
Former Principal, Daniel McFadden Wins Nobel Prize in Economics
2001George W. Bush Swears into Office
2001 ›
Marvin L. Manheim Award logo
Marvin L. Manheim Award is Created

The Marvin L. Manheim Award celebrates the legacy of one of the four original founders of CS, Marvin L. Manheim. His vision, intellectual leadership and emphasis on creativity served as the one of the primary driving forces behind the growth and success of CS. Each year, this award is presented

2002 ›
Cover and internal page from the Executive Summary of the New Cornerstone report for Florida Chamber of Commerce
CS Conducts the Florida Cornerstone Transportation Study

CS conducts the Florida Transportation Cornerstone Study which examines the relationship between intermodal transportation and economic competitiveness. The report, New Cornerstone: A Vision for Florida’s Economic Future, released in 2003, establishes a 10-year blueprint to move Florida’s economy into the early part of the 21st century. 

2002 Offices Icon
CS Opens Offices in Chicago, IL and Tallahassee, FL
2002 ›
Aerial photo of freeway in Minnesota
CS Conducts Real-Time Ramp Meter Evaluation in Minnesota

We help MnDOT gain a better understanding of how ramp meters impact freeway volume, travel times, speeds, and crashes. As a result of this work, MnDOT launches a new responsive ramp meter system that provides real-time information about ramp and freeway conditions. 

2002 ›
Photo of NGSIM website on a computer monitor
CS Leads the Development of Several Fundamental Behavioral Algorithms and Advanced Datasets

Under the FHWA's Next Generation Simulation Program (NGSIM), we are selected to lead the development of several fundamental behavioral algorithms and advanced datasets that pioneer the simulation modeling practice. Freely available to the transportation community, NGSIM improves the quality

2003 ›
CS Updates Logo and Website

CS makes updates to the logo and adds a “knowledge bank” to the website, providing expert analyses, insights, and online resources to help our clients manage performance.  

2003 ›
Aerial view of rail yard with lots of converging tracks and different kinds of trains.
CS Develops the Transportation Asset Management Guide for NCHRP

Recognizing its growing importance to transportation agencies worldwide, AASHTO adopts transportation asset management as a priority initiative in 1998. To support this initiative, CS is selected to produce the first edition of the Transportation Asset Management Guide for use by AASHTO

2004 ›
Aerial photo of criss crossing highways
CS Leads a Team in Developing a Core of Open Behavioral Algorithms for FHWA

For FHWA, CS leads a team in developing a core of open behavioral algorithms in support of traffic simulation with a primary focus on microscopic modeling. These products are openly distributed and freely available to the broader transportation community. 

SAFETEA-LU Signed into Law
2005 Offices Icon
CS Opens Offices in New York City and Fort Lauderdale, FL
2006 ›
Image of highway in Baltimore, MD
CS’ Safety Group Develops the First Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan for Maryland
2006 ›
North American with southeastern United States in the foreground, photographed from space.
CS Completes Governor’s Commission on the Future of Space and Aeronautics in Florida

CS helps Florida shape the future of the State’s economy by providing project management, policy, and planning services to support the establishment of a Strategic Intermodal System. 

2006 Offices Icon
CS Opens Office in Atlanta, GA
2006 ›
Multiple lanes of traffic lights on a highway along the water.
CS Begins Supporting the ICM Management Initiative

CS leads analysis, modeling, and simulation activities to support the Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) initiative. The ICM initiative demonstrates how Intelligent Transportation Systems technologies can efficiently and proactively manage the movement of people and goods in major transportation corridors worldwide and improve the overall productivity of transportation systems. 

2007 ›
Cover and internal pages from the report National Rail Freight Infrastructure - Capacity and Investment Study
CS Completes Study for AAR

CS completes a landmark study, National Rail Freight Infrastructure Capacity and Investment Study, for the Association of American Railroads. The study assesses the long-term capacity expansion needs of the continental U.S. freight railroads. It provides a first approximation of the rail

2007 Offices Icon
CS Opens Office in Austin, TX
2008 ›
Image of the 2008 and 2011 editions of the AAA report Crashes Vs. Congestion - What's the Cost to Society?
CS Completes Groundbreaking Study for AAA

Our safety team completes a groundbreaking study for AAA, Crashes vs. Congestion: What’s the Cost to Society? The study aims to raise awareness among policymakers, departments of transportation, and the public about the magnitude of the safety problem and the importance of transportation investments for reducing the number and severity of crashes. CS updates the report again in November of 2011. 

2008 ›
Photo of city street with light rail train headed to BWI airport
CS Develops Transit Competitiveness Index Tool for LRT Networks

CS designs and develops a Transit Competitiveness Index (TCI) analysis to help identify opportunities to expand or restructure transit services and to improve ridership and financial performance for light-rail transit systems. 

2009Barack Obama Swears into Office
2009 ›
Cover and internal page from the report Performance Measurement Framework for Highway Capacity
CS Completes Study on Performance Management

In this study, we develop the Systems-Based Performance Measurement Framework for Highway Capacity Decision Making. This framework supports the needs of both agencies and stakeholders in the decision-making process for major transportation capacity projects. 

2009 ›
Cover and internal page from the executive summary Moving Cooler
CS Completes Moving Cooler

CS completes an independent, peer-reviewed research study to evaluate the relative effectiveness, costs, and equity implications of a range of potential transportation strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources. 

2009 Offices Icon
Aerial view of La Salle Street in Chicago
CS Chicago Office Honored

The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Greater Chicago Chapter presents the Chicago office with the 2009 Employer of the Year Award. 

2009 ›
Photo of the US Capital building
CS Completes Report to Congress

CS completes a seminal report, Transportation Impacts on Climate Change and Solutions, for Congress. 

2009 Offices Icon
CS Opens Offices in Los Angeles, CA and Denver, CO