The research on smart transportation in the United States has centered on large metropolitan areas. The adoption of smart transportation technologies in small-and medium-sized cities outside of large metropolitan areas is less studied and understood. This study examined the adoption of smart transportation technologies in small-and medium-sized cities in Central California. The analysis was based on the online survey responses from 29 transportation officials and professionals who worked for 18 municipal government departments and six metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in Central California as well as in depth semi-structured interviews with seven of them. The study showed that smart transportation in small-and medium-sized cities was mainly car-centric. Slightly more than half of the survey respondents were either unsure or suspicious about the usefulness of smart transportation technologies in addressing local transportation problems. The study revealed several barriers to the adoption of smart transportation technologies in small- and medium-sized cities including insufficient funding, limited staff capacity, a lack of coordination among small cities within a region, small population sizes, and low-density of development. The interviews suggested that some of these barriers, particularly the funding issue, were more complicated than they first appeared. We offer four major policy recommendations based on the findings from this study.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Miscellaneous, Sustainable Transportation and Land Use, Transportation Technology

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Smart transportation, Smart cities, Small cities, Transportation inequality, Rural community


Transportation | Transportation Engineering | Urban Studies and Planning