The overarching focus of the MIT Portugal Program (MPP) Transportation Systems focus area is the design of complex, large-scale systems that have major societal impact and provide opportunities for sustainable economic development.  The mission of the educational program of the Transportation Systems focus area is the development of a cadre of transportation researchers and professionals in Portugal who are trained at the system level in the design and management of a technology-intensive, intermodal transportation system.

In addition, the Transportation Systems focus area aims to establish a collaborative, in-depth research program, building from the comparative advantage of the universities and researchers involved.

Furthermore, the Transportation Systems focus area will pursue research links with the other MIT Portugal Program focus areas and anchor program activities.  In this respect, Transportation Systems has important and logical links to the work of the Sustainable Energy Systems focus area, since transportation is a major energy consuming sector and the single largest consumer of petroleum.  Research links will also be pursued with the Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing focus area, due to related areas of interest including, for example, supply-chain management and automotive industry manufacturing.  Finally, research links to anchor program activities will be developed, in areas such as network management and resilience, the "green car," and carbon-efficient supply chains.