AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin is helming a new transportation research program that will study changing travel behaviors related to work habit shifts.

UT will lead the multi-university effort, named the Center for Understanding Future Travel Behavior and Demand. The center will conduct its “Transportation Heartbeat of America Survey” to analyze how people’s travel patterns and behaviors have changed.

The focus of the survey is to study ways to make travel safer, more reliable and more equitable, with a “people-centric approach to mobility.”

“Travel behavior is now evolving, becoming less transferable in time,” Chandra Bhat, director of the new center and former director of the Center for Transportation Research at UT Austin, said in part in the release. “We need to measure and monitor the evolution of activity-travel patterns so we can better project into the future.”

The $40 million center is funded courtesy a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, in addition to matching funds from seven other universities.

Those universities will also serve as consortium members: Arizona State University, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, City College of New York, Diné College (Navajo Nation), Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan and University of Washington.

The center will incorporate student-centric research into its work, offering learning opportunities through the initiative. Additional research set to be studied include employee work-from-home patterns and business-provided transportation benefits, per the release.

The UT-led center is one of five national university transportation centers being funded courtesy $435 million in grants provided by the U.S. DOT.