Don’t Stand So Close To Me: Keeping Transit Moving, While Keeping People Safe

WED, MAY 6, 2020 (1:37)

What does it take to keep the nation’s third largest transit system running in the midst of a global pandemic?

The MBTA has been hard at work adjusting schedules and employing new cleaning procedures to protect their workers and riders, and responding to service needs. Once jobs and businesses begin to re-open, how can the MBTA continue to allow people to be safe and feel comfortable getting back on transit?

This talk explores what is happening globally as transit systems in other countries begin to welcome non-essential riders back and discusses what we can learn from their experiences. The conversation includes Heather Thompson from ITDP (Institute for Transportation & Development Policy ) and Steven Higashide from TransitCenter.

Image courtesy of Pixaby

+ BIO: Heather Thompson

Heather Thompson has been involved with ITDP for more than a dozen years, including serving on ITDP’s Board of Directors with two years as Chair.

Throughout her career, Ms. Thompson has worked with the environmental non-profit sector to design and carry out strategies with large-scale impact. She has advised clients, including the Asian Development Bank, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Environmental Defense Fund, on finding ways to help our cities and natural systems increase resilience in the face of climate change, population growth, and other development pressures.

Previously, Ms. Thompson was co-founder and Vice President of Programs for ClimateWorks, a network of teams which promote sectoral policies to mitigate climate change, and a Principal at CEA, where she led the firm’s work in philanthropic strategy, covering energy and climate change, marine resource management, biodiversity protection, and land conservation.

+ BIO: Steven Higashide

Steven Higashide is Director of Research for TransitCenter, a New-York-based foundation that supports innovations in urban transportation across the country. He directs TransitCenter’s research aimed at measuring American attitudes toward public transit, and develops policy guides and workshops that help cities enact transit-supportive policy. His research has been widely cited by mainstream and industry media, including the Washington Post, Vox, and Wired. In 2016 he was named to the Association for Commuter Transportation’s “40 Under 40.” He was previously senior planner for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, where he watchdogged Connecticut state transportation policy and helped pass laws protecting transportation funding and vulnerable road users. Steven holds a B.A. from New York University and a Masters in Urban Planning from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

+ BIO: Jarred Johnson

Jarred Johnson is the Executive Director of TransitMatters.

He came to this position after serving as a project manager for the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation where he managed a variety of complex affordable housing real estate projects and supported organizing efforts for better service on the Fairmount Line. Before that, he helped start the “Love Your Block” mini-grant project and helped write the City of Boston’s first Volunteer Plan as a part of the Civic Engagement Office.

His area of interest is how transit and housing intersect with advocacy and organizing. And through working with low income communities, he’s come to understand just how important access to jobs, walkability, and green forms of transportation can be to raising a community out of poverty and poor health outcomes.

LivableStreets Alliance
StreetTalks: Transportation During The Covid-19 Pandemic