Webinar Description:

Greater Boston has faced a series of acute crises in public transport over the past 10 years – from shifts in ridership during and following the pandemic to operator shortages, infrastructure failures and service closures. This has led to much needed reform, and also to creative approaches in building awareness and understanding of how the public transport system can adapt and change in response to crises. Small temporary measures have led to sustained change and allowed for hope when the system and the people who rely on it were facing duress. 

In this webinar, we will learn how tactical public transport interventions including pop-up dedicated bus lanes, all door boarding pilots, and level boarding, have led to free fare trials and permanent bus lanes and helped keep momentum alive for bus transformation and reform.

Series Description:

ITDP has worked throughout the metro Boston region with the many municipalities, community organizations, and creative and communications experts, to transform how the region thinks, approaches, and finally implements bus-based public transport projects. When we began this work, there were less than 4 miles of dedicated bus lanes and the bus was seen as supplementary to the subway system. Now, just ten years later, we see the bus system rebounding back more quickly from the pandemic than the subway, and over 40 miles of dedicated bus lanes on the ground, among other bus priority treatments.

We are launching a three-part series that will reflect on and celebrate the work of the dedicated and visionary group of leaders who took part in this over the past decade, revealing the key lessons learned over the past decade of creative experimentation and bold demonstrations. Each session will focus on a particular phase of the work and showcase the perspectives of partners who made this happen. We hope you will join in learning from the Boston region about the role of having a creative strategy and public art in elevating public transport, how to foster a tactical urbanist approach to improving public transport, and how to build with the community to not just understand bus service but bus experience.

 

Moderator

Julia Wallerce Assistant Director of Transportation, Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Julia Wallerce joined MAPC in 2023 and is the Assistant Director of Transportation. In addition to managing department staff and budgets, Julia plays a critical role in a variety of planning activities and policies to advance sustainable mobility, smart growth, and transportation equity in Greater Boston, including regional bikeshare, Bus Network Redesign, and place-based technical assistance projects throughout the region. Julia represents MAPC on the Boston MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) and works to advance the transportation components of Greater Boston’s regional land use and policy plan, MetroCommon2050.

Prior to joining MAPC, Julia was the Boston Program Manager for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) where she managed the BostonBRT Initiative and championed efforts to advance bus priority and pursue bus rapid transit (BRT) in Greater Boston. Julia also served as Executive Director of MassCommute, a coalition of Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) working with businesses and employers to provide sustainable commuter options and incentives programs and spent several years working in community development with the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) where she facilitated the connections between transportation and housing issues and delivered green development workshops across the nation.

As a Northern California native, Julia holds a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and later ventured east to earn her MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) at Tufts University. Julia served on the Board of Directors for LivableStreets Alliance for twelve years, a non-profit organization advocating for safer, better streets and transit and recently participated on the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s transportation transition team. She lives in Winthrop with her husband and two children where she is very active in local transportation planning issues and leads community building initiatives such as Bike Winthrop and Project Play.

 

Speakers

Wes Edwards Deputy Chief of Operations Planning, Scheduling, and Strategy, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Wes is the MBTA’s Deputy Chief of Operations Planning, Scheduling, and Strategy. He oversees short- and long- range planning that occurs within MBTA Operations and leads teams focused on Service Planning, Transit Priority, a Bus Transformation. His role at the MBTA is to help municipalities and agency partners rethink the multimodal value of our street space, and how bus transit is critical for our region to support economic development, reach our sustainability goals, and address inequities in our transportation network.

Jay Monty Director of Transportation and Mobility at City of Everett, Massachusetts

Jay is the Director of Transportation and Mobility for the City of Everett having held the position since 2015. Jay is responsible for developing and carrying out the transportation vision of Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria that includes an efficient multi-modal transportation system and reduction in automobile dependence for City residents. Besides designing and implementing the “pop-up” bus lane that gained national attention in 2017, Jay worked to develop a Transportation Demand Management Ordinance that was implemented in 2021 for the purpose of not only reducing the impacts of single occupancy vehicles, but also spurring new housing and commercial growth in the city that creates, and is centered around dense, walkable neighborhoods.

Prior to coming to the City of Everett, Jay was a transportation analyst at the USDOT Volpe Center and prior to that a highway engineer at the consulting firm VHB. Jay has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and M.A. in Urban Planning from Tufts University.

Anne Lin Director of Planning & Narrative Strategy, Grayscale Collaborative

Anne is currently the Director of Planning & Narrative Strategy at Grayscale Collaborative, where she convenes and leads broad collaborations to generate co-developed, actionable plans and processes. She brings a wealth of experience in program development, equity framework creation, and narratively-informed spatial and quantitative analysis to Grayscale’s clients and community partners.

Anne has experience in direct service, community place-based advocacy, and she previously held public sector roles working to enhance accountability, transparency, and collaboration between government and community. Her technical and personal background consistently marries high-impact development and planning work with the creative possibilities of design.

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