Co-Founder | President
I've always loved transportation, watching Thomas the Tank Engine as a child, growing up next to an LIRR branch line, and taking the New York City subway in and out of Manhattan with my parents nearly every weekday. I've lived deep in urbanity in Flushing, NY and first generation suburbia on Long Island. I've experienced 'advanced mutation' suburbia in Kissimmee, FL and post-industrial small town America in my alma mater's host town of Troy, NY.
I know what it's like to have mobility and what it's like to be a stranded suburban teen. Today, I depend on public transport to get to work, home, and all the things in between. I write from a deep appreciation for all modes (yes, including cars) and how each fits into the puzzle of productive cities and enabling productive people.
When I first moved to Boston, I experienced what it's like to be trapped underground for 45 minutes just outside Davis Square after one of the worst in-tunnel derailments the MBTA has seen on the Red Line in recent history. During those harrowing minutes with very few updates and even less detail about what was going on ahead, I tried to imagine the bigger picture to keep myself from smashing the emergency intercom button in the car. I found myself doing the very same thing on a commute weeks later as I discovered down-turned fliers advising about a Red Line bus substitution happening less than a week from the day they showed up.
I haven't stopped trying to piece together that big picture. Now I strive to paint that big picture for others because it's this very painting that shows us the mistakes and lessons we - the public, the riders, the legislators, the operators, the citizens - must be full aware of before misguided decisions leave us trapped in perpetual traffic.
Secretary | Content Director
I am a transit enthusiast who works as a lawyer in commercial real estate. I tend to think about transit issues from a politics and policy perspective.
I have always been interested in smart infrastructure policy and after moving to Boston and becoming a daily T rider, I became fascinated with the complex problem of how effective transit can facilitate successful urban places and fuel our economy while being ignored by politicians and vilified by our fellow residents. I hope that Transit Matters can provide the general public with information to effectively advocate for a better transit system.
I spend much of my free time keeping up with transit and urban development news, trends, and planning. Other times you can find me dragging along my family as to explore the many great neighborhoods, squares, and parks in and around Boston. When I travel, I am a nut for exploring other transit systems while learning about the local history. I have lived, worked, or played in 43 of the 50 United States. Also I love our National Parks!
Strategic Partnerships Director
I am a recovering campaign addict and currently doing a year of AmeriCorps service focusing community revitalization efforts in low income areas of Boston. My area of interest is how transit and urbanism intersect with advocacy and organizing. I stumbled into my love of all things transit on a trip to DC when I was 11 and then again in my early college years. I was amazed at how the subway shaped DC and its suburbs into a radically different city than my hometown of Oklahoma City. And through working with low income communities, I've 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.
Although I've only been in Boston a short time, I've already embraced a car free lifestyle. I know how vital the MBTA to lives of so many in the region and to the economy. I'm looking forward to working with the passionate transit advocates around the region to work to impose service and embolden the MBTA to pursue a grand vision. Let's make the county's first transit system first class together!
I’m a Boston-based strategic consultant, passionate about Sustainable Mobility and the importance of bringing innovation to how we think about, fund and deploy our transportation system. I am also passionate about writing - I’ve written three books (working on a fourth), most recently The Vidal Lecture, and I am a regular contributor to Commonwealth Magazine.
The pathway to my current advocacy began in a triple-decker in East Boston, where I could see first hand the many ways that bad and insensitive transportation planning can wreak havoc on a thriving neighborhood. That pathway led first to a career in the law, serving clients as both a public sector lawyer and a partner at the Boston law firms Hill & Barlow and Goulston & Storrs, where I built a highly regarded Public Law & Policy practice. Along the way, I found myself called upon to serve as a central figure in the establishment of Boston’s Metropolitan Highway System and the creation of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. I also served as a member of the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission.
During my tenure as Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation in the Administration of Governor Deval Patrick, I led a landmark transportation restructuring initiative and made a strong effort to secure new revenue to fund our transportation needs. I adopted a policy protocol that explicitly tied transportation decisions and spending to (i) economic growth & development, (ii) regional equity, (iii) social justice, (iv) environmental sustainability, and (v) innovation. I also directed that the MBTA issue its data free of charge, thus enabling private sector entrepreneurs to develop a variety of web-based and mobile applications to help improve the daily commute.
I understand how important the MBTA is to our Sustainable Mobility future. I’m committed to working with others to find common ground and effective solutions to the barriers that exist to having a 21st century public transportation system in place. I have seen first-rate transit systems in places like Bogota, Barcelona and Amsterdam, and our own Portland Oregon. There’s no reason why Greater Boston can’t join these places and offer its residents an egalitarian public transportation system that we all can be proud of. It just takes persistence, commitment, vision and leadership.
Co-Founder | Technology & Finance Director
Rachel Dias Carlson
Civic Outreach Director
Co-Founder | Board Member Emeritus
I am a geographer, transit planner and longtime Boston transportation advocate. I have designed bus and rail networks for the MBTA and many other transit agencies, toured dozens of cities and towns to study their transportation networks, and written extensively about transit planning, street design, bicycle safety, social and environmental justice and equity.
My work focuses on the effectiveness of our transportation network and pursuing the bold vision of TransitMatters. I also host the Transit Matters Podcast.
Over the past decade I have lived almost everywhere in Boston, now including Egleston Square (Jamaica Plain/Roxbury). I believe we can have affordable housing, vibrant neighborhoods and a top-notch transit system, if make make smart decisions.
TECHNOLOGY & FINANCE DIRECTOR
Rachel Dias Carlson