David is the new mobility planning specialist at Greater Mercer TMA. David received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University with specializations in Political Science and Urban Planning; in 2015 he received his Masters of urban and regional planning from Hunter College in NYC.
We asked David a few questions to get to know him better and here is what he had to say:
What is your job at GMTMA?
My job is to help senior citizens, people with disabilities, or people with low incomes learn about and access secure and effective transportation.
What attracted you to this job?
We live in a very car-centric society; we’ve designed our roads and housing developments to be accessed by car. But, what happens when for whatever reason a person doesn’t have or can’t get that access? I want to make sure that those people also have effective options and are not stranded or isolated.
Why is transportation important for you?
Getting from place to place is something everyone has to do; whether we recognize it or not transportation affects everyone’s lives in one way or another. Helping someone learn how to get around may be helping them reconnect with a part of their life they’ve been missing and that’s a powerful thing.
What is a favorite thing about your job?
I like the number crunching route analysis but my favorite part is working with the people who use these services every day.
Something about your commute (walking, biking or using public transportation) or your hobbies:
New Jersey and Mercer County have a lot of natural beauty to offer. One of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone is simply to get out and explore; go by bus, car, foot, bike, or boat but get out there and reconnect with your communities. The more you do it the easier it’ll become.
What motivates you to want to change the way people commute?
I am motivated by issues of equity, and equality of opportunity. It is our duty to make sure that people’s opportunities are not limited by who they are or where they happen to live.
Where do you stand on the climate change debate? Do you believe climate change is real?
Climate change is real; scientists agree the climate is changing. Human activity is the main suspect. What are we going to do about?
What is your favorite movie?
I’m a transportation nerd and an action movie fan so combine those two and you get movies like Speed with Keanu Reeves and Mad Max Fury Road.
Do you have a bumper sticker on your car? Is it anything related to the environment? Transportation?
“If we don’t change where we’re headed, we’ll get where we’re going.”
Favorite transportation/commuting story:
People should use NJTransit’s MYBus feature, it’ll tell you exactly when your bus arrives at your stop. Once I was connecting to a bus at a train station, it was a rainy day and my train was seriously delayed. I thought I was going to miss the last bus connection. We pull into the train station 30 minutes late and 5 minutes after the last bus was supposed to get there. I run down to the bus stop and immediately pull out my phone to see that my bus is also late. It was a huge relief and I knew right away that the bus was going to be there in a couple of minutes. Had I not known that the bus was running late I might have assumed that I missed the last bus and maybe left the bus station early. In this case MYBus saved MYBut.
Favorite commuting app/gadget
The new GPS tracking units now equipping every bus in NJ Transit’s fleet is a real game changer. You don’t have to wonder when the bus will get there and can now know for certain that the bus is coming and when. It takes a lot of stress out of using the NJ buses.
What else would you like to do if you were not working in transportation?
I want to spread the Trenton Tomato Pie concept to the rest of the US.
My pet peeve is a tendency that exists in a lot of people to jump to conclusions and make broad generalizations or assumptions.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my new puppy and go on walks exploring Mercer County.
Did I already say TOMATO PIE?
Thank you David and welcome to GMTMA!