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Meet Matt Tingstrom!
Program Manager-Planning and Policy
What are your primary responsibilities?
I work with Richard Weaver, director-planning, policy and sustainability. My primary responsibilities are to manage, build and energize participation within the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates, which includes overseeing the Local Coalition Grant Program that provides small grants to strengthen grassroots organizations that are supportive of public transportation.
In addition, I serve as the staff advisor to the APTA Mobility Management and State Affairs committees and provide support to the APTA Policy and Planning Committee and its subcommittees. I also provide programmatic support and technical assistance through the National Center for Mobility Management, which is a consortium funded by FTA and operated by APTA, CTAA and Easter Seals to promote customer-centered mobility strategies.
Another way to describe my work is that a large part of what I do on a daily basis consists of sharing best practices, disseminating information on proposed changes to federal transportation regulations and building support for public transportation among community and transit groups across the country.
Finally, I also work on the APTA Standards Program and serve as the staff advisor for the Urban Design Working Group, which creates recommended practices for public transit agencies to improve access and the quality of development around transit facilities. I enjoy the variety of interesting topics that allow me to work with so many APTA members.
Please talk about a recent time when you’ve helped a member.
I work with a variety of APTA members: planners, state DOT transit managers, state transit association executive directors and staff and some agency chief executive officers.
One rewarding experience was sharing information with a state transit association that was seeking to relaunch itself after a period of inactivity. Through a survey of state transit associations across the country that the State Affairs Committee participated in and provided input to, we were able to collect and share information to help jump start efforts at this great new state association.
What initiatives, projects or programs have you worked on at APTA that you have taken particular pride in completing?
I’m particularly proud to work with the APTA Urban Design Standards Working Group on the completion of its latest recommended practice that will help agencies weigh their automobile parking needs at stations and stops, contribute to right sizing of the amount of parking to foster transit-oriented development and improve bicycle and pedestrian access to transit. The working group concluded writing the document at the end of 2014 and it is now progressing through the APTA Standards public and CEO review process.
How did you land at APTA? How long have you worked here?
I had been working in transportation for a couple of years as a graduate intern and eventually a community planner at Maryland DOT, and was interested in advancing the development of transportation and land use policies supportive of the type of places increasingly referred to as transit-oriented communities. The opportunity to work with and learn from a wide range of transportation and planning professionals with tremendous collective experience also attracted me to APTA. I will mark my first anniversary with APTA at the end of January.
What professional affiliations do you have?
I’m a member of the Young Professionals in Transportation and the American Planning Association.
Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?
My wife and I live in Washington, DC, and we enjoy bicycling around the city. My wife greatly dislikes climbing steep hills on her bike, which made me think about how topography affects bicyclists much more than other transportation modes. As a result, I worked with Dr. Hiroyuki Iseki at the University of Maryland to publish a paper on planning bicycle access to transit stations, taking into account street connectivity and local topography.