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Meet MacPherson Hughes-Cromwick!

MacPherson Hughes-Cromwick
Policy Analyst
Policy Department

What are your primary responsibilities at APTA?

My role is to monitor and ­analyze major policy issues that affect the public transportation industry. I use this information in crafting internal memos for other APTA staff, to form the basis of my own independent research and analysis and to identify external organizations that may be able to collaborate with APTA on research projects. Among the important issues I study are ridership patterns, the electrification of buses, value capture, transportation-oriented communities and disruptive mobility trends.

I also serve as a project manager for a number of APTA research publications, including Open for Business: The Business Case for Infrastructure Investment, Benefits of Reliable Funding, and the upcoming Economic Impact of Public Transportation Modernization. APTA is heavily involved with the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), with the Policy Department influencing topics such as the J-11 program (devoted to research on major policy and planning issues within public transportation), for which I have drafted several proposals.

In addition, I am responsible for certain APTA data reports on topics related to management compensation, wages and infrastructure. This work involves coding online surveys, disseminating surveys and formatting database responses to reports.

What initiatives or programs have you worked on at APTA of which you are particularly proud?

I was involved with the creation of APTA’s 2017 Public Transportation Fact Book. This year’s edition has a new format to show data in a more holistic way and emphasizing trend analysis and visual graphics. I recently completed my first big report (with special thanks to my colleague Matt Dickens for his assistance) on management compensation; APTA had not updated this research since 2012.

The APTA Policy Department has also undertaken a great deal of editing and content work on a newly released report on rural ­transit, Public Transportation’s Impact on Rural and Small Towns, which was mentioned by USDOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao in her remarks at the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting.

To what extent do you have direct contact with APTA members?

APTA’s Policy Department often receives data requests from members seeking a range of public transit statistics. We typically respond following consultation with one of APTA’s many databases (vehicle, infrastructure, etc.) or data from the National Transit Database. Our team will also reach out to members through surveys and focus groups to collect data and solicit member input on a variety of policy issues.

How did you come to be at APTA? How long have you worked here?

I received my ­­undergraduate degree from New York Uni­versity, in economics and mathematics, in 2017 and joined APTA the same year. As someone who has long been interested in transportation issues, I was excited about the possibility of working at APTA. I had prior internship experiences with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE). These experiences helped foster my interests in transit and gave me valuable insight on autonomous vehicle development (with CAR) and local public transit funding initiatives, techniques and strategy (with CFTE).

Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

I am from Ann Arbor, ­Michigan, and I can play the piano. I started when I was about eight years old and focused on pieces by John Williams (famous composer of music for movies directed by ­Steven Spielberg and George Lucas) and four Chopin Nocturnes.
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