We’re excited to launch this year’s member profile series with Lauren Bailey, the Director of Climate Policy at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign!
Lauren works to fulfill Tri-State’s priority to meet climate goals. Previously, Lauren served as the Capital District’s Transportation Authority’s Mobility Manager, overseeing their alternative transportation portfolio including a bike-share program, taxi policy, and microtransit. She also has experience in policy development and advocacy, including clean energy and healthcare. Lauren holds a Master’s Certificate in Urban Policy and a B.A. in Political Science & Public Health from the University at Albany, State University of New York.
What do you most enjoy about YPT?
Having a way to talk about the transportation and transit industry with my peers without the pressure of representing my organization–and getting to joke about it. Transportation can be a slog, and it’s fun to talk to other people who find it interesting as well.
What’s your preferred transport mode and why?
Biking! It’s freeing to not have to stress about traffic or making a public transit timetable work. Plus, the breeze and fresh air always put me in a good mood–even biking through Manhattan.
What are you working on that you’re most passionate or proud about?
I think I am most proud of my organization’s work around the MTA Capital Plan. It’s so easy for the public–and even transit professionals–to glaze over when you look at project lists, budgets, and timelines. Our work has centered on humanizing the massive investments and asking questions to make sure transit advocates, other government officials and the riding public have the answers they need.
What is the biggest transit-related problem that you’d like to help solve?
I want to figure out how to get people in suburban areas out of their vehicles. There is such a stigma to walking, biking, and taking transit in areas where driving is often the quickest.
Do you have any career advice for YPT’ers interested in advocacy/organizing work?
Start by getting involved as a volunteer. Find organizations that resonate with you–for me, I’ve always felt tied to climate organizing and bicycle/pedestrian advocacy. If you like an organization’s mission and they have a job opening, apply and make sure to attend any events they have to make an impression. Lots of advocacy and organizing groups are very small and low budget, so they are more likely to take notice of you as a candidate if they already know your face and name.