June 2021 Newsletter


Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, is the first openly gay cabinet member in our nation’s history and his appointment is a milestone in the transportation industry. He holds a key role in the Biden Administration to achieve distributional justice and climate goals with infrastructure investments. We honor all the contributions that LGBTQ people have made in transportation, and we celebrate those in our community! 

It is also National Safety Month, and in the transportation sector, safety has taken on a new meaning during the pandemic. Additional cleaning staff have been deployed, air filtration vents installed, contract tracing initiated, social distancing and face masks required, and new safety protocols established. We honor all the people that work to keep us moving safely! 

Jim Powers – Mosaic Trail, 2020. This new installation is on a pedestrian refuge island at 1st Ave and St. Marks Place, and Powers created many others in the East Village since 1985.


Check your membership status here, or become a member here ($20 annual fee). Please consider registering with your personal email rather than your work or student email. 


GIS/Illustrator Skill Share with Sam Sklar
Thursday, June 10 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Join us for our first Skill Share event of 2021, where we bring in experts from the transportation field to share their technical and creative skills!

In this interactive workshop, YPT member Sam Sklar, a Transportation Research Specialist and Communications Strategist, will walk attendees through how to use Adobe Illustrator to beautify GIS outputs and create visualizations that are engaging and informative. The workshop will cover concepts like color theory, layout design, processing, and more. Read more about Sam’s work and focus on his blog:

One day before the workshop, YPT will send a data package along with instructions for downloading QGIS and a free trial of Adobe Illustrator to those who are registered.

Click here to register.

Help us understand what skills our community wants to learn and share! If you have a skill or are interested in learning a skill, please let us know on our Skill Share Form.

In-Person Subway Tours 

Join us to explore the purpose, politics, and possibilities of NYC’s public transportation infrastructure.

Sign up is via Airbnb below:
Queens and Manhattan: Saturday, June 12th, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Brooklyn & Manhattan: Saturday, June 19th, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Lower Manhattan: Saturday, June 26th, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Please feel free to attend one or all of the tours. Since there is a 10 person limit for each tour, kindly cancel if you’re no longer able to attend. Note that the price is $1 for Airbnb’s insurance fee. 

Central Park Picnic at the Sheep Meadow 
Sunday, June 13, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Rain Date: Saturday, June 19, same time)

Join us for a casual picnic in the Sheep Meadow in Central Park!  Pet-friendly, comfy grass, close-to-bathrooms, and frisbee friendly. Please bring whatever you may need for yourself. 

The specific coordinates of our location will be emailed out to registrants on the day of, so stay tuned!

Click here to register.

The Future of NYC Transportation System, a Conversation with Dick Ravitch
Wednesday, June 16, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Image credit: William E. Sauro/The New York Times

Dick Ravitch has earned a reputation for his political savvy, business skill, and commitment to social responsibility throughout his decades-long career in government and business. He is renowned for his work to fix numerous fiscal crises in the public sector. Our community may know him best for his work as Chairman and CEO of the MTA from 1979 to 1983. He successfully transformed a system struggling with disinvestment and disrepair by reorganizing its management structure (including establishing Metro-North Railroad) and developing a long-term capital plan. With the MTA undergoing another transformation amidst a global pandemic and fiscal uncertainty, there are parallel challenges today. He remains an outspoken proponent of investing in our cities, infrastructure, and public sector workforce in the wake of the pandemic. 

Click here to register.

Virtual Historic NYC Aerial Imagery Tour
Wednesday, June 23, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

Back by popular demand, join us over lunch as we explore the five boroughs as they were in 1924, using high resolution aerial imagery available publicly from the NYC Department of City Planning. We will dive into the history of the city’s development, looking into infrastructure projects underway at the time and comparing the built environment of almost 100 year ago with today’s reality. 

Click here to register.


Leah Flax, Government Relations Specialist, Government and Community Relations, MTA  

Leah Flax is an urban planner with expertise in public transportation, policy analysis, and partnership building. She currently works on bus and subway projects throughout Manhattan as a Government Relations Specialist at the MTA. Leah previously held positions 100 Resilient Cities, at the U.S. DOT, the Louis Berger Group (now WSP), and with the NYC DOT and Taxi & Limousine Commission. Leah lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn where she serves on the board of the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project.

1. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be? 
I would make local buses and subways free.

2. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry? 
The liberating feeling of taking the local bus to the YMCA as a middle schooler, and not having to rely on someone to drive me, sparked my passion for public transit. Shout out to Norwalk Transit District!

3. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 
The 42 St Connection Project is going to completely modernize the 42 St Shuttle and give customers at Times Square and Grand Central Station greater accessibility, reliability, and more space to move around. The project also includes renovated entrances at Grand Central Station which are already complete, and have made a huge improvement to the traveler experience – when I use them it gives me a lot of pride and joy to have contributed to the project.

4. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?  
Whether you know what your dream job is or not, with every position you take remember to learn and grow as much as you can and cherish the relationships you build along the way. 

5. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice an NYCT Subway Announcement? 
BD Wong.


Congestion Pricing, a Conversation with Sam Schwartz 
We had a great turnout for our conversation with “Gridlock Sam”! Sam gave YPTers a history lesson on the origins of congestion pricing in the U.S., its impacts in other cities abroad, and new policies and legislation moving forward. 

Virtual Speed Networking 
This was our first time hosting our annual speed networking event virtually, and it was a success! We paired experienced transportation professionals with younger professionals and recent graduates to help them learn about career options and opportunities. 

Lawn Day 
We had a blast in Prospect Park playing Kubb and Frisbee during our first in-person event of the year! 

Creator Talk with Andrew Lynch a.k.a. Vanshnookenraggen
Thank you to everyone who joined our first Creator Talk with Andrew Lynch! We had a very informative presentation and discussion from Lynch about the unbuilt, proposed, and future transportation systems across the United States.


Use the YPT LinkedIn group if you are #OpenToWork!
Our LinkedIn group is a great way for members to share information about yourself as a job seeker, connect with others, or share job opportunities!

Young Professionals in Transportation – New York City (YPT-NYC) is an Young Professionals in Transportation – New York City (YPT-NYC) is the local chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation International, a nonprofit coalition of organizations, which helps professional development, fellowship, and networking for young professionals in the transportation field. YPT-NYC’s members keep the Greater New York City region moving while providing a space for growing skills, sharing knowledge, and expanding professional networks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s