Member Profiles

January Member Profile: Phil Betheil

Deputy Director, Bus Priority at NYCDOT

Philip Betheil is a transit enthusiast and planner who loves working to improve bus service for all New Yorkers as Deputy Director for Bus Priority at NYCDOT.

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC memory?  

It’s too hard to choose one, but it’d have to be from the wonderful tours YPT sponsors. Gazing down on Grand Central from a catwalk high above, everyone covering their ears as a 6 train screeches by at Old City Hall Station, or standing on the bridge of the Staten Island Ferry, I really appreciate the opportunity to get behind the scenes and learn about how our transportation system works.
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?

Regional fare rationalization and integration. Making intra-city commuter (regional!) rail fares affordable and allowing for free transfers to subway/bus/ferry/bike-share would do a lot to speed travel for people in the outer boroughs who might otherwise endure long bus and subway commutes due to economic necessity.

3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  

Riding in the front of the 1 and 9 (RIP) trains and looking out the window as tracks, signals, and stations fly by got me excited about transit at a young age and I’ve never looked back.

4. What career advice would you give to other YPT-ers interested in your career path?

Once you get your foot in the door in the transportation industry, figure out what you want to do and what skills your current job gives you that overlap with where you want to be. The first job I could get coming out of grad school was doing traffic analysis for environmental review, which I was not particularly interested in. Expressing an interest in other parts of the business and figuring out what skills were transferrable allowed me to change the type of work I was doing and take transferrable skills from one job to another, and meant that I have a broader skill set than I would have had if I got my dream job right out of school.

5. What is your favorite transportation-related fun fact or joke?

That the Outerbridge Crossing is named after Eugenius Outerbridge and is not just the “outer bridge.” Or that the Holland Tunnel is likewise named after Clifford Holland and has nothing to do with the Dutch.

6. What upcoming YPT event are you looking forward to the most in 2023?

Summer Tours and Transportation Trivia.

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