Featured Keynote Speakers Announced for National GIS in Transit Conference

Published Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just Announced: The conference has applied for and expects to receive over 45 AICP CM credits for professional planners.

URISA, the National Center for Transit Research,  and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) are pleased to announce the featured keynote speakers for the 9th National GIS in Transit Conference, on September 1-3, 2015, in Washington, DC. (Note that Labor Day is Monday, September 7).

Paige FitzgeraldConnected Citizens Program Manager for Waze will deliver the opening keynote address on Wednesday morning, September 2. Ms. Fitzgerald will discuss "Connecting Cities and Citizens to Outsmart Traffic Together".  The Connected Citizens Program is an ongoing partnership between Waze and various international government agencies to share publicly-available incident and road closure data in order to accomplish two goals: 

  1. To get Waze-reported incident data into the hands of government officials that can address the reported incident, whether it’s a five car pile-up or a pothole.
  2. To give Waze drivers the best real-time, location-based information on what’s happening on the roads, whether during a commute or a unique crisis situation.

Waze exchanges publicly-available incidents and slow-down data, enabling our government partners to respond more immediately to accidents and analyze congestion on their roads. In turn, Waze aggregates the partners' data on the Waze App platform, alerting drivers in the area to construction and other incidents as well as rerouting drivers around road closures in real time. Waze does not share any personal user information with partners and does not charge for data: this is a free data-exchange program.

With the addition of city data, Wazers will be even safer on the roads and more knowledgeable about construction, marathons, floods or anything else that can cause delays. And for our government partners, publicly-available Waze data is a powerful tool to build more efficient cities. Real-time information from drivers is essential; no one knows more about what's happening in a city than the people who live there. In an era with smart phones, smart cars and smart homes, isn't it about time we start building smarter cities? See Fast Company’s feature article on the Waze Connected Citizens Partner Summit for more details on the program.

Before joining the business development team at Waze, Paige spent time at McKinsey & Company, at a social enterprise start-up in New Delhi, India, and throughout the public sector, including helping to develop the US’ international nuclear policy as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Energy. Paige earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Later that day, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Therese McMillan will provide important information about national transit activities. Ms.McMillan joined FTA as Deputy Administrator in 2009.  With the passage of a new surface transportation authorization, MAP-21, she has assumed a key role in guiding FTA’s implementation of transit-related provisions in the law and overseeing the development of critical guidance.

During her tenure, Ms. McMillan has also played an integral leadership role in advancing several critical FTA priorities to improve the quality and delivery of transit services to the American public, including:

  • Leading a major reassessment and reform of FTA’s Civil Rights responsibilities, including new guidance for transit grantees in Title VI and Environmental Justice.
  • Overseeing the restructuring FTA’s grant oversight and compliance programs.
  • Assisting in the development of a new, streamlined process for the New and Small Starts program, and new funding opportunities for State of Good Repair of transit assets.
  • Working closely with FTA’s staff across the country to ensure the timely, accurate allocation of $8.78 billion for 1,072 Recovery Act grants that created or retained over 12,500 jobs and strengthened and enhanced public transportation for working Americans and their communities.
  • Representing federal transit interests on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities with fellow DOT colleagues, EPA and HUD.
  • Launching a national conversation and research effort to help transit agencies adapt to changing weather patterns and natural disasters.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. McMillan was the Deputy Executive Director-Policy at the San Francisco Bay Area Region's Metropolitan Transportation Commission, where she was responsible for strategic financial planning and MTC’s management of federal, state and regional fund sources for transit, highways, roadways and other modes; state and federal legislative advocacy, and public affairs and community outreach. Ms. McMillan received her B.S. degree in Environmental Policy and Planning Analysis from the University of California, Davis (1981) and a joint M.C.P./M.S. in city planning/civil engineering science (1984) from U.C. Berkeley.

The conference features important conversations, preconference workshops, comprehensive education, and opportunities to connect with experts, peers and private sector sponsors, including Esri, Gold Conference Sponsor.

For details about the conference, including information on the conference venue (room block closes August 10), visit http://www.urisa.org/education-events/gis-in-transit-conference 

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