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February 15, 2022 35 min

Public Transportation

When you think about public transportation, buses and subways are probably the first things that come to mind. In reality, an effective public transportation system is made up of more than just planes, trains, and automobiles. Creating transportation that works for everyone starts with innovation and infrastructure. Here to discuss their work in public transportation are Senior Level guest Sharlane Bailey, Director of Capital Projects and Facilities at Foothill Transit with over 25 years of experience in the construction and engineering field, and Junior Level guest Colin Brown, Transportation Planner at Sam Schwartz Engineering who’s just a few years out of grad school.

Sharlane and Colin begin with an overview of Urban Planning, Designing and Engineering. They speak with host Lisa Wharton about their respective roles and responsibilities, what inspired them to pursue careers in the field, and whether one generation uses public transportation more than the other. They explain why public transportation is so important to society, which aspects of their professions they find most rewarding and most challenging, and how new technology and innovation will help advance us toward the goal of sustainability. 


Today’s fun and informative conversation wraps up as Colin and Sharlane share their best advice for the other generation in the industry. George Lewis, a Bus Operator for GTrans in Gardena, CA also joins the show for the “Mid-Level Minute,” and provides a very different perspective on the topics covered in the episode. Finally, Lisa closes by asking our guests what mode of transportation best describes their particular age group.

Episode Highlights:

  • Overview of each guest’s respective roles and responsibilities
  • Urban Planning, Designing and Engineering 101
  • Colin and Sharlane’s early experiences with public transportation and career inspiration
  • Different generational use of public transportation
  • Logistical and environmental advantages of public transportation
  • Getting over the hurdle of using buses and subways
  • What makes a good transportation system - frequency, reliability and legibility
  • Most rewarding and most challenging aspects of their careers
  • Innovation, problem solving, and new technologies around clean energy
  • Goal to make public transportation free and provide equity
  • Advice they would each give to the other generation in the industry
  • Being aware of trends, work/life balance
  • Endless opportunities in the field of public transportation

  • Links:

    Pulsar Advertising website

    Foothill Transit website

    Sam Schwartz Engineering website

    GTrans website

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