From left to right, Aminah Zaghab, Ratna Amin, Monica Tibbits-Nutt
The TransitCenter board of trustees elected Ratna Amin as Chair for the 2022-23 term, and added Aminah Zaghab and Monica Tibbits-Nutt as new board members, effective at the board’s first meeting of the year on February 11 in New Orleans.
Ms Amin, who has served on the TransitCenter board of trustees since 2019, is experienced in infrastructure, transportation planning, and community development, with a history of addressing complex societal issues like transit governance and investment with diverse stakeholders across government, business and civic sectors. She has served as an advisor to Caltrain, the regional rail system on the San Jose-San Francisco Peninsula, Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Consulting, and was the Transportation Policy Director for the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), where she led the development of significant policy initiatives including Seamless Bay Area interagency coordination, Four Scenarios for the Future of the Bay Area and the Transit+Design Program.
“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the TransitCenter board of trustees and the TransitCenter staff in the coming pivotal years, as we support transit activists and transit agencies in providing more equitable and useful transit service to people, and assert public transit’s central role in cities during this climate change era,” said Ms Amin.
Ms. Zaghab joins the board of trustees with experience at the intersection of climate and transportation philanthropy, to accelerate the transition to a clean and equitable transportation future. Her background is in transportation and climate policy, coalition building, and strategic guidance. She served as the Campaign Director at the Clean Vehicles Campaign, a coalition to streamline strategic development and activity around vehicle decarbonization, and previously worked at environmental civic organizations dedicated to improving the climate impact of the transportation sector, including federal policy and legal work. She is a lawyer by training.
“An improved transit system, that equitably expands service and increases access is a crucial element of any strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in the U.S., and beyond. I’m beyond excited to join in TransitCenter’s efforts working in collaboration with partners, supporters, and staff who are so committed to making that change,” said Ms Zaghab.
Ms. Tibbits-Nutt, who recently concluded over five years of service on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Fiscal Management Control Board and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors, has worked to improve the human experience of engaging with the transportation industry at all levels–especially for riders who rely on dependable transportation options and for a talented transportation workforce that is so vital to the success of transit agencies. A planner by background, her focus in turning around the MBTA was on introducing customer- and organization-facing transparency, improving labor-management relations, restoring fiscal discipline and performance measures, and improving the agency’s responsiveness to all communities. In addition to these significant civic responsibilities as an appointee of the Governor, Ms Tibbits-Nutt’s full-time job is as the Executive Director of the 128 Business Council, a last-mile service provider, transportation management association, and non-profit consulting group serving one of the Boston region’s key economic corridors.
“Reforming and transforming a major transit system is an effort that must start with the people who depend on transit the most and with the people who form the backbone of that system—those who drive the buses, those who maintain the tracks, those who clean the stations. When adjust your focus to be on the people, the dollar decisions become much clearer. TransitCenter’s emphasis on people and sound decision-making is what first drew me to the organization years ago,” said Ms Tibbits-Nutt.
February 2022 also marked the term-limited end of service of two outgoing TransitCenter trustees, Eric Lee, Founder and Chair of Bennett Midland LLC, and Darryl Young, Director of the Sustainable Cities Program at the Summit Foundation. Ms Amin thanked them for their service, saying, “Eric and Darryl joined the board in 2014 when it had only four members, and TransitCenter had only two employees, with no programs, no office, and no community partners. Eric and Darryl were truly pioneers in setting the organization’s mission and strategy. The transit field is better off because of the ideas and energy that Eric and Darryl contributed to TransitCenter.”
“TransitCenter’s strength is people,” said David Bragdon, Executive Director, “from the trustees to the staff to the partners in civic activism and practitioners at transit agencies we work with in major cities. We are grateful to our trustees, incoming and outgoing, for the experience and commitment they bring to our mission.