First, we want to congratulate Jaime McKay and her team for winning the Young Professionals Transportation Project of the Year Award.
Ms. McKay submitted the Central Maryland Regional Transit’s Transportation Resource Information Point (TRIP) Team’s project. It is a long-overdue solution and development for public transit in rural and suburban Maryland. The project expanded the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) coverage out from Maryland’s large urban centers. The team’s work has a direct impact on 18 distinct systems in the state, covering 187 routes. Prior to the project, a transit-dependent user would be shown no available transit options between rural and urban destinations. A trip originating in Westminster, Ocean City, or many other communities would show no possible trip options other than driving. The team is comprised entirely of young professionals and continues to push forward, both expanding and maintaining the existing transit data, to ensure that all citizens are best served by the region’s transit options.
Additionally, we would like to give a shout-out to the excellent runners-up team of Binh Dam and the MARTA Army. Their nascent effort to deploy physical signage along MARTA’s bus routes is just as promising as it is interesting and important.
Second, we want to congratulate Sam Piper and teammates Erica Wygonik and David Grover for winning the Young Professionals Excellence in Innovation/Research of the Year Award.
Mr. Piper submitted research that that categorizes state-owned highways across Vermont based on potential bicycle use by leveraging readily available data. The methods developed by the team can be used for prioritizing bicycling demand on State roadways using readily-available and easily collected data. Unlike other methods, these can be used over a large geographic scale, such as this state-wide model. This model is particularly innovative in that it uses both traditional data sets like the National Household Travel Survey — which were used to project likely cyclist trip lengths — and new data sources like Strava, a running and cycling tracking app, which were used to assess existing recreational demand for cycling facilities. The project team was comprised of and driven by young professionals, with the effort split across our friends in the public and private sectors.
Each winning team will receive a happy hour at their local chapter sponsored by YPT International, a plaque recognizing their achievement, and a year of free YPT membership. Every application we received was outstanding, and we hope we will see even more applications next year!
Please join us in congratulating our winners!