By Yang Deng, MSCE 2018
Photo by Yang Deng
On February 23rd, Steven Mateer, Transportation Planning Manager with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA Metro, or Metro) shared his insights on transportation planning in Los Angeles County as part of METRANS Practitioner Speaker series.
Mateer began his presentation with an overview of how the essential role LA Metro plays in Los Angeles County transportation. He explained the funding structure for the Metro, divided into three different layers - Federal, state, and regional; shared the process of the Metro’s countywide planning and development; and detailed Metro’s primary functions of transit operations, construction, planning, funding/planning, and regional coordination. Many students said that this was the first time they had heard the full list of Metro’s functions, and that they were surprised at how extensive they are.
Mateer mentioned that many critical plans formulated by Metro relate to students’ daily life, such as Metro Rail and BRT system; the recently approved Measure M ballot initiative,; programs for students, seniors and the disabled; and local street improvements. Among these plans, the First and Last Mile Strategic Plan attracted the students’ attention in particular because connections between school and transit are a major concern for students. Regarding transit options, Mateer also noted that active transit is becoming increasingly popular, and noted that in July 2016, L.A. Metro launched the Bike Share Program in order to address first-mile/last-mile connections. In the future, Metro Bike Share is expected to expand to an additional 60 stations and up to 4,000 bicycles.
In the second part of his presentation, Mateer shared his own work experience and strategies for career development. He emphasized the importance of career preparation while in school and highlighted the need for developing desirable career traits for succeeding in one’s workplace, such as knowledge about finance and politics, as well as good communication skills. At the end of his presentation, Mateer encouraged students to face rejection with a positive attitude and not to hesitate considering job opportunities beyond one’s immediate area of interest.
Steven Mateer is a Transportation Planning Manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority where he is charged with financial analysis and planning for the major highway, transit, and active transportation projects being planned and constructed in Los Angeles County. Mateer has also worked on developing the First/Last Mile Strategic Plan for Metro. Prior to working at Metro, Mateer was a consultant conducting service planning and evaluation for transit providers throughout California. He completed his undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and Planning at UC San Diego and his Master’s in Urban Planning at UCLA.
About the author: Yang Deng
Yang Deng is a first-year graduate student majoring in Transportation Engineering at USC. He joined in METRANS as a student assistant in December 2016 and also works at KENDALL Planning + Design as an assistant planner. Deng holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, and is pursuing internships in his areas of interest such as data visualization, infographics, and using design methods solve traffic problems. He can be reached at email@example.com