News | Lunch with Practitioner Series Features Matthew Benjamin, Fehr and Peers

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Lunch with Practitioner Series Features Matthew Benjamin, Fehr and Peers

Thursday, December 3, 2015

by By Joanna Wang

imageOn Wednesday, November 4, Matthew Benjamin, Principal at Fehr and Peers, had lunch with USC students in transportation planning and engineering and engaged in a lively dialogue about his career in transportation planning and his advice for the next generation workforce. This was the final event of this semester’s METRANS Lunch with a Practitioner series.

Benjamin shared his extensive experience in biking and pedestrian planning issues from a variety of perspectives, including his work in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. He served as the Bicycle Parking Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, after which he joined and served as the first Planning and Policy Director of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. He also led a variety of bicycle and pedestrian planning projects including the City of Los Angeles 2010 Bicycle Plan during his work at the Los Angeles office of Alta Planning + Design.

USC undergraduate and graduate students majoring in public policy, urban planning, and mechanical engineering learned about bike planning, and traffic data analysis. Benjamin also shared his career path and some of his past and ongoing projects related to Metro station analysis and bicyclist behavior studies. 

Lynn Feng, a graduate student in USC studying urban planning who attended this lunch event, said she was inspired by Mr. Benjamin’s way of entering the transportation planning profession. “He started college as an international relations major,’ Feng said, ‘It wasn’t until he got his first internship at Metro as biking coordinator during graduate school that he realized bike planning was his passion. To me, it’s saying that there are many possibilities and surprises outside of school, and what I need is to step out of my comfort zone and keep trying and exploring new things.”


Joanna Wang

Joanna Wang is an undergraduate studying GeoDesign, a program bringing together spatial science, urban planning and landscape architecture. Her interest includes transit-oriented development, site selection and spatial justice. She is expected to graduate in Spring 2018, and can be reached at [email protected].