Fellowship Openings

Transforming Transportation Technology for Communities

Project: Transforming Transportation Technology for Communities

Agency: Minneapolis Department of Public Works

Location: Minneapolis, MN

PROJECT CONTEXT

We’re in the midst of the most transformational shift in urban transportation in more than 50 years as new technology and mobility solutions are combining to change the landscape of cities. Shared mobility, automated or “self-driving” vehicles, and other technologies will reshape transportation for years to come. While some have written off these new models and technologies as trendy ideas or startup concepts that are still years from becoming a reality, many are already in use to varying degrees.

Rather than waiting for these changes to materialize, the Minneapolis Department of Public Works (PW) is proactively planning for them. The City is beginning to update its ten-year Transportation Action Plan, on the heels of the draft release of its Comprehensive Plan. Through a comprehensive look at how transportation technology changes are or could impact the City’s framework and priorities, the updated transportation action plan will look to increase the significance of its future policies, plans, actions and implementation. At the foundation of this work will be improving the safety of all street users, focusing on equity, addressing barriers that limit mobility, and building climate resilience. While there is broad acknowledgment within PW that innovation will play an important role in the achievement of these goals, there is also growing recognition that the city must expand its capacity to educate, identify, evaluate and implement new technologies to fully realize their positive transformative potential.

To support this work, PW will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive-level fellow for one year who will help the City prepare for rapid advancements in transportation technology and their likely impacts to the services it provides and the overall mobility marketplace in Minneapolis. The fellow will develop educational curricula to help strengthen institutional knowledge, participate, research, and help integrate transportation technology-centered planning and policy, and engage partnerships with private and public sectors to advance new transportation paradigms. By the conclusion of the fellowship, the City of Minneapolis should be equipped and empowered to strategically deploy technology in service of its long-term goals.

 

PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES

The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first couple months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE fellow and the host agency.

Starting in September 2018, the fellow will develop a learning, training and educational curricula aimed at helping City colleagues, elected officials and regional stakeholders move up the learning curve as it relates to new transportation modes and technologies. This work will include an educational outreach component to ensure ongoing knowledge-transfer, as well as recommendations for the best means of delivering and periodically updating training curricula.  The fellow in partnership with PW will take a human-centered approach to engage with community stakeholders to understand the challenges faced by residents and businesses in the city/region.

The FUSE fellow will play a key role in integrating a strategic approach and focus on technology throughout the ten-year Transportation Action Plan. The fellow will bring their expertise to implement and elevate technology throughout all plan components (such as travel trends, new mobility, all travel modes, freight, design guidelines, and engagement). The fellow’s work will dovetail with PW efforts to ensure proposed ten-year actions support an environment to pilot and implement new technologies, integrate adoption of a technology-forward future throughout PW, and strategically advance policy and regulatory changes.

Finally, the fellow will forge relationships with private sector actors who can partner with the City to plan and implement pilot projects. Over the short-term, this engagement will ensure that pilot projects have broad community support and are designed and executed appropriately. Over the long-term, it will lay the foundation for collaboration with the private sector on a range of issues, including but not limited to transportation.

Deliverables:

  • Develop curriculum for new mobility: Using research and on-the-job experience, develop and implement an educational outreach strategy to transfer knowledge of new transportation technologies to City colleagues, elected officials and regional stakeholders. For example, the fellow could develop and host monthly learning workshops along with other strategies to raise the collective knowledge.

 

  • Assist in the update to the Transportation Action Plan: Conduct independent research into the mobility landscape, focusing on best practices, business and operational models, infrastructure requirements and private industry regulatory constraints. Work with PW to update the ten-year transportation action plan to include new mobility models and technologies, including strategic activities to harness technology for broader city goals. Support implementation of proposed strategies and partnerships, with a particular focus on pilot projects to be undertaken.

 

  • Forge relationships with private sector: Develop an understanding of the various players and create an engagement plan to ensure the City forges working relationships with these key stakeholders. This will include private sector transportation and technology companies with an interest in urban mobility. Work with these stakeholders to begin demonstrating proofs of concept, which will include creating joint-funding partnerships and implementing public-private pilot projects. For example, two pilots could be initiated that demonstrate partnership power and potential. 

 

PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT TEAM

Lead

  • Robin Hutcheson, Director, Minneapolis Department of Public Works

Team

  • Jon Wertjes, Director of Traffic & Parking Services
  • Jeni Hager, Director of Transportation Planning & Programing
  • Kathleen Mayell, Transportation Planning & Programing
  • Josh Johnson, Traffic & Parking Services

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 15 years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a strong background in operations, business analysis, management consulting and systems building. Specific background in transportation or technology a plus, but not required.
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations.
  • Ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences with strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to coordinate stakeholder activities.
  • Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who can also be an independent worker.
  • Persistent in obtaining information and creatively resourceful in identifying solutions to complex problems.
  • Ability to create direction and movement within potentially ambiguous
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ease in public presentations.
  • Understands the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity.

 

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