Research Scientist and Program Manager
505 E. Huntland Dr., Suite 455
Austin, TX 78752
Michael is proud to be a research scientist and program manager of the Transit Mobility Program at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). Michael has 13 years of management and executive experience in public transit and over 14 years of experience conducting research, leading projects, and training. He is the program manager of TTI’s Transit Mobility Program and leads a group of 9 other researchers conducting local, state, and national research on transit and shared mobility. Michael specializes in transit planning, operations, and scheduling; collaborative problem solving and process improvement; transit performance management and measurement; transit funding and financial management; transit regulatory compliance (e.g., Title VI and ADA); data collection and analysis; customer and community outreach; and applying innovation and technology to transportation challenges. Michael is a researcher by training and a transit professional by trade, and his work helps transit agencies and other transportation providers to bridge the gap between practice, innovation, and research.
Since joining TTI in January 2016, Michael has been the Principal Investigator (PI) for 31 completed or ongoing research projects for various sponsors including regional transit authorities, TxDOT public transportation division, and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). He has also been a lead or significant contributing author in several published research reports and unpublished research projects for both local and national sponsors. His current research work focuses on using data and technology to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of transit, analyzing regional and state-wide transportation needs, customer-focused practices in transit, transit funding and financial management, and recruiting and retaining transit staff (including bus operators and transit schedulers).
Before coming to TTI, Michael spent most of his professional career at the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) in Baltimore, MD. During his career there, Michael initiated many programs, including a performance management program called OpStat (short for operations statistics). Michael was then tasked to create MTA’s first-ever Office of Performance Management, which had the charge to implement an agency-wide performance management program, working with administrative, engineering, and operations departments. In these roles, Michael had many opportunities to lead solutions-oriented interdisciplinary teams to solve intransigent agency challenges; for example, he led a taskforce to review and revamp procedures for maintaining and repairing bus fareboxes, he managed a project to reduce overtime spending, and he implemented new policies at the agency, including a mobile device policy and an absenteeism policy.
After working as Chief Performance Officer, Michael was then tasked as the Director Service Development, a role in which he served for 3 years. There, Michael was responsible for the data collection, planning, and scheduling for MTA’s directly operated bus, light rail, and metro subway services. In this role, Michael led the agency’s efforts to re-boot its local bus system—a project that was embraced by two separate administrations (first as the Bus Network Improvement Project and then as BaltimoreLink). These projects involved significant public outreach and involvement, analysis of operating and planning data, and compliance with local and federal regulations regarding planning processes.
A few other accomplishments while at MTA:
- Inaugurated the Rate Your Ride program (rateyourride.org), a short survey tool to gather and report real-time rider satisfaction via text message, call-in, and the web.
- Initiated the Bus Stop Optimization Program to strategically reduce the number of bus stops along targeted lines while still maintaining accessibility and ridership.
- Secured FTA approval to use Automated Passenger Counters (APCs) for NTD reporting.
This work has given Michael a breadth of experience in public transportation and he has shared his work with the industry at large through regular presentations and lectures. His work at MTA earned him recognition in 2014 as one of Mass Transit Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40.
Prior to working at the MTA, Michael obtained his M.S. in Applied Psychology from the University of Baltimore. His education there focused on organizational development, research methods, program evaluation, and statistics. He has also served as a freelance research consultant, a trainer focusing on Microsoft Excel and Access, and an adjunct professor.
For more information on Michael’s publications, presentations, and projects, view his resume
Education and Training
- M.S., Applied Psychology, University of Baltimore, 2008.
- B.A., Psychology, Eastern University, 2004.
- Additional Training:
- FTA Financial Management Oversight Workshop (2017)
- Texas A&M Transportation Institute CORE and CONNECT Leadership Development Program
- Introduction to ArcGIS
- Transit ITS Seminar (National Transit Institute)
- Introduction to Transit Service Planning (TCQSM)
- Transit Network Design
- Introduction to Transit Operations Planning (ITOP)
- Strategic Planning
TTI Tenure / Total Industry Tenure
- 4 years
- 12 years
- Transit performance measurement and management
- Transit network performance analysis
- GTFS applications
- Transit operations, planning, and scheduling
- Workforce development, organizational development
- Innovation and technology in multi-modal transportation
- Best practices, benchmarking and peer research
- Transit funding and financial management
- NTD data collection, passenger sampling, and reporting policies
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
- Associate Research Scientist, January 2016 to November 2017
- Research Scientist and Transit Mobility Program Manager, November 2017 – current
Maryland Transit Administration
- Director of Service Development, September 2012 – January 2016
- Chief Performance Officer, February 2011 – September 2012
- Special Assistant to the Administrator, August 2010 – February 2011
- Transit Analyst / Statistician, July 2008 – August 2010
University of Baltimore
- Microsoft Access and Excel Instructor, July 2008 – January 2016
- Adjunct Professor, August 2008 – May 2012
- Research Assistant, August 2007 – May 2008