Paul Mackie

Paul.Mackie@MobilityLab.orgPaul Mackie smaller

Paul has been Communications Director at Mobility Lab since 2012. He specializes in reporting, writing, editing, helping journalists, and speaking about how places can become vibrant through public-transportation initiatives.

For the eight years prior to joining Mobility Lab, he was Climate Change Communications Director at The Nature Conservancy and Director of Media Relations at the World Resources Institute.

He has also been a daily newspaper journalist at various outlets in the St. Louis area; a freelancer for the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, and other media organizations; and a writer at the National Association of Counties. Paul has been quoted on transportation issues by USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, NPR, and many others; has spoken at many conferences, including MIT’s Disrupting Mobility, Innovate Raleigh, and various state and national transportation events; and received the 2015 Excellence in Advocacy Award and 2013 Presidents Award from the Association of Commuter Transportation.

paul-speaking-at-techiesPaul is currently serving on the “Safe Routes to Healthy Foods Taskforce” of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and on a panel that provides direction and guidance for disseminating research produced by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), a collaboration of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA); the Academies and its Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, an educational and research arm of the American Public Transit Association (APTA). He is also a member of the Surface Transportation Communicators of DC.

Paul obtained his master’s degree in media studies and political science from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s in English literature and journalism from Southern Illinois University. On a personal level, he enjoys writing at his blog Pop Culture Lunch Box, tennis and other sports, playing and listening to music, and traveling with his wife Rachel, son Jackson, and daughter Zoey.

His first car was a Chevy Chevette. Now he bikes through three states to get to work. And his bike is a lot nicer than the Chevette.

Fully autonomous vehicles may make us safer, but could add to traffic

Split of benefits and costs could spark much-needed national transportation discussion Just what a future transportation system with autonomous vehicles looks like isn’t completely clear-cut. However, Kara Kockelman, a University of Texas-based leading academic on the subject, has predictions for their economic impacts. In a South by Southwest presentation last week, she put forth a… Read more »

Will people ever share rides in small and mid-size cities?

Cities and providers face challenge of promoting shared options against the ease of drive-alone trips This week our communications director Paul Mackie is reporting from South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Why would there be much urgency in creating shared-mobility options in a place like Austin? RideAustin, Fasten, and others easily slipped in to take the… Read more »

Ford not just selling cars anymore

Business model shifts to include mobility options Anyone who caught Ford’s Super Bowl commercial might have some questions about the other modes – bikeshare and vanpool, most notably – that appeared next to the automaker’s cars. To Ford, it’s part of a strategic, ongoing shift. Speaking Monday at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, Executive Chairman… Read more »

Breaking the mold in the quest for the ultimate connected city

This is part 2 of a two-part series on how advocates can create connected cities. Part 1 examined public agencies reshaping their transportation priorities. Pinellas County, Fla., just west of Tampa Bay, is one of several local governments in the nation to essentially embed Uber and Lyft into the local transit system. Transit riders can… Read more »

Untangling the jumbled path towards the ultimate connected city

This is part 1 of a two-part series on how advocates can create connected cities, examining how public agencies can reshape their priorities. Part 2 will detail how they can then move beyond conventional projects. Smartphone owners feel connected much of the time, for better or worse. But shouldn’t that be the goal for physical… Read more »

New services are moving fast, and cities are looking to update procurement processes to keep up

Notoriously lumbering municipal procurement processes can be an especially bad fit with the way newer transportation options need to be implemented. How are local agencies supposed to form “first-mile, last-mile” partnerships with flexible technology services like Lyft, Via, and Bridj when the official steps to solidify those partnerships impede the process? “A transit agency can… Read more »

WIRED tries to cover TDM, but shows that it’s still a little hard for them to grasp

I like WIRED’s take on the topic of TDM, which they semi-smartly term “alternative-transport perks.” Semi because perks is a nice way to describe what “transportation demand management” really is all about. But “alternative” does a disservice to the need to continue along the path of normalizing things like bicycling and transit. And “transport” sounds… Read more »

Ford’s Super Bowl ad captures where mobility is headed

Besides a stunner of a Super Bowl between New England and Atlanta, there was a lot to like in between the snaps as well. Lady Gaga thrilled at halftime and cinematic TV commercials were unveiled left and right. But in Mobility Lab’s space, Ford Motor Company really took the cake as the top ad. It… Read more »

In Arlington, 221 Champions recognized for work promoting transportation options

While Arlington County’s transportation network benefits from being directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the county has worked hard to get people moving in ways other than by car. “We have the lowest drive-alone rate for commuters in the state,” noted Larry Filler, bureau chief of Arlington County Commuter Services. But that rate… Read more »

Sidewalk delivery robots could be a “slam dunk” for Virginia

Bills going through the Virginia legislature, if passed, could make the state the first to allow robot delivery devices on sidewalks statewide. This is exciting because it’s a way to make Virginia first in a very innovative area: automated delivery. Sarah Rankin of the Associated Press interviewed me about the pending bills. Paul Mackie, a… Read more »

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