We’ve written before about how Pittsburgh is climbing the ranks as a transportation leader, with much work still to do. Well, today marks a milestone in the city’s trek, as Karina Ricks, former associate director of D.C.’s Department of Transportation, starts as Pittsburgh’s first-ever director of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.
“Transportation is one of the most powerful economic development and social justice tools that we have at our disposal,” Ricks said.
In the six years that she worked for D.C., DDOT launched its Capital Bikeshare system (still one of the country’s most successful) and the Circulator, a network of city-run buses that travel commercial corridors and charge $1 per trip. The department also developed a Complete Streets policy and continued planning for a streetcar system that finally opened its first segment in February 2016.
Ricks said that transit operators shouldn’t feel “threatened” by autonomous vehicles. The more Pittsburgh can get people to “disconnect themselves from a single mode of travel” like driving the better, she said.