Pennsylvanians for Transit is a startup organization lead by me, Alex Doty. I have served as a leader in transportation and increasing mobility at the local, state and national level.
As the Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for over a decade, I lead a transformation of the group from one whose good ideas had a hard time gaining traction to becoming a key player in forming city transportation policies. Key to this success was developing policy expertise, telling the story of how those policies affected people’s lives, and building a core of citizen advocates who could make the case for biking to elected officials.
Appointed by the governor to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee for Pennsylvania, I served on the committee for a decade and served as chair for three years. During my tenure, I participated in the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition that won passage of a new transportation bill, successfully advocated for the creation of a full-time Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator position at PennDOT and the creation of a pilot program that tests alternatives to the Bicycle Occupancy Permit (which has been a major obstacle to permitting new bike lanes by PennDOT).
At the national level, I oversaw the Bicycle Friendly America program. The need for campaigns that reach across urban, suburban and rural communities was clear. Rural, suburban and urban communities have unique needs but what they all have in common is the need for robust funding of more transportation options to increase mobility. Unfortunately, the messaging of multimodal advocates is so urban-centered that we alienate natural allies elsewhere.
I have successfully run a startup nonprofit before. On my first day as the Executive Director at the Bicycle Coalition, I was the organization’s only employee. It took a scrappy and creative approach to build the organization to the 20-plus employees it has today. That kind of dedication and persistence is what it will take to build a new transit advocacy organization for Pennsylvania. It’s a challenge I am looking forward to.
Born in Philadelphia, I have fond childhood memories of pulling the cord to signal my stop on the trolley on Germantown Avenue. After my family moved to Massachusetts, I spent my teenage years in a rural community where hitchhiking was my only form of public transportation. The chance to ride a trolley again (and ring the bell!) was one of the joys of returning to Philadelphia in 1993 -- along with listening to Harry Kalas call Phillies games.
I live in West Philadelphia with my wife and daughter, a 40 minute subway ride from where my son attends Temple University. I ride the 13 trolley and the 64 bus, often get around by bike and use car share regularly.