By Cherie Jiarui Li, USC MSCE, Transportation Engineering, 2019
On January 17th, 2018, Shawn A. Chavira, Associate Director of Transit Operations at USC joined the PSR METRANS Lunch with a Practitioner series and shared his insights with an audience of students, academics, and professionals. I was part of that audience. Mr. Chavira is a transportation professional with greater more than 12 years of experience in transportation contracting management, and in 2013, was named one of the “Top 40 under 40 Transportation employees in the nation” by Mass Transit Magazine.
METRANS Associate Director Victoria Deguzman gave some introductory remarks at the beginning of the lunch, then the speaker introduced himself, and along with lunch all of us in attendance each introduced ourselves one by one. This was a nice opportunity both for us to meet and understand each other better, but also for the audience to put forward suggestions for discussion such as mobility in LA and public transportation more generally.
Our speaker addressed all of our questions, and we enjoyed an interactive discussion. What impressed me most was a question about the role of “Mobility Hubs” question asked by Matt Garron, a second year Master of Planning student and METRANS Student Assistant. I had heard of the concept of Mobility Hubs in news, but I admit I did not know myself what is really means. Chavira explained that a Mobility Hub is a vision for seamless connection between different transportation modes through a single platform. He also used the metaphor of a touch screen to explain the operation of this idea which made us readily understand it.
Finally, Chavira shared his experiences at LADOT and his advice for students, in particular for those considering a career in transportation. I learned a lot from him and I really appreciate him for making this lunch so valuable. At the same time, I want to pass my great thanks to PSR METRANS for offering this wonderful lunch experience to us!
METRANS Associate Director Victoria Deguzman introducing our speaker.
Photo by Cherie Jiarui Li
About the Author: Cherie Jiarui Li
Cherie Jiarui Li is a first-year master student majoring in transportation engineering at USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She is a student assistant at METRANS Transportation Center specializing in graphic design and aspires to develop her career as a transportation engineering consultant in the private sector. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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