Episode Archive

SCP E295 All About That Bus, with Crissy Ditmore

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast I have another fascinating conversation with Crissy Ditmore. Crissy is Head of Public Policy, North America for Optibus. As a 15-year transportation industry veteran she focuses on mobility for all, so she is the perfect guest to wrap up our #mobilitymay! I spoke with Crissy in early 2020 so it is great to catch up on what she has been up to since then. In this episode Crissy begins by telling us about her background in public transportation, her passion for making transit work for people and addressing their needs, and we touch on Crissy’s fab #AllAboutThatBus video she created. Crissy then tells us what a Smart Community means to her, she discusses some of the shifts she has seen happening in the transit mobility sector since we last spoke, before she tells us about her current visit to Australia and her talk on gender bias transit. We then discuss the difference in transit experiences for women and men, the importance of serving the transit needs of all community groups and the need to plan safe transit services. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of changing travel behaviours, and building a transport network to serve those changes. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Before we begin I want to share a content warning with you as a part of this episode contains conversation about sexual assault. It is around the 30 minute mark and goes for about 2 minutes so you can skip that section if you need, or give this episode a miss altogether if that’s what’s best for you.

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Crissy’s background in public transportation 
  • Her passion for making transit work for people and addressing their needs 
  • Crissy’s #AllAboutThatBus video she created 
  • What a Smart Community means to Crissy 
  • Some of the shifts Crissy has seen happen in the transit mobility sector since last recording in 2020
  • Crissy’s visit to Australia and her talk on gender bias transit 
  • How women’s lived transit experiences are so different to men’s
  • The importance of serving the transit needs for all community groups 
  • The need to plan safe transit services 
  • The emerging trends of changing travel behaviours and building a transport network to serve those changes 

Quotes: 

“I am currently passionate about making transit actually work for people, getting back to the basics that what we’ve seen in the pandemic, is what we really just need is fast, reliable transit service.”

“Smart Communities to me are when the community can decide what’s most important to them. I think that’s the simplest way of talking about it.”

“I’ve been pretty humbled during [the pandemic] of what people have access to what people lived experiences are, that everyone has such a very different experience. And so I’m really trying to focus very specifically on making sure that the community has the biggest voice and what their needs are.”

“I have been talking a lot about mental health and the importance of really making sure that it is a commitment that you make, and sharing all of the things that I do to make that happen personally. I think in transit, our frontline workers have really taken the brunt of the stress and the unknowns of day to day.”

“Our collective ability to fully grasp and understand what everyone just went through [during the pandemic] is really going to shape how we problem solve in the future. And I think that that’s one of the lessons that we have to learn coming out of this.”

“There are things that women do differently in our daily life. And so we talked about trip chaining, that women don’t typically just get on the bus and go to a destination, that you make multiple stops, in order to get all of the things done that you have to do in that day because of your societal role as caretaker.”

“Sometimes it’s the women who have to carry the emotional labour of the conversation, to even make people understand what our needs are.”

“People have permanently changed their travel behaviours. And even if offices bring people back, it’s not going to be five days a week, every week. And so the faster we can accept those changes, the faster we can start moving towards building the kind of transport network that people actually want, and have probably always wanted.”

“I think that the pandemic has radicalised a lot of people towards really digging deep into what matters most. And so I think that looking at the future, the agencies and the cities that really get it right are going to be the ones that do the best job questioning, and that do the best job at really genuinely trying to understand what will work in their community.”

Links: 

Optibus Website 

#AllAboutThatBus 

Episode 161 with Crissy Ditmore 

UITP Australia and New Zealand

The Great Recovery Conference 2022 

NYU Rudin Centre 

e-Bodyguard 

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Crissy via Instagram: @fabcitycrissy, Twitter and LinkedIn 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community  

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital

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SCP E301 Where to Next for Smart Cities and Communities Part 27

SCP E301 Where to Next for Smart Cities and Communities Part 27

Hi #smartcommunityfriends! I’m back with another bonus episode of the Smart Community Podcast sharing various guests answers to the question, ‘Where to next with Smart Cities and Communities?” And this time I’m sharing with you the answers from these guests: ...

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