March 10-12, 2022
Mobility21 UTC’s Women in Transportation Fellows Hajra Shahab and Maggie Harger, along with members of the Carnegie Mellon University Transportation Club board, Ken Huang, Brian Hsu and Rajanikant Tenguria traveled to meet with students from Mobility21’s academic partner, the University of Pennsylvania. The purpose of this visit was to learn about the academics, research activities and build connections with the students at Penn.
During their visit, the students had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) regional rail network and office headquarters in downtown Philadelphia. [SEPTA is the regional transit agency for the City of Philadelphia, serving five counties in the Greater Philadelphia area and connecting to transit systems in Delaware and New Jersey. It’s services include regional rail, buses, trolleys, subway and a high-speed line to western suburbs.]
One of the highlights was touring the SEPTA command center, where employees were planning transportation logistics related to President Biden’s upcoming visit to Philadelphia.
Of the trip, Ken Huang said, “I really enjoyed meeting students at Penn who were equally interested in public transportation as I am. I also learned a lot from our tour of the SEPTA system and control center. This was a great opportunity to better understand how a large transit agency keeps its daily operations safe and smooth, something that I’ve always thought about as I ride with my local transit agency.”
Rajanikant Tenguria added, “The trip perfectly combined practical learning and the much needed spring break. It was helpful to understand the intricacies of the SEPTA network directly from the headquarters. It was a great bonding and networking event within CMU and Penn’s Transportation Clubs as we were able to share knowledge and learn from each other.”
Finally, Brian Hsu stated, “Touring SEPTA’s system and their control center showed us the impact technology has on public transit operations now and provided us insight into how technology can be leveraged for transit operations in the future. It was great to network with students at the University of Pennsylvania who share similar interests in transportation.”
Overall, the students look forward to future networking opportunities, and plan to keep in touch with those who they met at the University of Pennsylvania.
* This visit was conceived in January 2022 when students had the opportunity to meet at the 101st Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. *