Patricia Cahill
DIGITALiBiz, USDOT Volpe Center, Transportation Planner

Patricia is a transportation planner and policy analyst with a passion for sustainable mobility. At the Volpe Center, coined by Politico as USDOT’s “Nerd Lab,” she works with public and private sector actors to support innovation and research for transportation agencies across the U.S. She and her team create resources for state and local departments of transportation that enable them to simultaneously invest in innovation while responding to existing challenges. Patricia is involved in projects looking at the safety and viability of autonomous vehicles (including freight, personal vehicles, and public transit), accessibility of national parks, and improved methods of stakeholder engagement to ensure that future transportation infrastructure responds to the needs of all users.

Patricia comes from a background of bridge building, civic engagement, and advocacy. Prior to joining the Volpe Center, she co-led public participation and engagement efforts at Harvard University centered around the Western Avenue redesign, and worked for the Boston University Initiative on Cities, an urban research center co-founded by Boston Mayor Tom Menino, that seeks to build partnerships between academia, the private sector, and civic leaders to address urban challenges.

Patricia served on the Boston Mayor’s Spark Council, an appointed council made up of millennials with the mission of empowering their generation to play a greater role in planning for the future of the city. She led conversations with City of Boston leaders and millennials to educate and inspire young people to get involved in local government, and collaborated with her peers to increase the representation and diversity of local governing bodies to more accurately reflect the talent of young Bostonians and Bostonians of color.

Patricia earned her Master’s in City Planning while working at Boston University, and has a Dual Degree in Spanish and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She is also a proud BPS graduate and an alumna of Boston Latin School.

You will regularly find Patricia at local civic association meetings advocating for dense housing, protected bike lanes, and participatory budgeting projects. When she isn’t giving impromptu TEDtalks about bus rapid transit, she enjoys running, hiking, and exploring new cities on foot.