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Webinar Recording

Transit + The New Normal: Using data to serve riders in a post-pandemic world

March 1, 2023
60 minutes

Webinar Recording

View the Webinar Recording Below

About the Webinar

The pandemic dramatically changed the way we move around our communities. As a result, our existing transportation plans no longer reflect reality. While transit agencies across the country work to meet the evolving needs of riders, it is imperative that they access quality, near-real time data and forecasting tools to understand “The New Normal”, implement meaningful interventions, and monitor impact over time. Highlights from this webinar are:

  • Leslie Richards, General Manager/CEO at Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and Mathew Safer, Sr. Director of Demand Forecasting and Research at New Jersey Transit joined us for an in-depth discussion on how local governments are using data to understand how ridership has changed and where interventions are needed most.
  • Thomas Orgren, Senior Transportation Planner & Data Scientist at Foursquare ITP presented how they used Replica data to create a micro-transit tool that projects ridership to estimate the costs of providing service.
  • Arthur Getman, Senior Solutions Engineer at Replica presented about New Normal transit ridership in Houston and used Replica data to demonstrate how trip taker demographics have changed, what types of trips and times of day are most in demand, and which routes have proven to be most resilient.

In this webinar we discussed:
  • The state of transportation data and transit ridership today
  • How local governments are using data to understand how ridership has changed and where interventions are needed most
  • How to boost transit competitiveness, win back lost ridership, and monitor impact
  • New forecasting tools to show how population growth can impact existing transit systems

Transit Agency Leaders, City leaders and managers, public policy leaders, state and local government agencies, transportation planners, consulting firms, private companies, mobility companies, real estate leaders, community advocates.


Replica provides data that empowers more informed, impactful decisions about the built environment. Our mission is to organize the world’s information about the built environment. In this webinar we featured the following speakers:
Arthur Getman
Senior Solutions Engineer
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Arthur Getman is a Senior Solutions Engineer at Replica. He has previously worked at NYC DOT for nearly a decade where he served as Director of Data Analytics.

Emily Lucas
Director of Customer Success
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Leslie Richards
General Manager/CEO
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Leslie S. Richards is the CEO and 11th General Manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the sixth largest public transportation agency in the U.S. with a budget of more than $2 billion and a vast network of 9,500 employees that enable the five million residents of the Greater Philadelphia region to connect to each other. SEPTA operates across six transportation modes and has 2,800 vehicles in service, 285 subway and rail stations, 13,000 bus and trolley stops, and 150 routes. Prior to joining SEPTA, Richards was the first woman secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), one of the largest and most innovative transportation agencies in the U.S. Richards left a lasting mark on the department by creating strategic solutions for the long-term success of Pennsylvania’s transportation needs through innovative, collaborative programs such as PennDOT Connects.
A staunch advocate for women and diversity in transportation and government, Richards has been recognized for her leadership in the industry and commitment to public service. Prior to her public service, she worked in the private sector as a senior project manager for environmental and civil engineering firms. Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master's of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband in Philadelphia.

Mathew Safer
Sr. Director of Demand Forecasting and Research
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Thomas Orgren
Senior Transportation Planner & Data Scientist
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Thomas Orgren is a transportation planner and data scientist who specializes in applying complex data analysis methods to transit service planning, performance monitoring, and capital needs budgeting, and making the results relatable to a wide audience. He works extensively with the Maryland Transit Administration on service planning projects for the BaltimoreLink system, most recently playing a key role in the agency’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery plan. Thomas has also worked on local, regional, and statewide transit service and bikeshare planning projects across the mid-Atlantic region and up and down the East Coast. Thomas has significant experience using data to improve the effectiveness and equity of public transportation systems with projects including web-based interactive GTFS QA/QC tools, developing new methods for monitoring bus route performance over time, Title VI service equity analysis, project prioritization, travel flow prediction, trip chain validation using Open Trip Planner software, and more.

Thomas got his start in public transportation as a bus driver at the University of Virginia, where he helped to overhaul the system’s safety and training procedures. More recently, he worked for the City of Philadelphia and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, where he helped to build the case for a comprehensive bus network redesign and a bus rapid transit line, using the results of in-depth data analysis to inform decision-makers and the general public of the benefits of a more equitable transportation system.

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