Steer consultants named in ACT 40 under 40 list for groundbreaking work in TDM

The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) 40 under 40 2023 awards have taken place with some of our valued Steer employees named on this prestigious list of emerging industry leaders.  

Jenny Hong and Parama Ghosh Roy, both of whom are Principal Consultants working from Steer’s Los Angeles office, received honors from ACT for their work in Steer’s transportation demand management (TDM) department.

The pair have worked extensively in TDM, leading Travel Management Associations and Organizations across southern California, creating bespoke strategies for public and private sectors alike, and helping to promote sustainable commuting more generally across the state.

After their big win, Steer caught up with them on their proudest achievements and goals for the future. Read our interview below.

What would you say is your biggest achievement in the TDM sphere?

Parama: As the executive director for the Santa Monica TMO, GoSaMo, I get to work with around 100 employers in the region, from small employers like restaurants to larger employers like tech giants. We have a really great advisory committee which consists of advocacy groups, residents, small and large employers, and public institutions, who continuously give us guidance and help us shape the policy.

Santa Monica has been recognized as a leader within this region for TDM strategy development and implementation, and being able to be at the forefront of this has been a great experience and a great achievement for me.

Jenny: I worked with a large media company in LA to help put a TDM strategy together. There was a lot of work, like helping them understand what they need, who the potential employees who would convert would be, then developing a program tailored around that, and even working with Metro to be a participant in their e-pass program.

It's become a successful program a lot of other employers throughout LA use that as the first that case study to make the case for why they should participate in wider programs, it was very data driven so we have a lot of the results of the impact of our program. I am really proud that when I left, they were at a good place.

What is your favorite project that you've worked on?

Parama: From the public sector side, it can often be quite challenging given that there's less appetite for behavior change or sustainable commuting, but because it's challenging when you're working on something like this, you feel like you're working towards a positive change.

I think we're in the midst of a big culture shift within Glendale, where I manage the TMA Go Glendale. We work a lot collaboratively with the city, so there are a lot of great things happening within the region around biking and walking. Even though it's challenging, given the culture, it's exciting to see what the future holds.

From the private sector side, it has to be the Snapchat global commuter benefits policy. That project is one of a kind; we basically reviewed the TDM requirements for Snapchat’s 50-plus offices globally and helped them streamline their commuter benefits. It was very interesting to work with a private-sector client on something very different.

Jenny: I have two e-bike incentive programs that I helped develop and now manage. We were at the forefront, and now we are seeing a lot of similar programs being implemented.

I'm really proud that we were able to get ahead, and we already have established programs. One of the programs was equity based, so we really tried to reach the low-income communities and we designed a program around that. Based on the results, we were able to achieve behavior change and help people who are maybe interested or not even familiar with e-bikes get on one, and hopefully use that on a day-to-day basis.

What is a new development in TDM that you're really excited about?

Parama: What gets me really excited is to see more and more private sector interests in TDM and not just from a compliance perspective. We are seeing private sector developments who want to do TDM because of an environmental and social perspective. More and more people are starting to recognize the wider benefits of TDM, which could be to reduce emissions but also to keep employees happy and as an employee retention tool.

Jenny: It’s nice seeing that a lot of cities are now reexamining their role and their outdated policies around TDM to update them. A lot of them are incorporating enough equity considerations to ensure that investment is distributed equally or equitably across the city and rethinking how they can partner with private sector clients and with nonprofits to have a more holistic approach.

What is something you would like to work more on in the future?

Parama: Something that I've been really enjoying is working more on the policy strategy side of TDM. I hope to work more on this in the future so that I'm not just working towards the implementation but can be at the very forefront of it at the very beginning, developing some of the strategies and guiding those TDM actions for the next five years, or whatever period the plan is.

Jenny: Something that I find really refreshing is rather than looking at TDM as just one strategy, using it as the framework for how to view a mobility or transportation system as a whole to really push for a shift in priorities. Through my work, hopefully, I can demonstrate the full benefits of TDM, framing it in a way that it can be valued and considered at the beginning of a general plan rather than as an add-on at the end.


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