Transit Insight

By Jim McAteer, Bob Baulsir, Edward Johnson

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: National

Open in iTunes

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 9
Reviews: 0


Whether you are a transit professional, enthusiast, or an end-user, you will find these discussions about transit by two CEOs and a Planning Director enlightening and informative.

Episode Date
Discussion with the new CEO of Trinity Metro, Bob Baulsir, about his career path and becoming a leader in transit

On today's show we welcome our new host, Bob Baulsir, who replaces Paul Ballard (retired), as the CEO at Trinity Metro.  Bob has a fascinating trajectory in transit, starting as a Journeyman in the maintenance department and rising through management to achieve CEO status.  We talk with him about his path as well as ideas for others who wish to rise in the ranks at transit agencies.  Edward also talks about some of the challenges he faced and ways to stand out as an employee.  Hint:  It's all about taking on a little risk.

Note: This show recorded June 4, 2019.

Sep 02, 2019
Budgeting in the Transit Universe

Edward and I discuss some of the challenges agencies face when budgeting and planning for a transit system.  We also provide a brief overview about the difference between capital and operating funds, specifically as they apply to transit.  Edward provides words of wisdom for CEO's about budgeting and the importance of working collaboratively.

Note: This show recorded in May, 2019.

Jul 26, 2019
Interview with David Block-Schachter, Chief Business Officer at Transit (a.k.a the Transit App) about apps, data, and coordination with all types of mobility providers

We talk with David Block-Schachter, CBO at Transit, about what's happening with their Transit App, and some of its new capabilities, including being able to pay for your trip within the app itself, linking up with ride-hailing companies, and even locating scooters. He shares some of the opportunities and challenges of working with both governmental agencies (Transit Authorities) and private companies to both obtain, and share their data, so that ultimately the user/rider experience is the absolute best it can be.  Both Edward and I learned a bunch so we kept the show going an extra 15 minutes.  We're sure you will enjoy this interview as much as we did.

Note:  This show recorded April 23, 2019.

Jun 06, 2019
CEO Mark Cleveland, talks about their New Hytch Rewards App and Program

In this episode we get an update from Mark Cleveland, CEO and Chief Cheerleader for Hytch, about their new shared mobility solution.  If you haven't heard of Hytch Rewards, you'll be surprised by their innovative approach that incentivizes commuters to share a ride.  (Hint: in some areas of the country you can get paid to share a ride.)

Apr 09, 2019
TexRail is now open and ridership is booming!

Today we speak with Paul Ballard, CEO of Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, Texas (and one of our regular co-hosts) about the grand opening of their new 27 mile commuter rail service from downtown Fort Worth to the Dallas-Fort Worth International airport.  Paul walks us though some of the challenges of building these projects, including working with the Federal Railroad Administration in the midst of a government shutdown, as well as early ridership numbers.  If you are someone who loves the nitty-gritty of railroads, this is a show you won't want to miss.

Feb 11, 2019
Disasters and Transit

On today's show we discuss transit's role in preparing, mitigating, and managing for all types of disasters.  This includes natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes to medical disasters and even terrorism.  We discuss how transit agencies play a role as part of a city or state's team in managing the disaster, as well as what transit agencies must do to prepare themselves for these events.  

Note: This show recorded August, 2017

Jan 29, 2019
Bob Baulsir, Senior Vice President with Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, Texas, discusses the challenges of procuring transit vehicles

Have you ever wondered how transit agencies procure their vehicles?  If not, you should know that it is not as simple as going to a dealer and buying them "off the lot".  Today's special guest covers the ins-and-outs of vehicle procurement, federal requirements, bus manufacturing, and the many aspects of what's needed when buying a bus or transit vehicle.  We get into the weeds a bit on this show, but if you aren't in the transit world, and even if you are, the complexity of the vehicle procurement process might surprise you.

Note: This show recorded June, 2018

Jan 12, 2019
Careers in Transit

Today's show focuses on our personal experiences finding careers in transit, as well as the various jobs and aspects of working in public transportation.  If you are interested in learning how to break into the transit world as a possible career, or just curious about working for a transit agency, Paul, Edward, and I share some personal nuggets that you won't want to miss.

Note:  This show recorded August, 2017.



Jan 09, 2019
Nashville-Davidson County Council member Freddie O'Connell provides insight regarding the failed May 2018 Transit Referendum

Enjoy an in-depth and extended show with former MTA Board Member and current City Council Member, Freddie O'Connell.  He provides insight about the history of the planning process leading to the May 2018 Transit Referendum in Nashville, as well as some thoughts about why it failed.  If your city is planning a transit funding and expansion referendum you won't want to miss Freddie's observations.

Aug 14, 2018
Behind the Scenes of Fare Processing

Today's show considers the processes and technologies currently used by transit agencies to handle, manage, and control the fare revenue.  We discuss the challenges of both legacy and new fare collection systems, and Edward admits to getting called out for "fare evasion" on the Dallas transit system!

This show recorded October, 2016

Jun 19, 2018
A discussion about the future of transit ticketing with Ben Whitaker, Head of Innovation and Co-founder at Masabi

We chat with Ben Whitaker, Head of Innovation and Co-founder of Masabi, a London based mobile ticketing and fare collection service provider, about the future of transit ticketing, payment, and fare collection.  You'll find Ben's perspective and insight both innovative and practical. Enjoy this nearly 50 minute discussion about transit fare technology and what it means for transit agencies, riders, and app developers.

Jan 12, 2018
Interview with Ron Yearwood of Transit Now Nashville, a local grassroots advocacy group

We speak with the current board president, Ron Yearwood, of Transit Now Nashville, which is a local transit advocacy group.  You'll learn about how this grassroots organization got started and how they work with the local transit agencies to increase awareness and understanding of transit.  The goals of Transit Now Nashville are to educate the community to increase transit ridership and advocate for transit system impovements and expansion.  If you are interested in starting your own grassroots transit advocacy organization, you won't want to miss it.

Note:  This show recorded October 24, 2017.


Jan 08, 2018
A quick note about the Transit Insight Podcast season for 2018

Just a short note to let you know we have several great shows planned for 2018 and are looking forward to some great conversations and interviews.  Additionally, I am working to get some remaining shows from 2017 posted so keep an eye out for those.  Thanks for listening.

Jim McAteer

Jan 08, 2018
CEO Ryan Popple of Proterra Electric Bus Manufacturer speaks about electric bus technology and its future in the transit industry.

Special guest Ryan Popple, CEO at Proterra, speaks to us about the current technology in electric buses as well as its current and future use in the transit industry.  Learn how the technololgy works, why "range-anxiety" is a thing of the past, the maintenance and cost advantages to using electric bus technology, and even the life cycle of bus batteries.  Whether you are an electric-vehicle enthusiast or a regular bus rider, Ryan will impress you with his technical expertise and understanding of the bus industry.   

Aug 29, 2017
Jo Ann Graves, President & CEO of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, talks about the importance of advocacy in creating successful transit systems.

We speak with Jo Ann Graves, President & CEO of the non-profit Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee about the work that advocacy organizations can do to help improve and implement successful transit organizations.  You'll learn how Nashville implemented the Transit Alliance, how their Transit Academy has created new supporters of transit, and what the Transit Alliance does to educate, empower, and mobilize support for transit.

Jun 23, 2017
BRT Expert Joe Iacobucci talks about BRT Best Practices and the Role of Shared Mobility in Transit Services

Joe Iacobucci, Director of Transit at Sam Schwartz Engineering, talks with us about some current and past Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects, as well as lessons learned and best practices for implementing BRT.  We also delve into the role that transit agencies might play as the new shared mobility services (such as Uber, Lyft, Hytch, and others) come on-line. Finally, Edward asks the elemental question, "What is a true BRT?"  The answer might surprise you.

Apr 25, 2017
Mark Cleveland, CEO of Hytch talks about their unique approach to ride-sharing. "Life's a ride. Share it."

Special guest Mark Cleveland, CEO and "Chief Cheerleader" for Hytch (, talks with us about using social networks to solve traffic congestion.  Learn about the difference between ride-hailing apps and ride-sharing apps and hear how Hytch makes connecting with someone for your work commute easier and more fun.

This show recorded November, 2016.

Mar 02, 2017
Using Transit Performance Measures and Why They Are Important

All transit agencies use performance measures of one kind or another to monitor the system's performance.  Today's show discusses which of these metrics are the most important, how they are used, and how they help transit managers (and the public) understand and improve their transit service. 

Show recorded June, 2016.

Feb 10, 2017
Keith Parker, CEO of MARTA, talks about the importance of community engagement for successful transit.

In this episode, we talk with Keith Parker, CEO of the MARTA transit system in Atlanta, GA, about the importance of community engagement for implementing successful transit.  Find out the three questions he asked the community, and their answers, that helped him formulate his 100 day plan to improve services at MARTA.  Learn about the MARTA army and how they have engaged the community and spread the word about all of the good things happening at MARTA.  You'll also hear about how MARTA is leading the transit industry in the adoption of technological solutions to real world problems.  
Note: This show was recorded in October 2016

Jan 02, 2017
What's Fair about Fare?
During this show we talk about the impacts of different fare types, fare technologies, and fare policies.  Even tokens and transfers make their way into the discussion!  This episode was recorded in March of 2016. 
Oct 13, 2016