Along for the Ride #150
🎉 It's our FOURTH birthday! 🎉
Heya friends, happy Friday!
There are many weeks where I amaze myself by writing a weekly newsletter as a hobby / passion project / catalogue of my thoughts, and this week is no different. Trust me when I say nobody (nobody!) is more surprised that I’ve kept this newsletter going for four whole years than me. Some weeks I can barely manage the motivation to write a newsletter on top of writing for my “day job”, and writing more creatively and personally as a form of processing the world around me. I often joke that I’ve never had a single thought that I didn’t write down in some capacity.
I can personally be bad at stopping and reflecting on what I do that I’m really proud of, and one thing I can say for certain is I’m really flipping proud of this newsletter. I would have never imagined four years ago I’d still be writing it, nor would I imagine it would have amassed a following like this. There is still more work to be done (see below), but for now thank you for being such an integral part of a project I have come to love so dearly. It means the world to me.
What’s good enough?
There are certainly (many) weeks when I think “welp, this isn’t my best work yet”, and yet I continue to send it out into the world (spelling mistakes and all) and without a doubt I’ll get an email or a note from a friend about something they learnt that week that reassures me this work is worthwhile even when it may not always feel like it.
The thing that keeps me coming back to the keyboard, week after week, year after year (!), is you, the amazing community that this newsletter has fostered. I am bewildered by the people who subscribe and those who want to contribute. I am so grateful for your continued readership and support, and genuinely amazed that of the hundreds of you that now subscribe more than 50% of you take the time to read this newsletter each week. It is remarkably humbling.
Last year I felt year compelled to wax lyrical in my 100th edition, focusing on the impact I wanted this newsletter to have on the world, and the contributions and space I hoped to create for historically excluded people in the transportation industry. [This edition also talks about the humble beginnings of this newsletter as an analog gmail to mostly my friends, if you feel so inclined]. In the next bit below, I’d like to offer a recap, a status report if you will, about my progress there.
AFTR: Status Report
All of 50 newsletters ago I made the following commitment:
So in the next 100 editions of this newsletter, I will make a commitment to exploring and deepening my research into literature, publications, perspectives and activism by and for people who are under-represented in the transportation and technology industry. I have been cooking up new ideas for how to support diverse voices of our industry (because they exist, despite what our collective unconscious bias may think!). This includes inviting guest writers to help make the newsletter an open space for other contributors.
Since the 100th edition, we’ve had some wonderful guest contributors (who’s editions I’ll link down below if you’re newer here!). Along for the Ride has featured nine guest contributors each who have taken the wheel to cover topics such as street safety, community engagement and outreach in transportation, advocacy for Black women in transportation, and more. Each contribution edition of the newsletter is my favourite because it reminds me how much space there could be for deeper conversations that involve and invite more people.
This year in particular I have managed to make guest contributors a more regular occurrence, and I’m excited to share there’s more on the way. Since February I’ve managed to bring in a new contributor on a monthly basis, each teaching me something new about an industry I’ve spent my entire career and academic history in. It’s a beautiful thing, and I hope you’re finding it as insightful as I am.
As I think through the impact I’d like to have in this next year of the newsletter and the next 50 newsletter before we hit 200 (🤯), I continue to ask myself: what more can I do create opportunities? how do I show up in the transportation space, and is it how I want to be showing up? how do I currently benefit from the status-quo?
I commit to keeping a steady pace with paid guest contributors, while also considering what more can be done. I also want to offer that if anybody else wants to explore these questions too I’m more than happy to find time for coffee chats (virtual or in person, geography pending), or better yet a bike ride. If you have any interest please reach out, the more the merrier.
Past Guest Contributions
(Show ‘em some love!)
Along for the Ride #73 with Georgia Yexley’s “Why we need more Black women in senior roles in transportation”
Along for the Ride #74 with Ann Oduwaiye’s “Black women in UX: The world was not designed for us, but it can be redesigned”
Along for the Ride #108 with Anne Krassner’s “Working towards mobility justice”
Along for the Ride #112 with Chante Harri’s “VC perspective on mobility and climate tech”
Along for the Ride #137 with Megha Kaveri’s “Chennai’s attempt at creating a Unified Transport Authority”
Along for the Ride #140 with Maria Gheorghiu’s “To every pedestrian”
Along for the Ride #144 with Jyotsna Singh’s “Deep dive into public transport overcrowding in the Covid era”
Along for the Ride #147 with Abigail Baker’s “What Can US Cities Learn from Sustainable Transport Initiatives in London?”
🚨 I am always looking for new guest contributors to bring into the fold. 🚨
Do you know somebody who would make an amazing guest contributor? Is it you? No need to be bashful. I have a write up here about what I’m looking for and what you can expect from the process (including getting paid!). Please, please share / tweet / reach out.
Hope you have a beautiful weekend friends. With all my gratitude, love, and affection,