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Josh Cohen is the National Director of Policy at TransLoc, a Ford Mobility Company. He has been at TransLoc for 12 years working in many different areas. Recently, he also started a podcast called “The Movement” which focuses on a community-oriented approach to transportation policy. In his roles, Josh converses with leaders who are building the accessible and equitable mobility we all want in an effort to inspire future generations to do the same. Josh Cohen is excited to be speaking at UNC’s 2020 Clean Tech Summit!

Tell me a little bit about TransLoc.

Answer: As a company, we have over 1000 different customers, most are public transit agencies or campus transit agencies, and also private corporations. We are helping them in a number of different ways, like providing real-time information for buses and helping public transit officials run their transportation systems more efficiently. We also provide these agencies with a tool to organize and deploy their bus schedule information to places like google maps. All of these pieces are keeping us going towards our mission to make mobility efficient and accessible to all.

TransLoc UNC Clean Tech Summit

Where do you think mobility is headed?

Answer: Well, where I hope it is going, and I think it is going this way, is more human-centric. The scale of public transit in the US is huge, so that scale minimizes the human aspect of mobility. I’m heartened by the more human side of mobility. This can look like investments in pedestrian and bike infrastructure or increased public transit funding so that buses can be a more reliable source.  Kansas City, the largest city in the US is actually trying to make their buses fare-free. I’m really interested in the human side of mobility and I’m really excited about where it’s going.

What was your purpose for “The Movement”?

Answer: It all started because I think people think too much about the statutory side of policy, which is important but I think the human side of the policy is also important. “My goal is to really get at that human side of policy and try to figure out what are the best leaders doing to bring about change in their communities around transportation and mobility”. I don’t want leader to be focused on specific regulations but rather on the personal side of things. I’m asking, “How are the best leaders rallying the community in order to support transportation”?

What excites you moving forward in your field?

Answer: I think the thing that I’m most interested right now are the people that I’m talking to right now are so inspiring to me. I went to Charlotte last week, I rode my bike to the train station in Durham and took the train to Charlotte and then rode my bike from the Charlotte train station to Downtown and had a really nice trip (HOW ECO-FRIENDLY!). I met a lot of really nice people and I think what was so inspiring to me was how much progress they’re making. I get to have these really great conversations with people who are trying to change the world, which is what we need right now, and that’s really what excited me the most.

TransLoc Bus UNC Clean Tech Summit  

Are you hopeful about the future?

Answer: I am hopeful for the future. I think the people that I’m talking to, especially the younger folks, are really thinking differently. They’re more comfortable with using their voices, they’re thinking more aggressively, and they’re willing to accept some of the trade-offs necessary with the decision that need to be made in order to get us where we need to go. I think to get where we want to go, as leaders, we need to include everyone in the conversation, give ourselves time to reflect on those perspectives, and chart a clear vision for the future. “Reflection without action is not going to get us anywhere, and action without reflection is reckless.”

Josh Cohen shared a lot of intriguing ideas during this interview. He has been inspired by his conversations and continues to inspire his own community. He believes that we should look beyond the numbers and consider the large influences that transportation has on day to day human life. Sign up for the 2020 UNC Clean Tech Summit to hear what he has to say!

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Author: Joanna Delgado