David Block-Schachter: Paving the Way for User-Centric Integrated Mobility

This month’s Transit Voices welcomes David Block-Schachter, the Chief Business Officer at Transit to talk about designing transit solutions around what riders need.

“One of the biggest issues I think, is that when you work within an agency, you are beset by all of the internal requirements about what something needs to do, as opposed to focusing on what the rider needs, as you should be,” he says.

David, who lives a car-free life, explains how traditional thinking in transit has been an issue, because sometimes the technology in the vehicle costs the same as the vehicle itself.

“We were running these Mercedes Sprinter vans around Boston,” he tells host Ben Whitaker. “We were trying to figure out how you would pay for fare in an integrated way, and the only way they could figure out how to do it was to put a farebox on this Mercedes Sprinter van. Well, the problem was that the fare box actually cost more than the vehicle.”

The episode also delves into broader topics like Mobility as a Service, open payments, the integration of bikes and various transit modes, and the MBTA’s Charlie 2.0 procurement.

You’ll also hear why driver split shifts are David’s boondoggle, while his underdog is investing in staff capability and training.