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Brian Ross interned with NYMTC’s staff through the Academic Initiative, researching the Federal Transit Administration’s New Freedom grant program under the guidance of Nancy O’Connell, then Manager of Program Development for NYMTC. The New Freedom Program (Section 5317) is designed to improve transportation services for individuals with disabilities by providing them with alternatives to public transportation outside of what the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires.

Brian’s research identified a total of seven cities across the country that have had relative success with the New Freedom Program and interviewed representatives from each city to provide guidance to NYMTC on how best to proceed with its subsequent grant solicitation effort. Three overall themes – outreach/ education, funding, and oversight – surfaced from these conversations.


Currently, Brian Ross serves as Operations Analyst at MTA Bridges and Tunnels, focusing on performance, administration and budget for the Operations Department – the largest in the agency. In this role, he gathers and analyzes data for management reports, operational studies and special projects, helping improve operating and budget performance for the agency.

Prior to this position, Brian worked as Community Initiatives Manager, Million- TreesNYC for the New York Restoration Project (NYRP). Brian administered the MillionTreesNYC Tree Giveaway Grant program, which under his guidance gave away 4,200 trees – the largest annual number to date. Brian also managed several stewardship grants, and served as co-chair on the Million- TreesNYC Stewardship subcommittee, helping strategize those efforts citywide in conjunction with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and other non-profit partners.

Brian is also working for UTRC, serving as a Research Assistant on a study funded through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and NYSDOT. He is helping explore the feasibility of reducing the use of garbage trucks in New York City through the use of pneumatic-tube technology. 24

Brian Ross
Urban Planning