Laurel Paget-Seekins (she/they), joined the Public Advocates Metro Equity Team in September 2023 as a Senior Policy Advocate for Transportation Justice. Laurel works in the intersection of community, policy, and data to advance systemic change in transportation. She sees transportation policy as a strategic lever to challenging poverty, racial injustice, and climate change.
Prior to joining Public Advocates, Laurel was the Assistant General Manager for Policy at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. She worked on service and fare policy and collaborated with community partners to lower fares for youth, add early morning service for shift workers, and decriminalize fare evasion. Laurel started her career in transportation working with the Atlanta Transit Riders’ Union to create their own regional transportation plan and file a Title VI civil rights complaint to challenge the regional allocation of transportation funding.
Laurel is the co-editor of Restructuring Public Transport through Bus Rapid Transit and author of numerous articles. She wrote the TransitCenter report People First highlighting needed improvements in hiring and retention at transit agencies. She was a 2021 Open Society Foundations Leadership in Government fellow. As a fellow she created a website Transit Data Primer to help community advocates engage with transit agency data, and a cooperative board game Transform Transit to highlight the challenges of policy implementation inside agencies.
Education & Background
Laurel has a Master’s in City and Regional Planning and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Bus Rapid Transit Center of Excellence in Santiago, Chile and at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Laurel earned a BA from Oberlin College with a double major in Mathematics and Liberation Struggles Studies.