Announcing the First Ever YPT Baltimore Strategic Plan!

by Angie Hernandez, Vice Chair

YPT Baltimore is excited to announce that the chapter will be kicking off our first ever Strategic Plan in 2017! With this exciting announcement, you may be wondering what a Strategic Plan is and why does our chapter need one? Or, you may find yourself wondering; why should I, a well-meaning Baltimore YPT’er care to continue to read this blog post talking about a strategic plan?

The answer to all of these questions in short is that YPT Baltimore is looking to solidify our purpose as a professional organization and distinguish our chapter from the other professional transportation organizations in the area. The strategic plan will formalize our focus over the next year as well as begin to plan strategies to enhance and grow our chapter for years to come. You, as a member of YPT Baltimore, have a voice in planning our organization’s future and the strategic planning effort will provide the platform for your voice to be heard.

At a more detailed level, the Strategic Plan will serve as a short-term guide to ensure consistency in our organization’s purpose and ultimately serve as a road map for future YPT Baltimore endeavors. In addition, the plan will provide guidance for our leadership board to focus on expanding and enhancing our chapter as we grow through 2017 and beyond.

We are looking for participation from all members in defining chapter goals, strategies, and activities to be included in the strategic plan. There will be various opportunities for members to provide input and participate in the development of the Strategic Plan over the next few months. Our Executive Board will be leading an effort to develop a member survey to solicit input on the plan, in addition to hosting a strategic planning meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for February 2017. Stay tuned for more information regarding how to be involved in the strategic planning for YPT Baltimore throughout the New Year.

This plan will not be a success without all of your help and wonderful ideas. Please take some time over the next few weeks to brainstorm some ideas about what our Chapter could be doing differently, better, or even just something that you have been thinking about that our organization could explore together.

“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein

A Recap of Our First Ever Field Trip with YPT Philly!

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Thank you to our new friends at YPT Philadelphia for reaching out to us for such a great opportunity! A joint field trip to Wilmington, DE was a great way to wrap up our first year as a YPT chapter and we’d definitely join our Philadelphia peers for future events.

Getting there

For the big day, YPT Philadelphia enjoyed a trip on SEPTA’s regional rail, our Baltimore Chapter had to come up with an alternative since MARC does not run trains north of Perryville (sounds like a discussion topic). Some of YPT Baltimore took a ride on Amtrak, and the rest carpooled with a Zipcar named Stiffbeards.

At Amtrak

Once in Wilmington, DE we headed to Amtrak’s Consolidated National Operations Center (CNOC) and Centralized Electrification and Traffic Control (CETC) facility. Our education began with an excellent presentation on Amtrak’s on- and off-board recycling efforts. Amtrak began its recycling program roughly four years ago and has made strides in not only making recycling easy, but taking the time to train its staff and to educate passengers on how to recycle. Our presenter pointed us to the Amtrak blog which has a post about both on-board and industrial recycling programs.

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Kelsey explains choosing the right recycling receptacles on Amtrak platforms. Recycling receptacles need to be bomb-proof and, in Wilmington’s case, wind-proof on those high, above grade platforms.

The CNOC tour allowed the group to see how the various roles at Amtrak work throughout the day to ensure service is running smoothly through proper equipment distribution and management of operations. We were walked around the floor and stopped to talk to friendly and knowledgeable staff on how they manage operations for thousands of miles of track, over 80,000 passengers, and hundreds of Amtrak trains per day. As a young professional, a few observations at CNOC were reassuring to see:

  • A group of newly hired engineers touring the floor at the same time,
  • A diverse mix of employees at all levels, and
  • A very well thought out, open floor plan allowing staff to collaborate quickly when issues arise.

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