Sarah Syed

Sarah Syed leads research at the intersection of equity and transportation to advance robust and sustainable solutions to increase access to opportunity. With more than 14 years of public and private sector experience delivering local and regional scale transportation projects, Sarah works to advance research, projects, and programs to challenge the racism that is deeply embedded in transportation policy and infrastructure development. Her specialties include transit project management including complex planning studies and large multi-year planning, design and engineering contracts, inclusive community engagement, active transportation, and parking policy. Her work has resulted in new infrastructure, plans, and services to improve mobility for people who walk, cycle, and ride transit in Berkeley, Oakland, Santa Clara County, and Los Angeles, California. Over the past two decades, Sarah has held several elected and appointed leadership positions. Sarah currently serves on the American Planning Association Los Angeles Board of Directors as COVID-19 Response Chair and Vice-Director of Programs.

Research and practice areas of interest include equity, community engagement, project management practices, transportation policy, good governance, preparing planners with the analytical competencies to understand and address structural racism, and initiatives to increase the pipeline of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color pursuing the planning profession. She received her Masters Degrees in City and Regional Planning and Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Her Master’s Civil Engineering thesis described the response of regional rail riders to parking price changes at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District.