Chief of Planning and System Development
St. Louis Metro
Jessica Mefford-Miller, chief of Planning and System Development, recently launched the development of the St. Louis region’s first comprehensive Long-Range Transit Plan, “Moving Transit Forward.” This plan was adopted by Metro’s board of commissioners and by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization. “Moving Transit Forward” outlines strategies for enhancing and expanding regional transit service over the next 30 years and will bring hundreds of millions in federal dollars into the St. Louis area.
The process involved working with planning professionals to examine residential and employment trends, and resources and traffic flows to develop the most expansive yet fiscally sound regional vision for public transit. Mefford-Miller also led the effort to engage the community by holding meetings and focus groups with hundreds of citizens. Her team along with other agency employees conducted more than 150 presentations to area business groups, universities, hospitals, civic organizations, neighborhood groups and advocacy groups representing the disabled, senior citizens and environmentalists, demonstrating that the agency valued the public’s input. Now Mefford-Miller is charged with implementing the vision that the region has adopted.
Mefford-Miller assumed the role as chief of Planning and System Development in 2009. She is responsible for managing the Agency’s long-range and short-range transit plans and the scheduling, planning, research and development and customer service departments. Her team creates and designs the routes for the agency’s fleet of 580 vehicles, which carried more than 47 million passengers in the last 12 months.
Prior to joining Metro in 2006, Mefford-Miller held posts at the National Park Service and the Ohio Department of Transportation and was a lecturer at Ohio State University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate. She assisted in coordinating the public engagement process for Ohio’s statewide transit plan, established the Geographical Information System (GIS) for the Lyndon Johnson National Historic Park and is published in industry journals.
Mefford-Miller is a member of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, and was named Woman of the Year for her support of women in the transportation industry. She is also a Member Emeritus of the Social and Economic Factors Committee of the Transportation Research Board, a Division of the National Academies of Science.
As a testament to her talents, in 2010 Mefford-Miller was named one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30 Award recipients which recognized the top 30 business people in the St. Louis Metropolitan area under the age of 30 who are considered to be among St. Louis’ next generation of business leaders.
“What I enjoy most about working in the transit industry is researching and analyzing information about where people travel, how the transit system is performing, how transit can bolster other goals such as sustainable development, and then combining that information with input from the community to create and implement real solutions that have an impact on individuals’ daily lives. It’s seeing those ideas all come together and be implemented that I find most rewarding.”