Editor's Notebook: Another year for the books

Dec. 21, 2021
A year-end look at our top stories and what they tell us about where the industry has been, as well as where it’s going.

I like to take stock at the end of the year, to reflect, to count good events, but mostly, to use the proverbial review mirror to see certain things more clearly. Part of this exercise means looking at our internal data to see what stories grabbed the attention of our readers.

Interestingly, the section of Mass Transit’s website to see the biggest traffic jump was the jobs portal, which saw a 130 percent increase in visits in 2021. I confess my journalist heart compressed a bit that this stat wasn’t occupied by a breaking news story or feature article, but with ego sufficiently in check, there was a realization that information sharing is one aspect of our role, while making connections is another. The transit industry is not immune to the Great Resignation, and we are grateful the jobs portal serves as a resource for the industry to find whatever the next opportunity may be.

Rail continued its reign as the top channel on the Mass Transit website. Rail specific stories also dominated our top 100 story list for the year. These included Amtrak’s unveiling of its new Tier IV locomotive and newly refreshed passenger cars at Chicago Union Station in June, various high-speed rail plans and developments and the return to service of Brightline following a pandemic-caused hiatus.

Developments in Washington, D.C., also held the attention of readers. Early in the year, it was coverage of the American Rescue Plan, the final in a trio of bills to deliver much needed emergency funding to the transit industry as it continued to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This was followed throughout the summer and fall with surface transportation and infrastructure bill progress and, ultimately, the signing into law of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID).

Taken as a whole, the news covered and read in 2021 had a more upbeat thread connecting it all. The improvements in ridership, the launch of new mobility services and the security provided by the BID is seeing 2021 end on a much lighter note than this time last year.

We wish you a joyous holiday season and a happy and safe New Year.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.