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Taxi! 

Lauren Bailey '13, at her desk at the Capital District Transportation Authority.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 17, 2016) – In New York City, when you want a cab, you brazenly step out in the street in front of everyone else and stick out your hand, hoping to flag down one taxi among many.

Not so upstate, where there are fewer cabs and widely varying fares and policies in different cities and towns.

UAlbany alumna Lauren Bailey ’13, the new mobility manager for the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), has the job of bringing consistency to the “Wild West” of taxi regulations in the Capital Region.

Bailey’s job as mobility manager blends into the larger concept of mobility management, which includes finding creative solutions to age-old transportation problems.

Judging from her record of getting things done at UAlbany, Bailey, 25, is the right woman for the job.

Bailey had a strong academic track record as a student at UAlbany, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with high honors as a dual major in public health and political science. Among her many awards are the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and the UAlbany President’s Award for Academic Excellence.

“UAlbany is a large university and gets a reputation that students are just a number – this was not my experience at all,” Bailey said. “If you work with your professors and make a conscious effort, they will help you through. If you prove that you are willing to work hard, UAlbany comes through for you tenfold. I found this through professors who became mentors, alumni in the community who helped me find internships that I found interesting, and with professional staff through residential life. Having a diverse range of opportunities is one thing, but having people who were enthusiastic about helping me get to the next level and take advantage of everything around me is what truly made me succeed.”

One of Bailey’s most interesting experiences at UAlbany was in revitalizing UAlbany Day and organizing with students against university budget cuts. On UAlbany Day, students team up with administrators and go door-to-door in the New York State Legislature, making the case for why UAlbany and SUNY is a good investment for state tax dollars.

For her work on UAlbany Day, Bailey won the W.E.B. DuBois Image Award from the UAlbany NAACP chapter for service to Student Association.

Bailey attributes her drive to succeed to her parents.

“They always taught me to keep my eyes on the prize and see everything around me as an opportunity to learn. Besides that, the friends I made at UAlbany, particularly in the Honors College, were invaluable in keeping me focused and driven. They are still some of my best friends and I love seeing what they’re doing after graduation,” she said.

“UAlbany taught me to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way and not to limit myself based on what I think I want to do,” Bailey said. “Rockefeller College taught me how to juggle multiple commitments (classes, research and internships) and learn from everyone – students and professors – around me,” Bailey said.

After college, Bailey was chosen to be an Excelsior Service Fellow working in the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Prior to joining CDTA, she was chief of staff for Assembly member John McDonald.

Bailey’s job as mobility manager means working on new initiatives for the Authority, including developing consistent taxi regulation across municipalities and options for bikeshare in the Capital Region.

“I am the point person for the taxi ordinance and licensing – so it is my job to get everyone’s perspectives and priorities and mold that into a policy that is clear, appropriate and manageable for all the municipalities involved,” Bailey added.

When she is not working, Bailey enjoys playing cello with the UAlbany Community Symphony Orchestra, skiing or running. She also maintains her interest in public health, particularly in nutrition, and loves to try new foods.

What advice does she have for current students?

“I would say to expect everyone you meet to be a resource – do not be intimidated by people you see as mentors or as celebrities in your field. Ask questions, study hard and get involved outside of the classroom. College is a unique time to try different things! Make connections and keep in touch after you graduate – you never know how someone can impact your life once you get into the working world.”

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