Alumni Spotlight: Dan Suraci (MUP 2013)
Name: Dan Suraci, AICP
Program and Graduation: Master of Urban Planning, 2013
Current employment: Senior Consultant with TransPro Consulting
“If you are going to test big ideas, there's nowhere better [to do that] than the most dynamic, complex and challenging urban environment on the planet.” – Dan Suraci (MUP 2013)
NYU Wagner was Dan Suraci’s only choice for graduate school. Not only because he liked the mission and the policy-focused approach, but he also wanted to be in Manhattan with a diverse, multidisciplinary crowd.
“At the end of the day, it just felt right,” he said.
Dan was a full-time student and also worked full-time as the marketing and communications manager at Bike New York. However, Dan utilized his time at NYU Wagner to meet and interact with industry practitioners, learn from his peers who had passions in other areas, and dive deep into issues he had only a passing understanding of previously.
Now, Dan now works as a senior consultant at TransPro Consulting, serving as a bicycle and pedestrian mobility subject matter expert and leading related projects for various public and private sector clients. He also conducts strategic planning activities with transit executives.
Since graduation, Dan has authored a national guide on bicycle and transit integration, which was published by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This guide represents two years of work and best practices from more than 30 transit agencies and NGOs from across the country. He also developed New York State's first official active transportation and complete streets training, which is now offered to communities throughout New York State for free.
Dan found his job at TransPro Consulting through a connection from NYU Wagner. Dan had stayed in touch over the years with fellow MUP classmate Lyndsey Scofield while she was working at the NJ Transit and through her transition into the private sector with TransPro.
“About a year and a half ago, Lyndsey mentioned that TransPro was looking for a consultant, and now we are working together,” Dan said.
Dan never plans to leave New York City. He says he loves it for many reasons, but one of the most important ones is that it is one of the few places where he can exist without a car.
“If you are going to test big ideas, there's nowhere better than the most dynamic, complex, and challenging urban environment on the planet,” he believes.
Regardless of whether he continues in the private sector as a consultant or returns to the public or nonprofit sectors, Dan says he will continue to provide leadership and expertise in active transportation and bicycle mobility.
“Eventually I would like to work on these issues in an executive capacity,” he adds.
Dan thinks of what he does as “pragmatic advocacy through education and empowerment.”
“Even when I'm developing master plans, I spend a lot of time working with stakeholders to help them understand options and outcomes before developing unique place-based solutions,” he explained.
For him, the transportation landscape is changing faster than ever before, and he thinks it's critical to educate communities about the opportunities, benefits, and obstacles of the new mobility paradigm, which includes scooters, transportation network companies, dockless bike-share, integration apps, and shared mobility, among other things.
“I want to continue encouraging communities to embrace and empower active transportation systems as a fundamental piece of an integrated transportation network,” Dan said.
In that spirit, he wants to educate communities on the dynamic benefits of bicycling and work with them to realize simple solutions to transform the way people move.