As the Global Head of Policy, Katie Stevens oversees Lime's policy planning and leads a team of experts and researchers working on the full spectrum of issues in support of shared mobility. Joining Lime in 2018 as senior director for government relations in the western U.S., Katie previously led state and local government relations for eBay, and has worked at all levels of government in policy development—largely around transportation, renewable energy, and innovation.
2nd Street sat down with Katie to hear about her new role and her path to becoming a transportation wonk.
Can you tell us about what brought you to this career path?
I was raised in a beautiful, diverse community in central California. However, like so many cities, it was heavily suburban—very few people used transit or commuted by bike—and, in many cases, these modes were unfairly stigmatized. When I was in my junior year of college in Los Angeles, I developed epilepsy, and faced the very real scenario that I would never drive again. In a sprawling city with a less-robust transit network at that time, I felt like my freedom had been taken away. It wasn't until I moved to Washington, D.C., that I realized the power of public transit, and I fell in love with traveling and commuting in ways that allowed me to explore and truly connect to my city. I became hooked, and have spent the majority of my career working on transportation (including California high-speed rail), economic inclusion, energy, and environmental policy at federal, state, and local levels.
What do you think makes Lime stand out?
Lime is fast-paced and deliberate without being bureaucratic. This sort of entrepreneurial environment allows me to take on projects, roles, and responsibilities that might not otherwise be afforded to me at larger companies. I believe that Lime is unique in fostering a sense of ownership and entrepreneurialism at every level of the company. Additionally, I am often fielding questions about what it’s like to work at a start-up, especially in this dynamic micromobility industry, while raising a small child (and now pregnant with No. 2). I’m fortunate to have a very supportive partner, but I also work with so many colleagues who are all deeply passionate about creating healthier cities for generations to come—many of them sharing photos of commuting with their kids by cargo bikes or riding their own micromobility devices. It is a strong, supportive community.
What will you be working on in your new role? Any personal goals? Policy goals?
Some goals have abruptly shifted in the face of COVID-19. Lime is focused on how we can best help cities, riders, and employees during this challenging time while working to anticipate how the landscape will change in cities after people leave quarantine. As city leaders around the globe continue to manage this emergent situation while continuing to tackle long-standing, complex issues around transportation access, economic inclusion, affordable housing, and pollution, there is also opportunity. We’re already starting to see cities, like Bogotá, Mexico City, and New York, close streets to vehicle traffic and/or quickly build bike lanes, using this opportunity to make their cities more resilient and inclusive. It’s been incredible to watch. Lime’s global policy team will continue to work closely with cities and transit partners to aid in recovery and help people move seamlessly, reliably, and equitably throughout their communities.
Finally, what does a more “connected city” mean to you?
Very simply, a connected city is an inclusive one. It is one that supports economic and educational access, safety, and health for all residents, regardless of physical ability and income. This includes prioritizing infrastructure that promotes safe, clean modes of travel.
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