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STV’s Zero Emissions Lead Spotlights the Human Element in Decarbonizing Transit

May 1, 2024
Craig Cipriano headshot

Demonstrating his industry-leading expertise, Craig Cipriano, STV senior vice president and national director of zero-emissions mobility, recently authored a book chapter on the imperative role of human engagement and organizational transformation in the transition towards zero-emission transportation systems. “The Future of Zero-Emission Transformation” is featured in The New Future of Public Transportation (published by SAE International), a book by self-proclaimed “transit evangelist” and Transit Unplugged podcast host Paul Comfort.

Drawing from his wealth of experience in public transit, Cipriano sheds light on the intricate dynamics that shape the adoption of new technologies in the transportation sector. He underscores the importance of prioritizing people throughout this transformative process, emphasizing that successful technology integration hinges on effective change management strategies tailored to both internal and external stakeholders.

“If history has taught us anything […], it’s that the key to implementing successful technology change is to bring people along for the ride,” Cipriano said, reflecting on decades of navigating the evolving landscape of transit operations.

The chapter articulates the multifaceted challenges inherent in the pursuit of decarbonizing transportation systems, outlining key principles and strategies for orchestrating a seamless transition to zero-emission fleets. Cipriano advocates for a holistic approach that encompasses not only technical considerations but also organizational readiness, workforce engagement and stakeholder collaboration.

One of the central themes explored in Cipriano’s writing is the concept of the Zero Emission Ecosystem, a comprehensive change management perspective that places people at the forefront of technology implementation. This framework underscores the need for meticulous planning, robust organizational structures and proactive engagement with diverse stakeholders to successfully navigate fleet electrification’s complexities.

zero emission ecosystem graphic

Cipriano’s chapter leverages his firsthand experiences, including his tenure leading the MTA New York City Transit Bus System, to elucidate the practical challenges and strategic imperatives of transitioning to zero-emission technologies. He shares insights gleaned from pilot programs and operational initiatives at the MTA, highlighting the pivotal role of organizational buy-in, leadership commitment and workforce empowerment in driving transformative change.

“The challenges of implementing those new technologies have been overcome with ingenuity, collaboration, and steadfast commitment,” Cipriano said. “While it’s important to focus on the technical aspects of the transformation, it’s the adoption and cultural change that enables the evolution of the system.”

Through meticulous planning, stakeholder engagement and an unwavering commitment to sustainability, Cipriano’s chapter charts a roadmap for transit agencies seeking to embark on the journey toward a cleaner, greener future. It underscores the pivotal role people play in shaping the trajectory of transportation innovation and STV’s commitment to pioneering sustainable solutions that enrich communities and advance the common good.