Getting to Know Rob Shearman, Johns Hopkins University

Posted: 09/26/2019
Category: Member Spotlight

Johns Hopkins University is a world-renowned private research and education institution located in Baltimore, Maryland.  It is considered the first and oldest research university in the US, and (when combined with Johns Hopkins Medicine and Health) is one of the largest private employers in the State of Maryland.   JHU Transportation Services manages parking and transportation for tens of thousands of Hopkins affiliates and visitors daily.  Johns Hopkins University, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, and JHU Transportation Services all consider themselves vital members of, and partners with, the City of Baltimore and its residents.


What brought you to TDM/how did you get involved in the field?

I personally got started with collegiate transportation at the University of Maryland College Park as a student bus driver.  The shuttle system there employed University students, trained them for their CDLs, and outfitted them with flexible schedules and great pay to drive their peers around to get them to and from the campus or around the City of College Park.  What started as a part-time student job quickly became my passion.  That was over two decades ago, and the majority of my career since then has revolved around University student services and transportation.


Why did you get involved in ACT?

I was encouraged by my manager at Hopkins to attend the International Conference in August of 2019 in New York, where I found an amazing collection of transportation professionals from every corner of the country.  My eyes were opened to the bigger picture surrounding what I, as primarily a bus and shuttle Operations Manager, provide -- and why it’s important to the University, to the City, and to society at large.


Within your work, what do you see as the future opportunities/challenges for TDM?

At Johns Hopkins University we do not currently see a lot publicity nor support for effective Transportation Demand Management strategies.  However, this coming year, we are facing a loss of approximately 10% of our parking inventory for various construction projects, and this loss will more than eradicate our current nominal daily surplus parking inventory.  With a land-locked property in a densely-packed city, opportunities for expansion to add parking are few or non-existent, and garage construction costs are prohibitive.  We’re starting to gain the necessary traction for exploring true TDM strategies as an alternative to the expense of building more spaces.

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