VU transportation and mobility director Michael Briggs to serve as transportation planning director for mayor’s office in 2024

Michael Briggs
Michael Briggs

Michael Briggs, director of mobility in Vanderbilt’s Office of Transportation and Mobility, will serve as a Vanderbilt-appointed adviser for the office of Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell through the end of 2024. As director of transportation planning, Briggs will advise on Metro mobility and transit initiatives. Lindsey Ganson, Vanderbilt’s assistant director of mobility, will serve as interim director of mobility at Vanderbilt for this period.  

“This collaboration will enable effective strategies and initiatives that benefit all of Middle Tennessee,” Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain said. “Vanderbilt is committed to improving mobility and transportation options for our community, and I am confident that Michael’s contributions in this new role will have a positive and lasting impact on Nashville’s transit landscape.” 

“Michael will join our director of transit and mobility, Tanisha Hall, to implement our vision for a Nashville that has better and more reliable transportation options,” O’Connell said. “Michael has a long history of working on transit and mobility issues. He knows the challenges we face and the unique opportunities we have ahead of us.” 

Vanderbilt is a leader in transportation initiatives and regional commuting needs and has successfully implemented programs and benefits for its community, including: 

  • MoveVU – A strategic transportation and mobility plan that aims to give commuters more options for traveling to and from campus. It also outlines ways the university can shift its mode share goals, which are to reduce the drive-alone rate to campus and encourage more sustainable commutes, such as walking, biking, public transit and carpooling.
  • Commute survey – an annual assessment of faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate and professional students’ commute habits, which tracks current mode share rates and informs future goals.
  • Ride the bus free – Vanderbilt’s program provides all full-time and part-time Vanderbilt University students, faculty, staff and postdocs with free access to WeGo local buses, regional buses and the WeGo Star with their physical Commodore Card. This service is available for any place and time, not only when commuting to and from campus.
  • Daily Parking program – participants pay only for days that they park on campus, which allows a daily choice in commute method and incentivizes the use of sustainable commutes.
  • Sustainable commute incentives – eligible commuters can earn a $1 daily incentive each time they choose a sustainable commute over driving alone to campus.
  • Guaranteed Ride Home – eligible commuters who take a sustainable commute to campus receive a free Lyft ride home in the event of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance.
  • Commute Calculator – a personalized assessment of the best parking program to enroll in based on number of days on campus, salary band, and sustainable commute choices. 
  • Commute Concierge – personalized consultations are available to the Vanderbilt community on using public transit, identifying bicycle amenities on campus, Lyft Ridehail Partnership, sustainable commute routes and more.  

“I am honored to serve as a consultant for the mayor’s office,” Briggs said. “I look forward to using my past community engagement experience to advise on how we transform our streets and improve transportation throughout Middle Tennessee. Vanderbilt’s mobility and transportation options are a model for transportation initiatives with Mayor O’Connell’s team to create more sustainable and efficient mobility solutions for our Nashville community.”  

Before working at Vanderbilt, Briggs was a planner in Sumner County and spent nearly a decade with the Metro Nashville Planning Department—eventually leading its Multimodal Transportation Planning division. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Briggs was recognized by Walk Bike Nashville with the 2019 Kibby Clayton Lifetime Achievement Award for substantial contributions to make Nashville more walkable, bikeable and livable. He also serves as a volunteer commissioner on the City of Springfield’s Planning Commission in Robertson County.