Stewart Mader works with transit providers, public officials, and policymakers to build better transit that supports healthy, equitable, and resilient communities. He has held senior communications, customer experience, and policy positions in education, finance, technology, and transportation for more than two decades.
He improved customer experience for 270 million annual passenger trips at NJ Transit by delivering contactless fare payment for 80,000 light rail customers, and launching a new website, app, and metrics dashboard to track service performance and reliability. Customers approved, giving the new app 4.6 stars, up from 1.7 out of 5 stars. He regularly rode with customers onboard trains and buses to listen to their feedback, incorporate it into the agency’s strategic and capital plans, and strengthen the case for infrastructure projects like the new Portal Bridge, awarded $766.5M by the FTA in 2021.
Mader helped establish PATH Riders Council for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s 80 million annual riders. For four years, he chaired the 14-person customer advisory board for the bi-state transit system. He created the policy framework for regional transit maps, fares, wayfinding, and customer communications, and worked with the MTA to streamline transfers to and fare payment on NYC Subway during weekend service outages for construction of PATH’s new signal system. He guided a redesign of the PATH service map in 350 rail cars to include regional transit connections, and launch of the RidePATH app with real-time arrivals powered by data from the new signal system.
Mader created and led the VaxTransit campaign to ensure equity in vaccine access. More than 450 transit agencies in 43 US states, and 18 agencies in Canada are providing free transit rides to COVID-19 vaccines, building a bridge to a brighter future after the pandemic. He also created the widely-used New York & New Jersey Subway Map, Transit Standards, and Pandemic Best Practices to guide the transit customer journey.
Mader’s transit policy insight reaches a growing audience via Mass Transit magazine, Mobility Lab, New York Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Architect’s Newspaper, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Network.
He previously worked as a senior executive in Silicon Valley and Wall Street. As Global Head of Digital Strategy, Mader streamlined customer experience at Fitch Ratings to accelerate its market intelligence and e-learning businesses. He transformed CFA Institute with a digital-first learning approach, and built a social media presence named #1 in finance by Association Trends. CQ Roll Call named @CFAInstitute one of 100 Association Twitter Handles You Should Follow.
Mader wrote the book Wikipatterns drawing on his experience as Chief Evangelist for Atlassian, and as a digital strategy consultant to global organizations including Airbus, ICANN, SAP, Thales, and World Bank-International Finance Corporation.
Earlier in his career, Mader led instructional design at Brown University, Emerson College, Long Island University, and University of Hartford. PBS stations aired “Skysight” and “Seeing the Scientific Light”, two NASA Space Grant-funded films he wrote, directed, and edited.
Mader received his bachelor’s degree with distinction in chemistry from the University of Hartford, and a master’s degree in education from the University at Albany. He completed a certificate in Jurisdictional Crisis Incident Management from Texas A&M Engineering Extension (TEEX), and holds Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Roadway Worker Protection certification, which allows him to “walk the lines” with railroad work crews.
“Stewart approaches every project with exponential neurons firing and a great sense of humor.”Colleague
Stewart has been open to discussions with operations and took time to walk with us ‘in the field’ in order to deal with customer and local municipal issues and relations. Stewart, thanks forworking with us, and best wishes in your new endeavors!Dave Abeles, Superintendent, Stations – NJ Transit
Stewart Mader is an exceptional leader and his mentorship had a profound impact on my career at NJ Transit. He encouraged me in bringing my budding ideas to fruition and was always willing to help me with large projects, such as overhauling communications to ADA customers as well as simple tasks such as updating Web service advisories.Alison Curtis, Colleague – NJ Transit
“Every time I talk with Stewart Mader, I learn a new way of thinking about transportation and mobility. He sheds old myths and looks at new realities. He quickly spots issues and works creatively to resolve them.”Allen Kratz, Resilience Works
“As both a mentor and an advocate, Stewart maintains a high level of engagement with each project, while somehow never micromanaging the details.”Client
“Stewart took time literally in the middle of a cross-country move to speak to our newly-formed team. He provided tons of insights and examples from his experience, and team members are still talking about the nuggets they took away.”Client
- 40 Ways I Transformed NJ Transit for CustomersSee how I’ve enhanced customer experience throughout the 5,300 square miles served by the 3rd-largest US transit agency.
- Buy-Tap-Ride: Contactless Fares for Light RailI strengthened equity for light rail riders by giving them the same ability as bus and rail riders to buy digital tickets.
- Branding New Jersey’s Transit LinesI expanded NJ Transit’s rail line brands into a design system to streamline customer experience.
- Seamless Subway Rides Replace Shuttle Buses, Thanks to Port Authority, MTA CollaborationI helped streamline transfers to and fare payment on NYC Subway during service outages for PATH’s signal system upgrade.
- PATH Riders Council: Building a Model for Transit Agency & Customer CollaborationI helped establish, and led the 14-person customer advisory board for the transit system connecting New York and New Jersey.
- Hoboken, NJ: Visual Identity, Wayfinding System, and Streetscape ImprovementsI helped officials in Hoboken, NJ design a new visual identity, wayfinding system, and graphics standards.