I imagine, plan, and design streets for people.
Matt Pinder is passionate about improving the way the world moves. Congestion, public health, happiness, pollution – these are all problems that interface with how we get around and how we build our communities, and Matt is engaged in tacking these issues from many angles.
Matt currently works as a Senior Designer for Alta Planning + Design, a consulting firm dedicated to designing communities that are more friendly and safe for people travelling by bike and on foot. He contributes planning, design, and engineering skills to a variety of projects in communities across Canada including Ottawa, Toronto, and Halifax.
“Thinking differently is really important for being a good practitioner and designer in transportation planning. You have to give yourself space to think beyond what you learned in the traditional education system. When it comes to transportation, especially walking and cycling, it’s really important to have empathy and an understanding of what various road users need.”From Matt’s interview on the Outspoken Cyclist Podcast, May 2020
As an employee of Metrolinx for nearly three years, Matt contributed to the planning and operation of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s regional transportation system, including GO Transit and UP Express. Matt used data and insights on transit customer patterns and trends to inform better service planning, partnerships, communications and marketing programs. Most recently, Matt led policy initiatives to increase cycling rates to regional train stations, including design and justification for secure bike parking, and development of bike infrastructure standards.
Matt holds a Masters in Engineering from the University of Toronto, with a specialization in Transportation Planning & Engineering. His studies focused on bicycle transportation and road safety, including a major research project on the factors associated with cycling as an access mode to regional rail stations, and a study on the effectiveness of mandatory helmet laws.
Following a study tour in the Netherlands in 2017, Matt became fascinated with the idea of cycling “culture”, why it is important, and how to nurture it. Bicycle planning is not just about good infrastructure, it’s about the people who will be using it; not cyclists, but people riding bikes. This curiosity inspired Matt to develop and co-host the bicycle-themed storytelling event BIKE MINDS, where positive and inspiring bike-related stories are shared in front of a live audience. To date, BIKE MINDS has organized 12 sold-out events, attracting over 1,000 attendees.
Matt has experienced cycling in virtually every form: commuting (including as a bike-train commuter), food delivery (as an UberEATS courier), urban travel, and touring through the beautiful countryside beyond the Greater Toronto Area.
Finally, Matt is engaged in cycling advocacy. As a past co-captain of Cycle Toronto’s Ward 20 advocacy group, Matt represented the needs of local cyclists and advocates for changes with the local councilor. As a volunteer with Culture Link’s Bike Host program, Matt mentored newcomers to Toronto, helping them to learn how to bike in the Toronto and learn the rules of the road. Through publications in local and national newspapers, Matt has advocated for more investments in cycling infrastructure and bike-share systems.