Director of Mobility and Infrastructure to Leave to Join Federal Transit Administration

PITTSBURGH, PA (September 17, 2021) Mayor William Peduto announced today that Karina Ricks, the Director of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI), will be leaving her role with the City of Pittsburgh.   

“As the very first Director of DOMI, Karina has established a structure in DOMI that brings vision and energy so that our infrastructure not only meets the demands of today, but is designed thoughtfully, inclusively, equitably and sustainably so that we are prepared for the next generations of mobility. Under her leadership, the City has built bridges, paved record miles of roads, introduced autonomous vehicles and rideshares and found creative and effective solutions so that our roads are safe and our public infrastructure is for all.”   

Director Ricks joined the Peduto administration in February 2017 as the inaugural director of the brand new DOMI. Intended to lead efforts to provide residents with safe, accessible, sustainable and efficient transportation options through working with multiple agencies, integrating technology and bringing equitable shared mobility to the city, Director Ricks also crafted DOMI’s principles:   

  • No one dies or is seriously injured traveling on city streets.  
  • Every household in Pittsburgh can access fresh fruits and vegetables within 20 minutes travel of home, without the requirement of a private vehicle.  
  • All trips less than 1 mile are easy and enjoyable to walk, roll or bike.  
  • No household must spend more than 45% of household income to satisfy basic housing, transportation and energy needs.  
  • The design, maintenance and operation of city streets reflects the values of our community.  

Under her leadership, DOMI has built a talented and committed team that has delivered multiple projects and programs that fulfill these principles and meet the needs of the Pittsburgh community. Among them:  

  • Delivering the investment of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars ($237,000,000) in capital infrastructure projects to dramatically expand improvement and restoration of roads, bridges, public steps and more. This includes $67 million for street resurfacing, $28 million in bridge projects and repairs and a 50% increase in on-street bike(+) facilities.  
  • Delivering community-driven and publicly transparent projects, programs and action plans, including the City Steps Plan, Bike(+) Plan and Pedestrian Safety Action Plan as well as neighborhood-based plans and initiatives to deliver high service and prioritize safety.  
  • Establishing new policies and management structures for emerging mobility including autonomous vehicles, micromobility and curbside management.   
  • Introducing new programs to improve safety and quality of life in the city including pedestrian crossings and sidewalk improvements, traffic calming, bike(+) infrastructure and expanded trails.  
  • Laying the groundwork to deliver on smart city infrastructure including modernized traffic signals and energy efficient street lighting.  
  • Working with partners across the city and region to support improvements in public transit, equitable mobility, parking management, land development projects and utility upgrades.   
  • Responding to over 25 landslides and massively scaling up slope movement as well as flood and stormwater mitigation in response to the increasing impacts of climate change, investing nearly $30 million.  
  • Quickly adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic to activate public rights of way for streeteries to facilitate new business operations and slow streets to promote safety in neighborhoods.   

“It has been a great honor to serve the people of Pittsburgh,” she said, “I am proud of the strong and capable organization we have built and the deep bench of leadership and skill within it. I know DOMI will continue to deliver world-class projects in the months and years to come.”   

Director Ricks will be moving on to serve as the Associate Administrator for Research, Innovation and Demonstration with the Federal Transit Administration in Washington, D.C. In this role, she will work to advance key initiatives around transit safety, electrification, mobility on demand and transit of the future to serve the mission of equitable, efficient and sustainable mobility for both urban and rural America. 

Director Ricks’ resignation is effective Friday, September 24.


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Molly Onufer
Communications Director
Mayor's Office