It is with mixed emotions that I announce that Michael Rhodes, our stalwart transit reporter over the last year who has created a daily drumbeat about Muni and other transit operators, is leaving us to pursue a career in urban planning. He’ll be getting his master’s degree in city planning at UC Berkeley starting this fall and, while we’re very proud of him for advancing to that stage, we’re going to miss him, as I assume you will too.
A short year ago, Michael came on board as an intern with no experience as a beat reporter, but he demonstrated his skills from the moment he started. I was so pleased with this first article that I asked him to begin contributing stories regularly. He then set out to cover a wide array of land use and transportation issues, and investigative stories on Muni. We were so impressed with his deep understanding of the issues and his professional interaction with policymakers that I asked him to become a full-time reporter. He has produced well over 200 stories for the site now, and established himself as one of only a few journalists covering the public transit beat full-time in California, and perhaps the U.S.
Michael has become an integral part of Streetsblog SF’s success, helping us become an influential force in transportation policy and culture in the Bay Area. His ongoing coverage of the MTA has helped illuminate the issues and inform policy makers on major decisions. The breadth of topics Michael has covered, and the connections he’s made with advocates and officials, will undoubtedly be an invaluable resource to him as he enters an academic urban planning environment.
Though it’s bittersweet to have to say goodbye to Michael, we take some solace knowing he’s agreed to continue writing occasionally for Streetsblog. Please join me in wishing him all the best at Berkeley and beyond.