Jeff Olson ’83

Jeff Olson is an entrepreneur, architect, planner, and author who has been involved in greenways, open space, active living, and alternative mobility projects for more than three decades. He co-founded Alta Bicycle Share (ABS) to design, deploy, and manage bicycle share systems around the world. ABS launched five programs in the US, with additional programs in Canada and Australia. The company grew from startup to managing more than 12,000 bikes in a dozen cities in five years and was named on Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies list in 2013. In 2014, ABS was acquired by a group of investors and is now called Motivate.

He currently serves as a Principal with Alta Planning + Design, which has grown from eight people when Jeff joined the company in 2004 to more than 175 people in 30 locations. Jeff has taught America’s first university course in bicycle and pedestrian planning for more than 20 years at UAlbany and is Co-Director of the UAlbany Initiative for Healthy Infrastructure. He is passionate about how infrastructure shapes our lives, and how to address the ever-increasing challenges of the future.

Areas of Expertise: Navigating public policy and hierarchy; leveraging strategic partnerships; early-stage growth strategy; sustainable urban planning and design.

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