John S. Niles

Global Telematics Phone: 1-206-781-4475
4005 20th Avenue West, Suite 111 Email:
Seattle, Washington 98199

Click here for samples of writing.

Contract assignments for research, analysis, and writing in the areas of transportation, telecommunications, and computer applications, with special emphasis on public policy and technology strategy.
John Niles, President of Global Telematics, is an independent researcher, trainer, and change agent based in Seattle, Washington. His specialty is research, design, planning, and implementation of improvement strategies for transportation, telecommunications, and economic development. He has worked in these fields since 1978, beginning in Washington DC and continuing in Seattle since 1982.
He is an expert on telecommunications-based mobility improvement programs and policies. He advises government and business leaders on telecom-transport interaction, including teleworking, electronic service delivery, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and traffic operations management (T-Ops).
He has evaluated telecommunications applications projects, established rural telework programs, and assisted communities large and small to understand and use telecom and the Internet. He developed one of the first nationwide computer systems for knowledge management and dissemination. He is a published author, public speaker, and skilled meeting facilitator. He earned degrees at Carnegie Mellon and MIT.
Selected Project Experience
bulletDeveloped “incremental BRT” as a strategy for transit agencies to improve public transit cost effectively and quickly in a published, peer-reviewed report for Mineta Transportation Institute. Follow-on quantification of best levers for performance improvement conducted with FTA funding in association with Breakthrough Technologies Institute, Washington, DC.
bulletOrganized and directed policy research and advocacy on cost-effective transportation alternatives – Bus Rapid Transit, traffic operations management, tolling, and telecommuting – on behalf of the King County Council Transportation Committee, Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center, and Center for the New West (Denver). Reports include Travel Value Pricing: Better Traffic Operations Management and New Revenue for the Puget Sound Region, Light Rail or Buses in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel: Assessment of Benefits, and Technology & Transportation: The Dynamic Relationship.
bulletDeveloped innovative procedures for increasing business effectiveness through joint consideration of travel and communications options, for the National Business Travel Association and Lehman Associates.  Available as the Travel Value Assessment.
bulletCreated the Regional Freight Logistics Profile for the Mineta Transportation Institute as a tool for metropolitan transportation planners to assess and communicate trends in local freight delivery.
bulletConducted pioneering research into how retail market trends and resulting consumer behavior influence nonwork trips and Transit Oriented Development. This work resulted in papers for the Transportation Research Board, the American Planning Association, and Mineta Transportation Institute. Turned into an available plannning tool, Regional Transportation Reality Check.
bulletInitiated and led the Mobility Innovations Program at Bellevue Transportation Management Association. This included development of an "instant ridesharing" project funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
bulletLed the development of a "Telecommunications Deployment Strategy" that contributes to traffic congestion reduction, air quality improvement, and job creation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
bulletPrepared a major U.S. Department of Energy research study of telecommunications impacts on transportation, titled Beyond Telecommuting, now a popular full-text research reference on the Internet,
bulletConducted field research, policy analysis, and development of recommendations for separate working groups doing strategic telecommunications planning for the States of Idaho, Washington, and Montana.
bulletEvaluated and improved the Supermarket Cooperative, a U.S. Government funded telecommunications application project helping small farmer members of the Rural Coalition, headquartered in Washington DC.
bulletFacilitated United Nations workshops in Singapore and New York City, resulting in recommendations for telecom development in emerging nations.
bulletProvided leadership on business planning, service design, and marketing of a computer-based messaging and information retrieval system supporting technology transfer among hundreds of local government offices nationwide.
John Niles is a widely-read interpreter of how and why networked communications affects the need for actual travel and meeting. His views have been quoted in many publications, including Forbes, The Economist, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. He has also appeared on PBS TV’s Nightly Business Report and on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. He has presented new ideas and research findings at the Pacific Telecommunications Conference, the World Future Society General Assembly, the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, and the Annual General Meeting of the Intelligent Transportation Society of Canada.
He was the Associate Editor of New Telecom Quarterly, 1994-98. He has written many published articles and is co-author of The New Management (McGraw-Hill, 1976).  His latest writing is a chapter titled "Synergies Between Vehicle Automation, Telematics Connectivity, and Electric Propulsion" in the book Road Vehicle Automation (Springer, 2014).
John Niles is presently a Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University. He has held past appointments as Technology and Transportation Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, and Senior Fellow for Telecommunications and Land Use at Center for the New West in Denver.  He was a founding member of the U.S. National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board Committee on Telecommunications and Travel Behavior, and was a member of the Transatlantic Thematic Network on Sustainable Transport in Europe and Links and Liaisons with America (STELLA) formed by National Science Foundation and the European Union.

Since 2011, he has held the consulting assignment of Research Director, Center for Advanced Transportation and Energy Solutions (CATES), a non-profit think-and-do tank focused on private and public policy to advance the implementation of a new generation of motor vehicles having electric motors for propulsion and automated driver assistance capabilities for greater safety and energy efficiency.
Earlier Employment
bullet1974-78: Quantitative analyst, municipal programs, Mayor’s Office, District of Columbia Government
bullet1971-74: Aircraft maintenance control officer, Patrol Squadron 26, United States Navy (Vietnam era, honorable discharge)
bulletU.S. citizen
bulletNo physical limitations
bulletM.S. Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1970
bulletB.S. Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1968