Tara Reel is the Transportation and Transit Planner for the City of Virginia Beach. In her role, she serves on the Smart Cities Task Force working toward improving connectivity through physical and digital infrastructure, and liaisons with various stakeholder groups on transportation/transit planning programs, projects, and initiatives. Her current projects include designing a regional connected corridor, overseeing a local intelligent transportation system (ITS) workgroup responsible for developing a Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) corridor, and creating opportunities to incorporate geospatial information systems (GIS) and analytics to make data-driven decisions.
Tara previously worked for the Virginia Beach City Manager’s Office with the Assistant to the City Manager advancing the City’s legislative agendas at the regional, state, and federal levels. She attended graduate school in 2014 and worked as a Research Assistant to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s (VTTI) Center for Autonomous Vehicles and its Center for Public Policy, Partnerships, and Outreach. She also took the opportunity to study transportation and sustainability abroad throughout Europe as well as civil rights in parts of South Africa. She served as the graduate student representative to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors from 2016-17. The Virginia chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) recently elected her as their Vice President of Policy & Legislative Affairs.
Tara holds a Master in Urban & Regional Planning and Master of Public Administration from Virginia Tech.