2023 CEO Spotlight

Modeshift CEO Miroslov Katsarov on advancing the industry towards an innovative and sustainable future.


Miroslov Katsarov

As a seasoned transportation technology specialist, with an entrepreneurial spirit and vast expertise implementing public transportation tech solutions in both the U.S. and Europe, I am driven by making tech innovations more accessible and user friendly. I’ve spent my professional career learning how to efficiently manage system integrations, and security and automation business units, always keeping top of mind the positive impact that technology can have on people’s lives and our planet. As a big picture thinker, making people’s lives easier through technology was my primary motivation when I started Modeshift, a transportation tech company, in 2017. Currently, I serve as CEO of Modeshift, where I lead a team of over 40 people helping transit agencies modernize their fare and data collection infrastructure through one urban mobility platform. Modeshift’s solution gathers data to help transit agencies improve route planning, fare collection and real-time information to deliver a better, more streamlined rider experience. 

As a transportation enthusiast living in a modern society, I am surrounded by ongoing conversations about the future of transportation – flying taxis, driverless cars, hovercrafts etc., but what I believe needs to shift is the narrative from grandiose futuristic ideas about transportation to thinking about what tools are at our disposal right now and how we can leverage those tools to improve the current state of transportation. According to APTA, a shocking 45% of Americans do not have access to public transportation and that number needs to change. Policymakers are aware that public transportation across the U.S. can be vastly improved, hence the Bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed last year, however, what we see happening is running into roadblocks when it comes to the implementation of large projects as seen most recently with the NY’s AirTrain and CA’s high speed rail project – both initiatives have been scrapped or pushed back due to rising costs. 

While it’s disappointing to see major public transportation projects fall by the wayside, I remain optimistic about the future of transportation when we focus on pragmatic, sustainable solutions, like implementing new technologies. Mobile ticketing, account-based fare collection and automatic vehicle location are minor implementations that can make a meaningful impact on route optimization and overall efficiency for transit agencies. By making public transit more convenient for riders, ridership will increase and, in turn, lower the emissions from personal vehicles on our roadways. 

This is what excites me the most about the transportation tech industry – the opportunity we have to help move our world towards a more sustainable future. According to the EPA, transportation accounts for roughly 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and this means that leaders and decision makers in the industry can have a real impact on reducing carbon emissions. The better we make our public transportation systems, the more successful we will be in achieving this. We’re already seeing more and more cities across the U.S. invest in Mobility-as-a-Service platforms to make transportation more convenient through integrating micro mobility devices along with traditional transport services. 

Transportation leaders like myself can draw inspiration from other cities throughout the world that have created exceptional public transportation services to reach sustainability goals. As an example, in 2018. Oslo, Norway was ranked eighth on the The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index, which measures the sustainability of 100 global cities. And when the report came out this year, Oslo was ranked number one. This Norwegian city achieved this great feat from decade-long investment policies to electrify vehicles and streamline operations. And today, the city is currently working towards a car-free center. 

I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of an industry that can truly make an impact to improve people’s lives and our planet. While we still have a long way to go in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, I am confident that if we keep pushing decision makers to integrate new technologies with existing infrastructure and focus their resources on transportation issues we’re currently facing, we will see vast improvements in the way our cities operate.

Modeshift Inc.
90 Canal Str, Boston, MA 02114
(617) 849-8955