Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: How difficult is the math in transportation planning?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    17

    How difficult is the math in transportation planning?

    Hi everyone. I am a former land-use planner in the public sector, and am considering a move to be a transportation planner but the problem is that my math is pretty bad . Would the math in transportation planning be difficult or is it pretty basic stats like I'm hoping?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    I use basic algebra and some sophisticated stats quite a bit. You need to be able to deal with different sized sample sizes as well as with an understanding of how things cost as well as economics.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    608
    Quote Originally posted by Urbanator View post
    Would the math in transportation planning be difficult or is it pretty basic stats like I'm hoping?
    It depends on the type of tran. planning....the only time the math gets tricky is if you get into developing transportation demand models. Otherwise, the math is within reach of any liberal arts major. However, this brings up a different angle to your question....if math is not your strong point, why would you gravitate toward a sub-field that means working with math everyday? You may be asking for a job you will never enjoy or be comfortable in.

    You can do bike and ped stuff....they ignore the math. It is all about choice of mode, not level of service.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    409
    Trip generation calculations often require the solving ofregression equations. Not at all difficult if you have the correct calculator

  5. #5
    maudit anglais
    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Odd-a-wah
    Posts
    6,586
    I manage to get by with my less than stellar math skills. As others point out, it really depends on what aspect of transportation planning you are looking to get in to.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    In the Peach State
    Posts
    921
    Like everything in planning...it depends.

    If you are:

    Involved in policy
    High up the ladder
    Manageing Tranportation Improvement Programs

    you will use very little math.
    Satellite City Enabler

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    17
    Thank you all for your replies . With what I have read, I'm thinking transportation planning is not what I want to do and I think I'll wait a little longer so I can get another public sector land use planner position.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    14
    Transportation and land use are so connected that you'd probably like being in land use if you have an interest in transportation, but you don't like the math.

    The advice here is spot-on. I do travel demand model work, and the math can get nuts sometimes. LOS and trip generation aren't bad, though, but in any transportation-related field (even bike and ped) you need a good command over statistics.

    Good luck. I hope by now (2 months after your post) that you've found a position that you like.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    Quote Originally posted by Plan-it View post
    Like everything in planning...it depends.

    If you are:

    Involved in policy
    High up the ladder
    Manageing Tranportation Improvement Programs

    you will use very little math.
    Wow if thats what you think, your DOT offices are a lot more lenient than mine. We are constantly recalculating stuff based upon changing estimates, AQ conformity, reviewing impact on EJ or environmental issues..... Not hard calculations, but definitely cumbersome and most of the time we come up with a near identical product without moving the needle much at all.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 1
    Last post: 15 Oct 2013, 8:57 AM
  2. Replies: 11
    Last post: 30 Jul 2013, 2:37 PM
  3. How good do I have to be in math?
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 03 Jan 2010, 4:19 PM
  4. Math - Hints and Help
    Student Commons
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 21 Apr 2006, 7:33 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last post: 17 Feb 2003, 1:44 PM