Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Should I be a transportation planner?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    16

    Should I be a transportation planner?

    I've been thinking really hard about becoming a public transit planner in the future. I think it's right for me, but I wanted to get an opinion from someone who has possibly been in that business.

    I live in Toronto and Iím attending Centennial College for Journalism. Iíve completed my 2nd year of the program and have 1 more year left. My end goal is to get a Masters degree in urban planning, so Iíll need to attend university at the undergraduate level before I can do that.

    To say the least, I'm a transit geek. I love public transit. I always think about how we can improve our public transit system (e.g. routing a bus route, adding rapid transit routes). Also, I:

    -Love to take different bus routes around the city
    -Always wonder why they increase or decrease bus service on a particular street, why they build a subway in a certain place
    -I remember when I was about 5, my parents bought me a plastic floor mat with a picture of a road on it. I used to love lining up the cars at the traffic light and moving them simontanously.
    -I love driving around the city or metropolitan area. If my family wants someone to drive, I'm always the one willing to drive
    -I go to cities and compare our roads and public transit system to my city, and I note the subtle differences (e.g. interlining, the headways)
    -I think about why they run a bus from a particular station over another (e.g. there's a bottleneck in the middle of the route, so it starts from another station)

    Now I may not know the in's and out's of a transportation planner, but it seems like a career I would be passionate about. So would I be suitable for a transportation planner job?

  2. #2
    maudit anglais
    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Odd-a-wah
    Posts
    6,586
    It's pretty tough to tell you what you ought to be...if you have a strong interest in pursuing a career in public transit then go for it. You will definitely need at least an undergraduate planning (or engineering degree) to get into transit planning. Master's degree is not necessary (I don't have one, though I'd like to get one at some point).

    Personally, if I were in the middle of wrapping up three years in college I wouldn't want to tack on four more years of undergrad. Spend some time figuring out how you might put your journalism education to use in the transit field (e.g. working for a transit agency in communications).

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Island-State Republic of Singapore
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally posted by deity307 View post
    I've been thinking really hard about becoming a public transit planner in the future. I think it's right for me, but I wanted to get an opinion from someone who has possibly been in that business.

    I live in Toronto and Iím attending Centennial College for Journalism. Iíve completed my 2nd year of the program and have 1 more year left. My end goal is to get a Masters degree in urban planning, so Iíll need to attend university at the undergraduate level before I can do that.

    To say the least, I'm a transit geek. I love public transit. I always think about how we can improve our public transit system (e.g. routing a bus route, adding rapid transit routes). Also, I:

    -Love to take different bus routes around the city
    -Always wonder why they increase or decrease bus service on a particular street, why they build a subway in a certain place
    -I remember when I was about 5, my parents bought me a plastic floor mat with a picture of a road on it. I used to love lining up the cars at the traffic light and moving them simontanously.
    -I love driving around the city or metropolitan area. If my family wants someone to drive, I'm always the one willing to drive
    -I go to cities and compare our roads and public transit system to my city, and I note the subtle differences (e.g. interlining, the headways)
    -I think about why they run a bus from a particular station over another (e.g. there's a bottleneck in the middle of the route, so it starts from another station)

    Now I may not know the in's and out's of a transportation planner, but it seems like a career I would be passionate about. So would I be suitable for a transportation planner job?
    Hey!!! I am just like you. I built my own city with cars when young ...and ended up doing urban planning. And I am now taking up my masters in transport systems....and absolutely loving it!

    i'd say it really depends on what you want to do as a transport planner...do you want to do the larger scale plans, or do you want to be involved in operations and network planning or do you want to be involved in the design of railway stations or do you want to model how the public transport network should appear like, etc. All of these require different skillsets, which in turn would require different backgrounds!

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    16
    It's pretty tough to tell you what you ought to be...if you have a strong interest in pursuing a career in public transit then go for it. You will definitely need at least an undergraduate planning (or engineering degree) to get into transit planning. Master's degree is not necessary (I don't have one, though I'd like to get one at some point).
    You probably don't, but I heard urban planning in general, you would only get entry level jobs with a bachelor's degree. To get the higher positions, you would need a Master's degree.

    Personally, if I were in the middle of wrapping up three years in college I wouldn't want to tack on four more years of undergrad. Spend some time figuring out how you might put your journalism education to use in the transit field (e.g. working for a transit agency in communications).
    Thankfully, I don't have to do four more years of undergrad. I found a few schools in my area and in Canada (my home country) that would allow me to transfer my credits and have to only do two more years of undergrad! Then I would move on to get my Master's in planning.

    And I checked with a bunch of grad schools and most would accept a bachelor's degree from any field. Only the top tier schools want a degree from a field related to urban planning.

    And I currently work for a public transit company in the summer (although only as a cleaner), so I got my foot in the door so to say. I think it's all working well for me!

    Hey!!! I am just like you. I built my own city with cars when young ...and ended up doing urban planning. And I am now taking up my masters in transport systems....and absolutely loving it!
    That's awesome to hear!

    i'd say it really depends on what you want to do as a transport planner...do you want to do the larger scale plans, or do you want to be involved in operations and network planning or do you want to be involved in the design of railway stations or do you want to model how the public transport network should appear like, etc. All of these require different skillsets, which in turn would require different backgrounds!
    Hmm, well I'm not so much into designing buildings or station revitalizations. Operations is something I'm interested in.

    Do these different choices as a transportation planner come up when you're doing your program, or it's something you know in advance, before taking your program?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Island-State Republic of Singapore
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally posted by deity307 View post

    Hmm, well I'm not so much into designing buildings or station revitalizations. Operations is something I'm interested in.

    Do these different choices as a transportation planner come up when you're doing your program, or it's something you know in advance, before taking your program?
    I wouldn't say that I know alot about the opportunities in the transport sector before I started my programme - it was something I sort of got to experience during work while dealing with the transport planners. After I have started on the programme, the opportunities are beginning to open up a bit more, but at this stage I'm not quite sure what exactly I would like to do. But similarly operations is on the cards, be it for airport or public transport.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    16
    I wouldn't say that I know alot about the opportunities in the transport sector before I started my programme - it was something I sort of got to experience during work while dealing with the transport planners. After I have started on the programme, the opportunities are beginning to open up a bit more, but at this stage I'm not quite sure what exactly I would like to do. But similarly operations is on the cards, be it for airport or public transport.
    Ah, I see. I guess you learn about the different opportunities when you start your program. My heart is in public transportation, so it's likely I would choose that opportunity.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 1
    Last post: 17 Jan 2010, 10:29 PM
  2. What is a transportation planner?
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 20
    Last post: 27 Jul 2006, 8:32 AM
  3. How can I become a transportation planner
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 29 Oct 2005, 12:28 AM
  4. Transportation Planner
    Cyburbia Issues and Help
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 26 Feb 2004, 12:54 PM
  5. Replies: 25
    Last post: 29 Sep 2003, 3:51 PM