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Who works at a transit agency?

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
409
Points
11
Any (transportation) planners here work in a public transit agency, or as a consultant primarily working on transit projects? I'd love to chat about what you do and tips for breaking into that world, (or for consultants, building a transit portfolio for the firm).
 

Reefe

Cyburbian
Messages
68
Points
4
Here! Send me a message, let me know what you're looking for specifically? I actually have a position open too, which I will post on the Jobs Board in the near future.
 

Reefe

Cyburbian
Messages
68
Points
4
Glutton, your message disappeared from my mailbox. But to answer some of your questions, in a roundabout way, I've been an environmental planner for a consulting company, a transportation planner for a mid-sized city, but working for a transit agency as a capital planner is the most fun I've ever had.

It helps to have the transportation background, but transit feels much more meaningful and the variety of projects is way more interesting. If you have a wide interest in several topics and like to see how the pieces come together, able to see the sum of the parts, this is a great area to be in.

I happen to work in a metro area that has strong support for public transit and we are one of the bigger players. So sure, there's regional politics, but we are in a good position and are regarded as a leader in the industry with a few "world's first" under our belt even. It's good to work for an organization that cares at the core about making sure we help people get to work and school etc, especially disadvantaged communities, but at the same time daring enough to take risks and be willing to forge the way with cutting edge innovations.

We have a planning department that has two areas of expertise - service planning and long range planning. I like hanging out with them because they speak planner and do a lot of great work with the many cities we serve and geek out with maps and such. I'm in capital planning, which works on grant management and figuring out how and what to prioritize in order to get projects funded. I get lots of brain exercise as there's so much going on, there's always something I'll be asked to find funding for that I never thought of - like zero emission forklifts (those exist??) and high voltage training (is it as scary as it sounds??). So much to learn!

In consulting, the mission was "keep our clients happy, find projects to charge your time to". In city planning, I felt it was rather thankless, the planners get blamed for everything that goes wrong, and forgotten when things go right. In public transit, I truly feel valued and appreciated as part of a team that works to provide transportation for the community.

So that's it, in a rambling nutshell. Hope it was useful info in some shape or form.
 
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glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
409
Points
11
Reefe: Thank you so much for your insight! This is awesome. I'm so happy to hear you love working for a transit agency. Like you, I've worked for a City (city planning department) and in consulting, and both of those experiences have personally been kind of blah. Not sure if this is more a result of the region I live in or the type of organization, but I'm really glad to hear that transit has been more fulfilling for you! I hope to make it there someday.
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
409
Points
11
Glutton, your message disappeared from my mailbox.

I happen to work in a metro area that has strong support for public transit and we are one of the bigger players.

So that's it, in a rambling nutshell. Hope it was useful info in some shape or form.
Will message you directly to talk in more detail - I'm currently in the interview process with a large transit agency and I'd love your insight! Hopefully my message is able to go through this time :)
 
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