for the right transit planner, a dream job in new zealand!

DSCN0418Are you a professional transit planner with 3+ years experience and a commitment to breaking through old paradigms and raising the standards of the profession?  If so, my New Zealand colleagues at MRCagney may be looking for you.  They are open to hiring from worldwide, so if you've ever dreamed of living in New Zealand, this may be your chance.   Here's the listing.

I have a keen interest in this hire, because I'll probably be working with this person!

MRCagney is small and focused sustainable transport firm with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, and Singapore.  Built around a group of former transit agency executives, it now does a range of work but is closely associated with BRT, bus network design, and public transit management, with many projects across Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

I worked for them fulltime for five years when I was based in Sydney (2006-2011), and I'm still on their payroll part time, helping out with the occasional network design study.  In 2012, for example, I worked with them on a redesign of Auckland's bus network, which is being rolled out over the next few years, and we did a similar project in Darwin earlier this year.   MRCagney is really the Australia-NZ firm for cutting-edge transit planning, which is why I stay involved with their work as much as I can.   I like to think I've had some influence on MRCagney's transit planning values, so if you like what I've written on public transit, and have your own ideas about how to put these ideas into practice, that's probably an advantage!

Please pass this on to other professionals who might be ready for an adventure Down Under.  It's an exciting time to be a transit planner in that part of the world.  




a job for a senior transit info designer

CHK America has done some of the better transit network maps I've seen in North America lately, like this one for Washington DC.  They also do a range of other graphical information tools.  If you're experienced in this field, now's your chance to join them in sunny Santa Barbara:

CHK America is adding to its staff. We are looking for an experienced senior information designer who has advanced skills in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Understanding of public transportation systems and service is required. Person will be working in a fast moving production environment and must be able to complete tasks within the established budget. Competitive salary and benefits package. Office is located in Santa Barbara, CA. This position is fulltime. Fax or email resume to 805-682-8004 or [email protected]


job: part time entry level transit analyst at our firm

Our firm is growing in Portland and we'll soon be adding another entry level person with good geographic and spatial analysis skills, and strong GIS experience.

This job starts as a subcontractor as we find out if we're a good fit for each other, but then could quickly turn into employment.  For that reason, it's probably for someone who's already in Portland, though I certainly won't tell you not to move here.  

Download the details here:   Download JWA Jr. Associate GIS Analyst

Please spread the word!

please forward! a quick job for a small web developer


My firm Jarrett Walker + Associates is looking for quick assistance in designing a web-based tool, designed to sit on a transit agency or project website, that will help citizens think through some transit planning choices and suggest priorities.  It requires the user to select different types of network for different parts of a city, and cover the whole city within a fixed budget of service.  

We need the product in a month.  Our absolute maximum budget $9000 but we will be very interested in proposals that come in substantially lower.  

This job is likely to be suited to a small, low-overhead web programmer who can do it quickly, efficiently, and yet creatively.  It could lead to a future relationship assisting us with more tools of this type, as the need arises often in our planning projects.

Everything is explained in our simple Request for Proposals, along with two attachments referenced in it.  (All materials are copyright Jarrett Walker+Associates and should not be reproduced for other purposes.)  All you need to do is reply with a quick letter.  

Download Service Allocation Exercise RFP

Download Service Allocation Game

Download Population and Employment Data

If you have a question:

  • Look at the comments below.
  • If your question hasn't been answered, add a comment beginning with the words "Question __:" where the space is the number of your question (the last number you see, plus 1).  I will then reference these numbers in my responses, which will also appear as comments.  (Alas, TypePad does not support threaded comments.)
  • Come back in a day or so to check for your answer.

Note:  To keep the flow of critical information clear on this procurement, I am reading but then unpublishing comments that are extraneous to the question-and-answer process.  


interested in working with me?


My consulting practice,
Jarrett Walker + Associates
, has won several consulting gigs for 2013, and is ready to grow just a tiny bit.

I'd like to hear from people who are either:

  • Interested in full-time employment based in Portland, or
  • Interested in assisting me on a subcontract basis.  These do not have to be based in Portland but there is some advantage to being in Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area or Los Angeles.  Scroll down for more on that.

In all cases, compensation is based on experience and salary history, or based on a subcontractor's stated billing rate.  

1.  Full-Time Employment

Full-time employment will likely look like one of these:

  • Associate Planner.  This person, based in Portland, would take on a range of analysis and planning roles while also assisting with administrative and logistical support.  Over time it could grow into full-time planning but in the early stages we will not have much clerical or administrative staff, so you must be ready to pitch in with whatever needs to be done.  This role could be anywhere from entry-level (Masters preferred) to up to 3 years professional, and/or academic experience.  Enthusiastic BAs who can show some relevant experience and skills will also be considered.  Essential skills include English fluency, strong personal organization, resourcefulness, quantitative analysis skills in Excel, and an ability to convey ideas clearly in writing.  Highly desirable skills include GIS and spatial analysis generally, ability to write for both general and technical audiences, and demonstrated skills with graphics including both mapping and explanatory graphics.
  • Senior Associate.  This person, based in Portland, has all the skills listed above plus a either (1) a Masters in a relevant field (planning, design, or engineering) and over 3 years professional experience in transportation planning and/or policy or (2) five years of such experience.  This person is very well-organized and an excellent manager, able to monitor scope, budget, and deadlines and manage more junior staff and subconsultants.  You already have a range of skills that make you marketable as a transit consultant, and are capable of winning some projects based on those skills combined with me in a project director or oversight role.

2.  Subcontracting

Subcontracting would take the form of part-time but committed roles assisting me with various tasks.  ("Committed" means that our agreement imposes deadlines, requires a certain minimum degree of availability, prohibits you from disappearing in the middle of a task, and may include a non-compete clause, but otherwise leaves much room for flexibility in how work is done.)  Subconractors are capable of self-direction and can accurate commit to the time and materials required for various tasks.  I am especially interested in subcontractors who can help with:

  • Graphics of a high presentation quality designed to engage and enlighten a general audience, such as you would expect of an artchitecture or design firm.  These would include both informative maps and compelling visual explanations.  This person should be comfortable with GIS (as a common data source) as well as more artistic graphics programs, and should have a portfolio of clear, engaging and exciting graphical explanations of ideas and/or choices.
  • Quantitative analysis of transit issues using Excel (including graphs), GIS, and other relevant software you may propose.
  • General transit planning, which requires both quantative and qualitative skills plus good writing skills and an understanding of transit issues demonstrated in past work.  It is also very, very helpful if you have experience interacting with general decision-makers and the public, and also with professionals in adjacent fields such as transportation policy, urban design, and traffic engineering.

How to Express Interest

1.  Take the time to understand my work a little, and think about how your own values and experience relate to that.  At the very least, read the introduction to my book and explore my professional website.  Obviously generic or find-and-change applications will be ignored.

2.  Send me an email, using the link under my photo.  In the subject line, say "Employment" or "Subcontracting" and the position or area(s)  listed above that you feel you are qualified for.

3.  Don't write a lot in the email, because that material is a pain to organize and file.  Put your message to me in the cover letter.  

4.  Provide cover letter, resume, and work samples (including professional, academic or volunteer work) that you feel are most relevant.  If the work samples are not exclusively your work, explain what part of it is yours.

5.  In your cover letter, be sure to state the salary range or billing rate that you believe is appropriate.  If you're not sure, cite your most recent salary or hourly rate for similar work.  

6.  In your cover letter, state any limitations about your ability to travel for work.  If you are not in Portland, clarify if you are interested in moving there, now or in the future.  Again, a Portland location is not essential for subcontractors, but it is still a consideration.

I will start reviewing responses around February 1.  If you plan to respond, please do so by then!

Please forward a link to this post to anyone who might be interested!  Thanks!

seeking a portland-based assistant!

My very little firm, Jarrett Walker & Associates, is ready to add some support.  It will be six months before I decide whether to cross the hurdle into formally becoming an employer, but meanwhile, I have a range of support tasks that can be a great learning experience for someone trying to get into the field. 

So I'm looking for someone (maybe more than one) who's comfortable with being a subcontractor without benefits for up to six months, until we get to that decision point.  I envision you working around 25-30 hours/week, with frequent visits to my Portland home office but no obligation to work onsite all the time.  (If you are available only part-time, but at least 20 hours a week, that' s also possible.)  I envision paying you something in the range of $15-40/hour, depending on your experience and skills.

You do not necessarily have a graduate degree or transit planning experience, though I'll pay you more if you do.  You probably do have a BA.  You absolutely need to have:

  • Passionate enthusiasm about public transit and its role in building a better civilization.
  • Strong organization skills — i.e. organization of documents, information, calendar etc.
  • English fluency and readable writing in English.
  • Ability to use basic software, including all parts of Microsoft Office on Macs.
  • A willingness to pitch in on whatever needs to be done at the moment.
  • Ability to work with visualizations, such as graphs and maps, and make connections between this information and other data forms.
  • Evidence of ability to learn new material and concepts rapidly.

In addition, it's highly advantageous if you have:

  • Some transit planning or policy experience.  (Intelligent volunteer advocacy counts.)
  • IT troubleshooting skills and confidence.  (Macs with Microsoft Office, plus online tools including Google Apps, TypePad, and key social media.  This is especially valuable because I'm very bad at this myself.)
  • Strong ability to write, and to customize writing style to different audiences.
  • Ability to design compelling visuals, including document formats, PowerPoint presentations, and graphs and diagrams that tell a story clearly.
  • Advanced data analysis skills, which could include advanced uses of Excel, database programs, and GIS.

Again, I do not recommend that you move to Portland just for this opportunity, though I won't discriminate against out-of-town applicants if you're sure you want to take that risk.  In six months, if I'm ready to build a larger staff, I will be more enthusastically seeking staff interested in coming to Portland to work with us.

If interested, please hit the email button under my photo, over on the far right of this page –>

Email me your questions about this opportunity, and if you are interested, send me:

  • A resume
  • At least three references I can call who have some experience with you in the skill areas I've described above.
  • Optionally: the hourly rate, without benefits, that you think best matches your skills, supported by a history of past compensation if relevant.  If you have a bottom line minimum hourly rate, state it.  If not, we'll figure this out if we're a match.
  • Preferably: A sample of some past project you've done that displays both your ability to write and your ability to interpret data, ideally including visualisations (graphs, maps, diagrams) that you've designed.

If this sounds vague it's because I'm intentionally casting a wide net here.  It is the nature of working in a very small firm that you have to do many kinds of tasks — both professional and clerical — so there are several possible backgrounds that could be good qualification.  I may also add more than one person to get the complete skillset I need.

The application deadline is July 20, but if you've missed that go ahead and send me something.  I am likely to make decisions based on what I have on July 20, but I may not meet all of my needs then.

Please spread the word, especially in Portland!

job: manager of service planning for vancouver’s translink

DSCN1181TransLink in Vancouver has a great opportunity for a manager of service planning (10+ years planning experience, including some in management). They do more junior hiring as well, so keep an eye on their careers site.  This one, though, is especially critical for the agency, so I wanted to feature it.

I'm under a long-term contract with TransLink doing work on their Regional Transit Strategy and similar planning tasks, so I hope to be working a bit with this person.

To apply see the "Manager of Transit Planning" item here.  Full job description is attached.  Move fast; it closes on Oct 14.

TransLink, and Vancouver in general, is a great place to work on transit and sustainable urbanism.  Even more remarkable, their colleagues in city governments mostly share that vision, though the usual tensions arise as you'd expect anywhere.  The agency's position as a single regionwide authority makes it relatively easy to think across boundaries.  Few metro areas in North America have such a strong pro-transit consensus as metro Vancouver. 

Their regional long-term plan, Transport 2040, is also the only one I've seen whose fundamental goals refer to the extent of a Frequent Transit Network.  It's Goal #3.  To me this is especially strong evidence that despite all the thrills of their extensive driverless rapid transit, the agency's thinking is focused on mobility outcomes, and their urban livability consequences, but not on technology for its own sake.

If you'd like to work in a region where suburban cities compete over who can build the most vibrant high-density centers around transit stations, but where you can still, as they say, ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon, Vancouver's the spot. 

Fine print:  If my experience in 05-06 is any indication, the days when you can ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon will be heavily overcast and drizzling, but you will still be enjoying the warmest winter weather in all of Canada.  Think of it as the Canadian Riviera!