Career Opportunity: Senior Program Officer, Reliability, Strategic Highway Research Program

July 14, 2010 at 11:58 am

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) has an opening for a Senior Program Officer with knowledge in highway operations and/or traffic management and experience related to the implementation of innovative technologies or practices within transportation-related agencies or enterprises. Experience in research management is also desired. SHRP 2 is a congressionally authorized research program that addresses critically needed research in highway transportation including highway safety, infrastructure renewal, and congestion relief. This Senior Program Officer will be responsible for managing multiple and/or highly complex research and innovation programs and projects. They will develop program and project strategies, budgets, and resource requirements; and ensure that programs and projects meet their stated objectives. They will also act as a liaison between and coordinate with internal and external groups, organizations, and agencies. A listing of minimum requirements, full job duties, and application information for the opening is available on the National Academies’ Office of Human Resources Web page.

Click here to learn more about the organization and the position.

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Job Alert: USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration is looking for a Community Planner

May 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm
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The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is looking for a Community Planner.  RITA coordinates the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) research programs and is charged with advancing rigorous analysis and the deployment of cross-cutting technologies to improve our Nation’s transportation system.  This position is located within the Transportation Policy, Planning, and Organizational Excellence Division at the Volpe Center in Cambridge, MA.

The Professional Capacity Building Program Manager will manage Professional Capacity Building (PCB) programs in three key areas which include Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Innovative Program Delivery, and Transportation Planning.   They will provide technical leadership for these programs as well as oversight and program management of projects and staffing needs in all phases of the capacity building program cycle.

The position will plan and conduct outreach events and other efforts, such as implementing websites, webinars, workshops, peer exchanges, databases, brochures, scans and other capacity building tools and techniques.   The incumbent will design curricula and plan innovative methods of delivery; monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of PCB activities; scope out new projects and design new program activities.

If you know someone interested in this Cambridge, MA based position that has the experience and proven results, please encourage them to apply under the attached vacancy announcement.  USDOT is looking for a diverse pool of qualified candidates.

The vacancy announcement can be found on

Please direct any questions to Susan Faldasz, Volpe Human Resources, at 617-494-2339.

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Job Alert: Transportation for America (T4America) wants an Outreach Director – Are you the one?

April 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm

The Transportation for America Campaign is seeking a smart and motivated individual to jump into a vibrant national campaign to be a high performing outreach director. The Outreach Director will direct the day-to-day expansion of a diverse coalition of prominent leaders from a multitude of constituencies working to reform federal transportation policy. Transportation For America

Experience managing coalition building or constituent services on a political or issue campaign is required. The Outreach Director reports to the Director and works with the 4 person outreach staff and over a dozen different national constituent caucus groups engaged in the campaign. The applicant must be a dynamic individual, prepared to speak to audiences, and recruit and organize both grasstops and grassroots leaders, work with NGOs, business leaders, and elected officials. The Outreach Director will also work closely with the Field, Legislative, and Communications teams.

Transportation for America (T4America) is a growing and diverse campaign of partner organizations, businesses and elected officials focused on creating a bold, new national transportation program that will take America into the 21st century by building a modernized infrastructure and healthy, equitable communities where people can live, work and play. Over 450 partners strong nationwide, the campaign is growing daily.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Manage national partner engagement in Washington DC and on Capitol Hill.
  • Develop tools and materials (in coordination with other campaign teams) to engage coalition partners in advocacy and media efforts in an expanding role over the course of the campaign.
  • Manage implementation of outreach activities with targeted constituent groups both in DC and in other target locations, including partner summits, Hill briefings, and media opportunities.
  • Coordinate with field team to engage local and state partners to shape outreach strategies appropriate for each state.
  • Build a powerful national outreach operation consisting of leaders from the business community, union leaders, elected officials, real estate developers, equity and health groups, environmental organizations, affordable housing leaders, rural and small town leaders, bike and pedestrian organizations, transportation industry representatives and others.
  • Train outreach staff on organizing, advocacy and messaging.
  • Build the capacity of national partners to engage target members of Congress about the campaign’s legislative agenda.
  • Report regularly to Director with written documentation of results.

This position requires a self-motivated and detail-oriented person with excellent organizational skills. The candidate must have good communication and interpersonal skills, and be able to work independently with minimal supervision. The candidate should have:

  • Interest in transportation issues, or related areas. Experience doing organizing with a political campaign a MUST. Work with bicyclists, pedestrian, transit, union, business, rural, aging, or political organizing an asset.
  • A minimum of six years of salaried management experience in organizing for a political or issue campaign.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and meet deadlines with willingness to be part of a team working towards a common goal.
  • Availability for travel.
  • Strong communication and writing skills and an ability to work with a diverse group of people and audiences.
  • Ability to build and maintain coalitions on-line, in person or by phone.
  • Proven ability to report on numbers, metrics and analysis of field capacity and activity success.

COMPENSATION: Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

TIME FRAME: Full-time.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, short writing sample and 3 references to Interviews will be held on a rolling basis so it’s best to get your application in early.
Equal Opportunity Employment: Transportation For America is an equal opportunity employer. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job Alert: IBM wants a Transportation Industry Solutions Sales Manager

March 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Click the IBM banner below to learn more about the opportunity:

Job Alert: Social Marketing/Transportation Internship – City of Cambridge, MA

February 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm

City of Cambridge – Community Development Department – Environmental and Transportation Planning Division

Contact: Rosalie Anders, Project Coordinator
Address: 344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617) 349-4604
Fax: (617) 349-4633

Agency Description

The Environmental and Transportation Planning Division has received a grant for a social marketing pilot project that will involve presenting transportation options information specific to individual residents’ travel patterns and needs. This approach, which is based on a model developed in Portland, OR, has been shown to be an effective way to change people’s travel mode choices. The program will test out how well the model can work in an East Coast city.

The division is nationally recognized for its pedestrian and bicycle programs and is responsible for improving the city’s quality of life by working to protect and improve the city’s natural resources and by planning improvements to the city’s transportation system. Environmental planning activities are mainly focused on implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan. Transportation planning activities emphasize bicycle and pedestrian improvements and other vehicle trip reduction measures.

Intern Responsibilities
The intern will assist with the social marketing pilot project through the following duties:
• Coordinate mailings to the target area
• Respond to inquiries about the pilot project
• Help organize and staff promotional events (including some on weekends)
• Distribute promotional materials (posters, doorhangers, etc) within the target area
• Collate transportation options information specific to each respondent’s needs
• Coordinate with vendor for pick-up and delivery of information packets
• Coordinate with partner agencies to maintain supply of information
• Prepare updates for periodic team meetings and partner meetings
• Assist with preparing summary report at the end of the pilot project
• Assist with grant reporting and application for grant renewal
• Other duties as assigned

Desired Skills and Interests
The intern should have a strong commitment to the project goals, be well organized, able to take responsibility for aspects of the project, and be able to work well with groups. The intern should be outgoing and comfortable speaking with people at events and activities. He or she should be comfortable with word processing, spreadsheets, and databases. Previous related experience is desired. Knowledge and interest in transportation options, specifically in the Cambridge area and familiarity with municipal government operations and procedures would be a plus.

Starting Date: March-April 2010
Ending Date: December 2010; this position is grant funded, and time period may be extended by Department if additional grant funding is approved.
Hours: Average of 22.5 hours per week for remainder of calendar year. Hours are flexible, and will include evenings and weekends.
Compensation: $14/hour

Obtain via

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Federal Job Opening – Communications and Outreach Specialist @ ITS Joint Program Office

November 24, 2009 at 10:36 am
SALARY RANGE: 102,721.00 – 133,543.00 USD /year OPEN PERIOD: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 to Friday, December 11, 2009
SERIES & GRADE: GS-0301-14/14 POSITION INFORMATION: Full Time Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL: 14 DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy(s) in one of the following locations:   Washington, DC
WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: To qualify, you must either:

  • Be a current or former federal employee with
  • OR

  • Be a veteran who qualifies under

Mission Focused Mission Focused: Attracting applicants who want a work environment that welcomes all motivations, from general service commitment to a specific passion.
Flexible Arrangements Flexible Arrangements: Attracting applicants who want a work environment that welcomes and accommodates traditional and flexible work arrangements.


Real solutions to meet genuine challenges. Innovative ideas to take on growing realities. That’s the Federal Highway Administration – Leaders in Paving the Way on the Road to Success.

This position is located in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO) of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), and serves as the Communications and Outreach Specialist within the ITS Knowledge Transfer and Policy (KTP) Team. As such, you will be responsible for and will be a national expert in leading and coordinating communications and outreach activities for the ITS JPO as a whole and advising and assisting individual program managers with related activities for their programs. Maintaining liaisons and networks with national transportation trade press and outreach communities and helping research program managers build and coordinate stakeholder relationships are important aspects of your responsibilities. You will coordinate all publications, web publishing, articles, press releases, conference events, and other external communications activities of the ITS JPO. You will work with the RITA’s Government, International and Public Affairs Office (GIP), supporting Administration-wide communications initiatives for the ITS JPO. Responsibilities support the ITS JPO in accomplishing core objectives of transferring research results into practice.

The Communications and Outreach Specialist will work with the other members of the KTP Team, including the Team Lead and the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Program Manager, to execute a coordinated program of knowledge transfer, policy, and communications for the Office, and has primary responsibility for communications and outreach related activities. Works through contracts, agreements, and liaisons with other offices and program managers to accomplish the program of work. Ability to work in a matrixed team environment and with external stakeholders and to manage and oversee contracts are critical components of the position.

The ideal candidate has experience supporting communications and outreach in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) industry such as for a Federal agency, State Department of Transportation with a major ITS program or for a national association with a related focus. Experience should include dealing with unique challenges, key stakeholders, and terminology used within the ITS industry.


  • You must be eligible for status consideration & meet specialized experience
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • Provide ALL required documents by closing date (see How to Apply Tab)
  • Position is telework eligible.
  • Job also advertised open to all U.S. Citizens see FHWA.JPO-2010-0002
  • Job announcement may be used to fill similar positions within 90 days.

Click here to learn more about the position.

Secretary. Ray LaHood takes exception to AP report on road stimulus job locations

May 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm

(Source: & AP)

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood took exception to an Associated Press articlethat reported that counties suffering the most from job losses stand to receive the least help from President Barack Obama’s plan to spend billions of stimulus dollars on roads and bridges, an Associated Press analysis has found.  Although the intent of the money is to put people back to work, AP’s review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide reveals that states are planning to spend the stimulus in communities where jobless rates are already lower.

Image Courtesy: AP - U.S. map shows amount of stimulus funds announced for transportation, by county

Altogether, the government is set to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than it will in communities with the highest.

The AP reviewed $18.9 billion in projects, the most complete picture available of where states plan to spend the first wave of highway money. The projects account for about half of the $38 billion set aside for states and local governments to spend on roads, bridges and infrastructure in the stimulus plan.

The very promise that Obama made, to spend money quickly and create jobs, is locking out many struggling communities needing those jobs.

The money goes to projects ready to start. But many struggling communities don’t have projects waiting on a shelf. They couldn’t afford the millions of dollars for preparation and plans that often is required.

Yesterday, the Secretary registered his disagreement with AP’s reporting via his blog. “I was disappointed to read today that the Associated Press does not believe that the Recovery Act is doing a good job creating work for Americans who are unemployed. Nothing could be further from the truth,” LaHood wrote in his blog on the DOT’s Web site.

“At the DOT, we have $48 billion to rebuild roads, bridges, highways, airport runways, ports and transit projects,” LaHood wrote. “And we have already signed off on transportation projects in all 50 states. Just 12 weeks after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, we have approved 2,800 road projects and another 300 airport projects.”

LaHood said that amounted to over $10 billion “out the door and countless Americans going back to work.”

By this summer, LaHood wrote, Americans won’t be able to drive down the street without seeing people working at good-paying jobs.

He attributed those jobs to the Recovery Act money.

“Unfortunately, the AP’s analysis is misguided,” LaHood said. “Its reporters looked at 5,500 transportation projects from state lists and concluded that the transportation money is going to counties with low unemployment. But until the states make a request and the experts at the DOT certify that a project meets the criteria for Recovery dollars, those lists are not the final word.

 “Basically, their (the Associated Press’) work amounts to nothing more than an academic exercise.”

For people who are out of work and at risk of losing their jobs, this construction work is a godsend, LaHood said he believed.

“Sadly, unemployed workers can be found all over our nation in these difficult economic times — even in counties that don’t have the highest unemployment rates,” the secretary wrote

“Governmental boundaries are often arbitrary, and workers know that,” LaHood noted. “People who work construction jobs often drive to wherever they can find work in a metropolitan area or region. Our idea is to drive down unemployment, period.”

LaHood said he told Brett Blackledge, the Associated Press writer who authored the story, about a recent trip he took to New Hampshire for a groundbreaking on highway 101.

“I shook hands with men and women who are going back to work thanks to the Recovery Act,” LaHood said. ”One man told me that he drives all over New England for construction jobs. Another said he is the father of four children and was unemployed until this project began. Now that he has this job, he will be commuting from Wolfeboro.

“Unfortunately, Brett didn’t think it was worth quoting me when I told him that the point of the program is to put people to work. And that’s something I’m proud of.”

Pew Research Center survey shows Americans’ undying love affair with cars; ranks cars above all else among list of necessities; but cutting back on driving

May 7, 2009 at 12:10 am

(Source: TOLLROADSnews)

Americans are driving less because of the recession but a survey by the Pew Research Center show they still rank a car as the number one necessity of modern life.  Driving less and eliminating “unnecessary” car trips has been one of the leading ways people say they save money, according to the poll (see bottom of this report.) Asked to say whether an item is a necessity or a luxury 88% say a car is a necessity compared to:

  • 66% for a clothes dryer; 
  • 54% home airconditioning
  • 52% TV
  • 50% home computer
  • 49% cell phone
  • less for other items

The Pew Center opinion pollers describe the automobile as the “ultimate survivor.”    “It’s been around for nearly a century, but in good times or bad, it retains its pride of place at the top of America’s list of everyday necessities.”  The survey was conducted April 2-8 2009 with a sample of 1003 persons. 

Click here to access/download the survey report.  Here is a related article published on Transportgooru reflecting a significant decline in the vehicle miles traveled across the US, somehow validates the data on the above image (“Is there anything else that you have done to save money during the recession”?)

Americans Driving Less- Temporary, or Permanent? – Esquire’s Nate Silver wonders if we are near the end of car culture

Americans still driving around too much? Not really, says USDOT: Decline In American Driving Still Evident

Job Impacts of Spending on Public Transportation: An Update – APTA study says $1B public transportation spending creates 30,000 jobs

May 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

(Source: American Public Transportation Association via More Riders)

Many transportation industry minds are wondering what is the tangible benefits from all this investment in transit? After spending nearly one billion dollars through their public transportation agencies, what do the taxpayers stand to reap?

 According to a new report by the American Public Transportation Association, 30,000 jobs (besides better public transportation).   That comes out to one new job for every $33,333 in spending. Not bad at all, as economic development projects go.   

The study report released on April 29th shows that investing in public transportation provides jobs to the American workers who may need them the most.  Job Impacts of Spending on Public Transportation: an Update shows that two-thirds (67 percent) of the jobs created by capital investment in the public transit industry replaces lost blue-collar jobs with “green jobs” in the public transit sector.  The Economic Development Research Group prepared the study for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). 

Overall, the study shows an investment of one billion dollars in public transportation supports and creates 30,000 jobs in a variety of sectors.  Based on these projections, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which provides $8.4 billion for public transportation projects, will create approximately 252,000 jobs for Americans and help transit systems meet the steadily growing demand for public transit services.  APTA released the study at the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing Recovery Act: 10-Week Progress Report for Transportation and Infrastructure Programs.

“The ultimate goal in any economic recovery plan should be to not create just any type of job, but rather to invest in and focus on areas particularly hit hard by the economic downturn,” said William W. Millar, APTA president.  “The investment in public transit not only produces green jobs but also provides for a more sustainable transportation system that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lessen the transportation sector’s impact on the environment.”

The study reveals that two out of three (67 percent) of these new construction and manufacturing “green jobs” resulting from public transit capital investment typically fall in the category of Blue-Collar Semi-Skilled (59 percent) and Blue-Collar Skilled (8 percent).  These jobs include positions in manufacturing, service, repair worker, drivers, crew, ticket agents and construction. 

In addition, 33 percent of the new jobs as a result of public transit investment fall in the White-Collar Skilled (32 percent) or White Collar Semi-Skilled (1 percent) category.  These jobs include clerical, managerial and technical engineers.

Some of the key findings from this study are here:

  • The rate for federal funding of public transportation reflects a specific mix of capital investment and preventive maintenance funding as allowable by law.  Under current federal law, an estimated 30,000 jobs are supported per billion dollars of spending.

  • The national rate can vary from of 24,000 to 41,000 jobs per billion dollars of spending, depending on the spending mix.  The lower figure holds for spending on capital investments (vehicles and facilities), while the higher figure holds for spending on transit system operations. In reality, it is not logical to spend money on vehicles and not use them, nor is it logical to operate vehicles forever without any purchases of new equipment.  For these reasons, the average rate is a more meaningful number.

  • Looking across the entire $47 billion spent on public transportation in the US each year, there is an average rate of approximately 36,000 jobs per billion dollars of public transportation spending (i.e., 36 jobs per million dollars of spending).  This figure is based on the national mix of public transportation spending as of 2007.  It includes a direct effect of spending in transportation related manufacturing, construction and operations as well as orders to suppliers or by re-spending of worker income on consumer purchases.

The rate of jobs supported per billion dollars of spending will continue to change every year, as prices change and technologies evolve. 

Click here to read the entire report in HTML & to download a copy of the report in PDF format.  For those who like to stay without leaving this window, here is a read-only copy of the PDF report.

US Transportation Secretary LaHood cites stimulus money success

April 29, 2009 at 7:07 pm

The federal government has already committed nearly $11 billion in stimulus money to help get road, bridge and environmental projects off the ground, administration officials told Congress on Wednesday.

“I believe we have already achieved enormous success,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the House Transportation Committee, giving a progress report on infrastructure money allotted under the $787 billion economic stimulus bill passed in February.

Lahood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, told the panel his department had made decisions on $9 billion dollars in projects around the country out of Transportation’s $48 billion share of the stimulus package.  However, he was less specific about the jobs directly resulting from stimulus spending.

It was originally estimated that the $64 billion in the stimulus for infrastructure — for transit, high speed rail, aviation, federal buildings and Army Corps of Engineers projects as well as roads and bridges — would create or sustain 1.8 million jobs.

But so far, reports on new jobs were mostly anecdotal. The Transportation Committee said its survey of state and local transportation officials revealed that work had begun on 263 highway and transit projects in 30 states, putting about 1,250 workers back on the job.

D.J. Stadtler, Jr., chief financial officer for Amtrak, said it expected to produce about 4,600 jobs in the first year of the stimulus with investment of $1.3 billion.

Unemployment in the construction industry soared to nearly 2 million in March, about 21.1 percent compared with 13 percent a year ago.

Rep. John Mica of Florida, top Republican on the committee, questioned the job-creation effectiveness of the program, saying some projects might take three to four years to get off the ground. But he said he would withhold judgment, saying, “We have to give folks a pass at this juncture.”

The Government Accountability Office, in a report prepared for the hearing, also raised questions about the ability of states and Washington to track how the money is being spent. But it gave some states high marks for moving the money quickly.

The Transportation Committee said that, as of April 17, states had received approval for 2,163 projects, about 25 percent of the $27.5 billion.


_The Federal Transit Administration has awarded five projects totaling $48.6 million and has another 109 grants totaling $1.47 billion pending review.

_The Federal Railroad Administration has approved 52 Amtrak capitol improvement projects worth $938 million.

_The administration is to announce plans by this summer on awarding projects for $8 billion in high speed rail development.

_The Federal Aviation Administration has announced more than $1 billion in tentative spending for runways, aprons and terminal improvements.

_The General Services Administration has a plan for investing $5.55 billion, including $4.3 billion for a green building program.

(Source: AP)