Graduate careers in transport: what would I do?
Transport planners devise strategies to improve transport and mobility by designing new systems and upgrading existing networks. Transport planners also examine the impact of new developments on transport systems. A key aim is to increase accessibility, ensuring that essential facilities such as hospitals and shops can be reached by public transport.
Transport planners may undertake a range of duties, or they may choose to specialise in one part of the job. The process might include:
- public consultation and market research
- environmental assessment and mapping
- civil and structural engineering
- project management
Some employers, such as construction companies and local authorities, will have a transport planning department; other employers may be consultancies specialising in transportation. It’s possible to contract out certain aspects of the job – market research, for example, is likely to be outsourced to a specialist.
Transport managers run transport systems – they oversee day-to-day operations and are often involved from the construction stage. Transport managers are involved in various aspects of rail, road, air and sea transport – which can be passenger or goods related. Areas of work include:
- Operations management: run passenger and/or freight transport systems so they are safe, efficient and punctual.
- Facilities management: look after facilities such as bus and train stations, freight depots, seaports and airports.
- Infrastructure: design new networks, update old ones and work on related buildings. Usually a civil engineering specialty.
- Fleet management: ensure all trains, buses, trucks, ships or aircraft are in good working order.
- Design: oversee the design and manufacture of new vehicles.
- Traffic management: respond to accidents and encourage the smooth flow of traffic.
- Logistics: choose the best means of transportation for goods.