(Senior) Program Associate, Agency Reform (TC)


TransitCenter is a foundation that works to improve public transit in ways that make U.S. cities more just, environmentally sustainable, and economically vibrant. We believe that fresh thinking can change the transportation landscape and improve the overall livability of cities. We commission and conduct research, work directly with cities and agencies, convene events, and produce publications that inform and improve public transit and urban transportation.

About the Position

TransitCenter seeks a Program Associate or Senior Program Associate to join the staff in its New York City office. The Associate will work on a range of tasks, all focused on improving the performance of transit systems and transit agencies in major cities across the U.S. This position sits at the intersection of data analysis, policy research, and the operational performance of public transit. Work will include: working with transit agency staff and leadership on a range of issues that includes transit operations, service planning, and governance; conducting applied research to highlight best practices and reforms in the field, as well as new technological developments (to name a few); analyzing transit data sets to initiate reforms and draw connections to other fields; and contributing to the conversation about reform through writing blog posts, speaking engagements and engaging with the field via conferences and industry events. 

The ideal candidate has a demonstrated ability to work creatively with a diverse team. The position will also involve engaging effectively with a range of stakeholders—city and agency leadership and staff, advocacy groups, the media, and others—to help improve transit in the US. S/he will have a chance to hone his/her technical knowledge and writing skills as well as management skills while gaining exposure to the fields of sustainable transport, city planning, and municipal governance.

This position is full-time, based in New York City, with presence in office required. Some domestic U.S. travel may be involved, likely not to exceed one-fourth of the Associate’s working time. Level of position (Program Associate or Senior Program Associate) to be determined based on experience and qualifications.

Primary responsibilities, carried out in collaboration with colleagues:

  • Work directly with transit agency and department of transportation staff to advise on recommended practices, speed adoption of reform, and assist in implementation and evaluation.
  • Stay abreast of the latest trends and issues affecting public transportation in the U.S.
  • Analyze transportation datasets (NTD, Census, etc.) in order to instigate changes in planning or practice at transit agencies. Format and provide access to original research datasets in ways that will be compelling to policymakers, agency managers and lay readers.
  • Create new ways of integrating transit-specific data with data from other fields, such as housing affordability, indicators of poverty, or air pollution, in order to draw connections between transit and socio-economic or environmental impact.
  • Work with allies in government and civic organizations to help them use research and data to drive improved operational performance of transit agencies, as well as progressive transportation policies.
  • Preparation of presentations, speeches and articles, on behalf of him/herself, other TransitCenter staff members, or the organization.
  • Work with and oversee program consultants.
  • TransitCenter is a small organization, so the Senior Associate will also be expected to play a hands-on role in operations such as staffing events and shouldering a portion of the organization’s administrative duties.

Key qualifications:

  • 3-5 years of professional experience with urban transportation policy, planning and/or operations, from having worked for a transit provider, consulting firm, non-profit or related entity. Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Experience working with cities and agencies to advance transit reforms.
  • Desire to address issues of social justice through reforming transit.
  • Experience conceptualizing, advancing and conducting research projects, both individually and as part of a team.
  • Fluency with data sets and information sources pertinent to urban transportation, and dexterity in compiling, analyzing, depicting and communicating about them.
  • Experience using Excel and GIS in project work.
  • Project coordination experience, along with an ability to work independently or with others and prioritize accordingly.
  • Must be currently authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.
  • English language fluency (reading, speaking, and writing) required.

Key Attributes:

  • Strong commitment to advancing TransitCenter’s mission.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills. You should enjoy working with numbers!
  • Strong communication skills, including preparing effective graphics and making powerful presentations.
  • Ability to communicate complex transit issues through concise, compelling messages.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and projects with flexibility, work well under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Must be flexible, congenial, curious, a team player, and able to work in an organizational environment where change is constant.

Salary range: Program Associate, $60,000 - $80,000; Senior Program Associate, $80,000 - $100,000. The benefits package will be described as part of the interview process. Reasonable relocation expenses will be reimbursed if the successful candidate has to move to the NYC region from elsewhere.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants can apply by sending the following information to [email protected]:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter describing your past experience and how it relates to the position available
  • Relevant writing sample (memo, report, for example)

People of color, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

TransitCenter is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, political orientation or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Employment is on an “at-will” basis, meaning both the employer and the employee can terminate the relationship at any time.  TransitCenter, a private philanthropic foundation, is incorporated in the State of New York, with its sole office located in the City of New York, and is bound by the employment statutes and regulations of those jurisdictions.

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