Transportation Planner - Goods Movement
San Diego Association of Governments - San Diego, CA

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Goods Movement Planning

Situated between major production, trade, and population centers, San Diego features a wide array of freight transportation and infrastructure components. The freight network includes interstate and state highways, Class I freight rail operations, two short line railroad operations, airport cargo systems, the Port of San Diego with two working marine terminals, and the Otay Mesa and Tecate commercial border crossings.

A main responsibility of the team includes involvement in the Goods Movement Strategy (GMS) component of SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan. The GMS considers the growing importance of freight and goods movement to the region’s economic prosperity, and seeks to balance regional and national freight priorities. Key areas of importance within this strategy include: balancing public, private, and community issues, the dominant use of trucks to transport goods, and bottle necks at gateways. In support of this strategy, one of the major areas of focus for the position is supporting the planning, development, and implementation of port related projects, highway projects, rail projects and the new State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry, which, once implemented, will curb traffic congestion and reduce border wait times.

Transportation Planner - Goods Movement Role

The Transportation Planner will develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders to coordinate regional transportation projects, and participate in the development, preparation, and implementation of a diverse range of comprehensive, multi-modal, long-range regional transportation planning projects and studies.

Job Responsibilities

This position is ideal for a planning professional with a strong interest in furthering his or her expertise in transportation and freight system planning. We anticipate significant career development will occur while working on the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities include:
  • Participate in the development, preparation, and implementation of a diverse range of transportation and border planning projects and programs designed to implement the goods movement elements of long-range regional transportation and land use plans.
  • Participate in multi-modal transportation planning, goods movement, and freight-system projects and studies at the corridor or subregional level, including binational projects with Baja California, Mexico.
  • Participate in and coordinate the air quality and climate change elements of goods movement planning and monitoring; assist with development of air quality conformity determinations for SANDAG’s transportation plans and programs.
  • Research, compile, and analyze data to support the development of corridor-level transportation improvement plans that align with the objectives of regional transportation and land use plans.
  • Participate in subregional project teams with other staff members and representatives from partner organizations to effectively coordinate the development and implementation of regional transportation projects.
  • Participate in public outreach and community involvement activities related to SANDAG’s transportation planning efforts.
  • Collect, compile, and analyze data for use in regional planning studies; identify trends and make appropriate recommendations; prepare tables and graphs for written reports and presentations; prepare special studies and reports as required.
  • Prepare and present written, oral, and visual reports and recommendations to member agencies, committees, community groups, private organizations, and members of the public.
  • Assist with the preparation of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) including scopes of work and project budgets; participate in the selection of consultants; monitor consultant performance and ensure projects are completed on schedule and within the prescribed budget.
  • Participate in the administration of various grants from the state and federal government.
  • Provide staff support for policy advisory committees or working groups such as the Freight Stakeholders Working Group and San Diego Region Conformity Working Group; assist with the preparation of agendas, reports, and meeting summaries; participate in the development of staff recommendations to the committees/working groups.
  • Attend meetings and gather information on programs that may impact the organization.
  • Review proposed state and federal legislation in support of the agency’s programs, objectives, and plans.
  • Provide technical assistance to senior managers
    and executives.

Experience and Qualifications

Numerous factors contribute to an individual’s ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for a candidate with an aptitude for analytical thinking and problem solving who is responsible, organized, and demonstrates initiative. Excellent oral and written communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively, and the use of sound judgment are important.

The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with major course work in urban, regional, or transportation planning, or a related field, and one to three years of progressive career development in transportation planning, preferably with an emphasis in goods movement. An advanced degree is desirable.

The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position:
  • Experience supporting the development and implementation of programs and projects related to regional transportation, goods movement, and/or international/inter-regional borders initiatives.
  • Experience conducting technical research and planning studies related to transportation, goods movement, and/or borders policies; ability to analyze research data and propose appropriate recommendations.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the principles, practices, and current trends related to comprehensive regional planning, particularly in the areas of transportation, environmental, borders, and goods movement planning.
  • Knowledge of federal, state and local laws, regulations, and requirements pertaining to regional transportation policies, programs, and plans; familiarity with current political trends related to regional transportation is desirable.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with air quality and climate change principles and legislation.
  • Experience supporting the development of RFPs, scopes of work, budgets, and schedules, consultant selection, and consultant and contract management.
  • Experience with public participation and public outreach efforts designed to inform, educate, engage, and involve the public in the regional transportation planning process.
  • Experience providing staff support for committees and/or working groups, including the preparation of agendas, reports, and meeting summaries.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work including agency and other government officials, community groups, and the public.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with researching funding opportunities and writing fundable grants.
  • Familiarity with transportation modeling theory and application is desirable.
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to communicate technical information effectively, both orally and in writing; ability to prepare clear and concise administrative, technical, and informational reports that present research results and recommendations, including the interpretation of data, trends, maps, charts, and tables.
  • Ability to prepare and deliver presentations and recommendations regarding various program elements to upper management, outside stakeholder agencies, and other audiences.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to manage several concurrent projects at various stages of completion; ability to establish and maintain priorities and work independently.
  • Demonstrated computer software proficiency using various programs from the Microsoft Office Suite and other PC-based applications.
  • Proficiency with the Spanish language, both oral and written, is desirable.

Salary and Benefits

SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.

This Transportation Planner position will be filled at the I, II, or Associate level depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. The annual salary ranges are: Planner I - $44,837 to $71,739 per year; Planner II - $49,432 to $79,092 per year; Associate Planner - $54,499 to $87,199 per year.

Our benefits include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program. And to support the need to rest and rejuvenate, employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays.

How to Apply

We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.

The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG web site. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or emailing . Completed applications and related materials can be submitted via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply web page for additional information.

Applications for the Transportation Planner position will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, October 4, 2013.

Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability should state their needs in writing when submitting an application.

Application Supplement

To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, applicants are asked to respond to the Supplemental Questions below. The information can be up to 500 words per question and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.

Supplemental Questions

1. How would you explain the role of goods movement planning in a comprehensive transportation strategy to someone who is unfamiliar with regional planning?

2. Identify some of the challenges that SANDAG and local jurisdictions may face in implementing a goods movement program and what you, as a SANDAG staff member, could do to help overcome these challenges?

Candidate Selection and Notification

Following the close date for applications, all candidates will receive written confirmation that their application was received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the close date. The best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the final outcome of their application.

The SANDAG web site contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment process.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is comprised of 18 city and county governments which serve as a forum for regional...