Transportation Analyst

Transportation analysts are responsible for improving transportation safety and efficiency while reducing costs and minimising environmental impact.


In general, analysts collect and analyse transportation statistics and information relating to, for example, traffic flow, crash statistics, highway infrastructure and air quality. They use mathematical modelling to interpret the information and help to make decisions about whether future projects meet the transportation objectives, including their effects on social, economic and ecological factors. They then have to prepare reports of their findings.


Transportation analysts also evaluate current projects, such as repaving highways, to determine their impact on social, environmental and economic factors. Analysts might devise more efficient systems and methods of transportation and use GPS and traffic modelling programs to predict future transportation needs. They commonly work in project management positions.


Safety planning may be another responsibility of a transportation analyst. His or her duties may include developing and marking evacuation routes, or ensuring that infrastructure remains capable of handling loads safely. Some transportation analysts focus on developing strategies for reducing traffic jams. This may include reprogramming traffic lights so that backups during daily commutes do not occur and traffic moves in a smoother flow.


Some transportation analysts work in supply chain management and are often expected to be familiar with the shipping regulations and customs that impact the transportation of goods. They may also work with IT professionals, engineers, or shipping companies to oversee the different transport systems.


Sometimes transportation analyst duties may involve working with public transport systems. If this is the case, the task of the analyst generally involves designing safe, dependable, and appealing modes of transport for commuters. Such systems often combine different models, as a commuter may drive to a train station, then travel by train from one city to another, and finally use a bus or taxi to complete the journey. The analyst is usually expected to develop strategies that keep the system flowing. Assessing the number of commuters and matching that with the appropriate scheduling of train arrivals and departures, for example, would be a typical task for a transportation analyst in a major metropolitan area.


Transportation analysts at a private company might interact with customers as well as identify ways to save money in the company’s supply and transportation network.


Analysts working for a municipality or province usually develop analysis methods and interpret transportation statistics for a given region. Analysis might focus on a particular aspect of transportation such as rail transport or the effectiveness of current transportation security methods.


Transportation analysts need superior organisation, communication and computer skills, as well as an attention to detail.


A new public transport system is being planned which will become operational in the next couple of years (RRT). The different professionals involved include transport planning consultants, lawyers, engineers and other experts.


Employment

• Department of Transport
• municipalities
• transport companies
• private companies
• consulting firms


Programmes

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, University of Johannesburg, University of Stellenbosch, University of the Western Cape


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