Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Reprint: One way to move the DMTVA forward, hire a "Director of Transportation Innovation"

Came across this blog entry from August 2010. It was originally titled "Here's the job description we don't have at MWCOG or WMATA."

Maybe this is the kind of person/unit we need to create at the metropolitan scale, to begin to bring about the DMV Transport Association, modeled after the German Verkehrsverbund ("The answer is: Create a single multi-state/regional multi-modal transit planning, management, and operations authority association"), and the kinds of simultaneous transit network improvements that I outlined in "Setting the stage for the Purple Line light rail line to be an overwhelming success: Part 2 | proposed parallel improvements across the transit network."

Of course, now it's 6+ years later, I wonder how the "Director of Innovation" is doing there ("Development appears to be central to John Tory's transit plans," Toronto Star; "To propel GO Transit, Metrolinx runs on culture of intrapreneurship," Toronto Globe & Mail)?

It doesn't appear as if the projects are quite on the scale that I proposed for complementing the Purple Line.


MWCOG = the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The Transportation Planning Board of the COG is the "metropolitan planning organization" for the purposes of federal transporation planning and regional coordination.

WMATA = the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority. It runs the metropolitan area subway system and bus services.

The closest organization in the region to this kind of job description is Arlington Transportation Partners, the contracting organization that handles most of Arlington County's transportation management functions, in association with various agencies and people who do work directly for Arlington County and are "government employees."

Salary Range: $136,941 to $171,176

Metrolinx, an agency of the Government of Ontario, is realizing its vision to bring about an integrated, traveller-focused, multi-modal transportation system that enhances prosperity, sustainability and quality of life for the GTHA region.

To support this, Metrolinx has identified innovation as a core corporate value and is looking for a unique and experienced individual to work with a team of diverse professionals in the transportation, planning, finance and sustainable development disciplines to identify, develop, incubate and champion innovative ideas, concepts and best practices needed to meet Metrolinx’s short and long-term goals. Reporting to the Vice President of Policy and Planning, this management executive will work collaboratively with all Metrolinx business areas, including GO Transit, an operating division, and public and private sector transportation leadership to identify future lines of business at both the strategic and tactical levels.

As the Director of Innovation, you will be responsible for:
  • Researching, evaluating, and filtering ideas and concepts including those from senior management, and working closely with all business areas to use new and existing customer insights to advance the corporate value of innovation.
  • Identifying policies, internal processes, and external services for improved modal integration, efficiency and alignment with The Big Move and overall corporate mission, vision, goals and values
  • Developing and directing research focused on transportation innovation and making improvements to the traveler experience.
  • Developing the business case model to support innovative ideas from incubation to independence
  • Overseeing senior stakeholder forums made up of diverse public and private sector interests to remain current and ahead of the curve.
  • Bringing a diverse perspective to the field of transportation, to grasp issues, opportunities and roadblocks and subsequently utilizing your range of knowledge and political acuity to minimize barriers and to maximize opportunities.
  • Integrating potential innovations with Metrolinx’s “The Big Move” plan, the GO 2020 strategic plan and the overall needs of travellers throughout the GTHA.
Qualifications: Completion of a post-graduate university degree in Planning, Engineering, Business Administration or Public Policy or any combination of education, training, and experience deemed equivalent. Minimum ten (10) years experience in the development of corporate strategy or project management in the transportation and/or urban planning fields that includes direct exposure to, or demonstrated working knowledge of;
· Developing and fostering innovation in policy, procedures and services.
· Managing / Directing high profile and highly complex projects that are organic and require the ability to adapt to changing goals and direction.
· Directing and managing cross-functional corporate teams, and multi-disciplinary consultant contracts.
· Integrating a diverse portfolio of issues into actionable directives.
· Generating and testing hypotheses, and incubating ideas.
· Leading by empowering others to innovate and continuously improve.
· Superior interpersonal communication skills (written, oral, and listening) and extremely strong presentation skills for public audiences and senior public officials.
· Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area planning and socio-political issues (rural, suburban, and urban) that have the potential to impact the success of Metrolinx and its operating division GO Transit.
· Diplomatic personal conduct in highly sensitive and / or political environments, with the ability to negotiate and foster a climate of openness and transparency.
Resumes must be received by the Human Resources Office, Metrolinx, 20 Bay Street, Suite 600, Toronto, M5J 2W3, email: no later than September 15, 2010, quoting File Number 10-220.

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