We’re Hiring: Senior Associate or Principal

Jarrett Walker + Associates is a 15-person consulting firm that is internationally known for excellence in public transit planning. We are based in Portland, Oregon and Arlington, Virginia, with a European branch launched this year.

We are seeking a senior public transit planner and project manager. This person will lead interesting and consequential projects, help attract new business, and develop a public profile as a leader on transit issues. This person may become part of our senior management team and will have many opportunities to guide the firm’s direction.

If you are passionate about the power of public transit to improve communities; want to be part of shaping our growing firm’s culture and strategy; and are looking to challenge yourself professionally by managing important and complex projects, we would like to meet you.

Our firm is known for leading major bus network redesigns. In addition, we also work on long range transit plans; zero-emission bus fleet impacts on transit service plans; public-facing transit cartography; training and workshops for policymakers, agency staff, and advocates; and we provide a range of professional and policy advice. We are interested in expanding into adjacent fields within the larger frame of public transit, depending on the skills and interests of the person we hire. This is a great opportunity to take a leading role in a unique and innovative firm at a time when it’s growing and changing.

This job requires prior experience managing public transit planning projects. This could include management of projects in service and network planning; scheduling and operations; paratransit and demand-response planning; corridor planning; cartography and wayfinding; and transit finance.

We would like to hire someone either based in or willing to relocate to Portland, Oregon. However, we also encourage applications from qualified candidates who want to work out of our Arlington, Virginia office, and to applications from qualified candidates who would want to work remotely in any other location in the United States. A candidate not in Portland or Arlington should expect a higher level of travel, because occasional trips to our offices will be required in addition to travel required by clients.

Applicants who do not want to be based in Portland or Arlington must have experience in consulting.

This listing will remain open until filled. We will be reviewing applications as we receive them. You can expect an initial response to your application within two weeks.

If you have any questions about this position and whether you should apply, please write to [email protected]; we will endeavor to respond within 3 business days.


About us

Jarrett Walker & Associates was founded in December 2011. We are solely focused on public transit planning and policy, and continually aspire to be the best in our field.  Our goal in all our work is to foster clear conversations with the public and policy makers, leading to confident decisions. This means that we:

  • Begin with the values and priorities of each community.
  • Highlight the realities of the actual rider experience.
  • Show how geography and service impact the experience of marginalized communities, and identify ways to improve equity in service.
  • Bring to light the real trade-offs required to improve service in the context of how transit actually works.
  • Design legible networks that are easy to understand, and efficient to operate.

Jarrett Walker & Associates is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We embrace and encourage our employees’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make each person unique.

We strive to maintain a workforce that reflects the diversity of the cities where we’re based, and that maximizes opportunities for racial minorities and women, who tend to be underrepresented in our profession.


About the job

We are looking for a project manager and transit planner. This role includes:

  • Being the client’s primary point of contact on assigned projects.
  • Directing the work of teams including our staff and subcontractors.
  • Making decisions about how to approach each project’s work within the context of the agreed scope, budget, and timeline.
  • Coming up with creative solutions to problems in transit planning and communications.
  • Facilitating workshops and training sessions with clients, project stakeholders, elected officials and community advocates.
  • Preparing clear and attractive reports and presentations.
  • Networking with potential clients and following business development leads.
  • Responding to RFPs and building teams with partner firms.

We work throughout North America and sometimes overseas, so travel may be a significant part of the job. You should be prepared to travel on a regular basis, in the range of 3 to 5 days per month on average.


Compensation and benefits

Salary compensation will be based on experience, skill level, cost of living in your home area, and desired level of work. For a 40-hour per week position, annualized starting salary may range from $105,000 for a candidate meeting minimum requirements, up to $145,000 per year for a seasoned professional who brings an extensive network of prior clients and connections. Successful past hires have often received raises of 10% or more by the end of their first year of employment.

Our benefits program includes:

  • Gold-level medical and dental insurance.
  • Disability insurance (short- and long-term).
  • A 401(k) program with employer contributions.
  • Paid medical leave, accrued at a rate of 1 hour per 30 hours worked, or about 8.5 days per year.
  • Paid time off starting at 19 days per year, with one additional day per year for each year of service. Paid time off includes both vacation time and holidays, but there are no restrictions on when it can be taken.
  • Very flexible work hours. Our staff work anywhere from 30 to 40 hours a week depending on their needs, and are compensated accordingly. We also have a flexible policy on unpaid leave, for employees who have used all their paid time off.
  • Flexible work location. New staff work in our office with us during a training period, but we offer flexibility on the specific days and times involved.
  • Employer-paid transit passes, or a monthly contribution to the costs of local transit fare, depending on your home area.
  • Reimbursement for application fees for the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs.

Employees based in Oregon will also qualify for up to 12 weeks of paid family leave starting in September 2023, as part of the Paid Leave Oregon program.


Qualifications needed

The successful candidate must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • At least five years of relevant professional experience in transit planning or an adjacent field. This could be in service planning and analysis; corridor planning; transit scheduling; demand-response planning; paratransit planning; transit agency management; transit finance; or transit policy. Related fields that may also be applicable include urban design, development planning, bike/ped planning, and other forms of transportation planning, but you would need to demonstrate (a) expertise that we can market to transit agency clients, (b) commitment to transit planning as a primary career goal.
  • At least one year of experience managing projects, either in consulting or government agencies. Consideration will also be provided for management of complex non-profit and advocacy efforts.
  • Excellence at writing and conceiving visualizations for a non-technical audience.
  • Excellence in public speaking, including situations where you must answer unexpected questions and objections.
  • Experience in communicating to a wide variety of audiences, including people of many different backgrounds.
  • Evidence of independent and creative problem-solving.
  • Full fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Legal authorization to work in the United States, or the ability to obtain such authorization without requiring an employer-sponsored visa.
  • If you are applying to be based remotely – not in Portland or Arlington – at least one year of prior consulting experience is mandatory.

In addition, any of the following are also desirable:

  • Professional level fluency in a language other than English (speaking and writing).
  • Experience and success mentoring junior staff.
  • Evidence of ability to attract clients through your own skills and experience.
  • Familiarity with transit service and market analysis techniques.
  • Experience facilitating group decision processes, including of staff, stakeholders, and/or formal boards, councils and committees.
  • Experience in teaching or training.
  • Experience with business management tasks.
  • Evidence of the ability to deliver compelling presentations and/or public speech.
  • Familiarity with our firm’s approaches to transit, combined with a readiness to engage critically with these ideas and help us sharpen and/or evolve them. If you have not encountered our work before, we suggest reading at least the introduction to the book Human Transit and some of the articles in the “Basics” section of Jarrett Walker’s blog, humantransit.org.
  • Availability to be based in Portland, Oregon.


Not sure you meet every requirement?

We want to encourage all qualified and interested people to apply for this position. If you think you have what it takes to do the job, but aren’t sure whether you meet every single listed requirement, please consider applying anyway! We would love to understand your perspective and experience, and how it might be relevant to this position.



As you consider whether to apply, please feel free to write to [email protected] with any questions you may have about the position. We aim to respond to every reasonable query.


How to Apply

Please email your application, including the items listed below as attachments or links, to [email protected]. Please use the subject line: “(your name) – Senior/Principal Application.”

  • A cover letter describing how your experience and skills match the requirements and preferences listed above. Please state also where you are available to work.
  • A resume describing your relevant experience.
  • Up to three samples of work you’ve done that show your ability to explain a complex issue to a broad audience and/or the depth of your expertise in public transit planning. These samples may come from your personal, academic or professional experience, and may have been produced while paid or unpaid.
    • At least one sample must be a piece of writing, such as a professional report, an executive summary, an academic paper, a blog post, or an advocacy document. If it’s a long document, the introduction or executive summary will do. If it is a document written collaboratively, please select a section that was primarily your writing, or submit text that you drafted even if it was later revised.
    • Other samples may be of any form, including maps, graphics, process diagrams, presentations, video, audio etc.