Senior Transportation Planner
Metropolitan Transit System
Devin Braun, senior transportation planner at Metropolitan Transit System, is a team player. He provides expertise on projects he oversees, but is willing to lend his knowledge to other’s projects as well and is happy to be part of a larger team effort. He has been with MTS for 7.5 years and is responsible for planning, scheduling and information technology project implementation. Prior to joining MTS he worked for First Transit and UC Davis Unitrans. He started off his transit career as a conductor on double deck buses, then moving up to a bus driver and eventually into transit management.
MTS has about 100 bus routes and 53.5 miles of LRT line that five planners manage. They all have specific routes they manage. On top of that Braun has some very specific roles that affect the entire organization. The three most important are the new GOMTS texting for arrival times program that MTS introduced in June, the Trolley Automated Passenger Counters (APC) he’s spearheading and Google Transit. The GOMTS texting program has been long awaited in San Diego. He’s excited and opened minded about the design and marketing ideas that the design team has offered and has responded to inquiries with fast and accurate information.
He’s also the main project manager for the Trolley APC project, which has earned him the praise of both coworkers and management alike. He’s MTS’s Google guru. For some time Braun has been working directly with Google to “put transit” on its maps. MTS’s system became one of the first to go live with Google Transit online and is now one of the first agencies with real time information in Google Maps. Braun is now working with and helping other transit properties to get their system information online too. If you want to see the results online go to Google Maps and look up San Diego … zoom in and look at the transit layer. Not only current routes shown but bus stops too. If you open a bus stop you get the exact address, the route number/s, the bus stop ID (used for GOMTS), at least two of the next bus arrival times (including real time), route alerts, plus a link to the MTS website. On top of all this, Braun has also helped Planning, Marketing and IT by writing internal applications to help make their jobs easier.
“Definitely working for the UC Davis Unitrans bus system gave me a jump start in public transit. Of course I always rode buses as a kid and that gave me my mobility and independence around town, but being in the thick of operations and solving the day-to-day problems really interested me in creating a career in public transit. Buses and trains are written on a schedule, but schedules are written only for best-case scenarios and solving the worst-case scenarios and helping passengers navigate through the confusion is a challenge I love solving.”
“I think everybody wants the chance to positively affect the lives of those around them. Working in public transportation has allowed me to improve the transit experience for all of our passengers, whether it be through a planning decision, the scheduling of a route or the implementation of a new technology. Making these decisions has real consequences for our customers and I try my hardest to make the best decision and choose the most beneficial technological advancements.”