One word to describe yourself: Positive
Alma Mater: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and University of Brasilia, Brazil
Fast fact about yourself: I’m a Brazilian who doesn’t like soccer but works in transit thanks to the World Cup. I started working in transit when Brazil was preparing to host the World Cup and investing heavily in transit.
What’s your best experience on transit and what made it memorable?: It was in Oslo a few years ago. The system is expansive and easy to navigate, but what made it memorable was the redundancy built into the system. I was relying on a metro line to get to the suburbs of Oslo, where I was staying with a friend. One day, the metro line was down for a few hours during the afternoon peak, and I could still rely on the bus to get to my suburban destination with minimal delays.
As a project manager at Foursquare ITP, Reinaldo Germano works primarily in corridor planning, transit operations and regional and statewide planning projects. However, his knowledge extends into other areas, including transit facilities planning, transit technology, and public engagement. Additionally, Germano has mentored and trained junior staff in both skill-based tasks, as well as firm culture and policies. Colleagues note that even when not on the clock, Germano is dedicated to helping other planners network and increase their knowledge.
Germano’s industry knowledge has resulted in numerous successful projects for Foursquare ITP clients. One of his most recent projects has been researching and producing a report for the American Public Transportation Association about the public transportation workforce shortage. A key component of producing this report was working closely with agency representatives and Germano’s success in facilitating efforts across agencies of different sizes and geographies was evidenced in the questions shared in both the survey he designed and interviews he conducted, as well as the strategies listed in the final report. Germano also led survey development and research efforts, developed reports and other deliverables and presented the report findings in several live and on-demand formats, including at agency leadership meetings and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in order to spread the message.
Colleagues say his strong presentation skills are also shown through his experience interacting directly with the public, including bus operators, such as when he served as a member of the on-the-ground outreach crew for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s communications efforts for surface lot rehabilitations. Germano manages a listserv designed to inform planners about planning-related happenings, networking happy hours, job openings and events of interest to those in the planning profession in the Washington, D.C., area. The list includes more than 2,300 members.
Germano has worked with clients in other regions as well. In Georgia, he served as project manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) intercity bus study, which identified unmet intercity transportation needs and developed recommendations for potential intercity bus expansion. Germano oversaw the development of market analysis, needs assessment and route design alternatives. He also led the engagement with stakeholders through surveys, interviews and work sessions with GDOT, regional commissions and intercity bus providers.
In Florida, Germano served as project manager for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)’s fare policy plan. To develop recommendations for modernizing JTA’s fare collection systems, Germano identified operational and governance needs to create a successful regional fare program. In Texas, Reinaldo is currently serving as task lead for Houston Metro’s organizational assessment, for which he is evaluating the agency’s current state to provide recommendations to improve its efficiency and align operations with the agency’s mission, vision and goals.
Germano has led several technical assistance projects with the Virginia Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, developed guidebooks—on promising practices in technology adoption, microtransit (yet to be published) and data practices for small transit agencies—for the National Center for Applied Transit Technology and developed corridor studies and transit plans for the Maryland Transit Administration. His experience with corridor studies goes beyond the U.S., as he has experience planning corridors in Brazil and has managed the largest online database of priority bus corridors, which under his management, was listed as a top planning website by Planetizen. Additionally, Germano has worked on route optimization studies, bus lane feasibility studies, fleet and facility studies and long-range transportation plans for several agencies.
In Germano’s five years with Foursquare ITP, he has been promoted twice. In addition to his current role as project manager, Germano also serves as a group lead, managing a team of planners.
Prior to working at Foursquare ITP, he served as an urban mobility specialist and transportation planner at a global research organization and Brazilian transit agencies. He holds master’s degrees in urban planning and transportation management and a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
Best advice/tip/best practice to share from your area of expertise?
I moved to the United States six years ago, knowing no more than a couple of people in the industry. I had to step out of my comfort zone and connect with as many people as possible to expand my network to increase my chances of finding a job and continue working with transit, as I had been doing for years in Brazil. I was going to every transit-related event in the region I learned about, from happy hours to public meetings. That led to a volunteer experience, a summer internship and working at Foursquare ITP.
However, during an open house for a contentions corridor project was one of those moments when a connection made a difference. Being able to talk to people, stand next to them, and listen was enough to connect with a community, understand their fears and hesitations and provide them with a new perspective on the project.