2015 Top 40 Under 40: Carl Weckenmann, AICP

Sept. 18, 2015
Carl Weckenmann, AICP, Senior Manager, System Planning, Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)

Carl Weckenmann, AICP

Senior Manager, System Planning

Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)

  • Alma Mater: University of Oklahoma
  • Fun Fact: Studied to be a priest before getting into planning
  • Favorite Book: "Human Transit" by Jarrett Walker

Carl Weckenmann  never considered a career in public transportation before graduating from seminary school, when he decided he no longer wanted to be a priest. He looked through career options and what looked interesting, when he discovered transportation planning.

Weckenmann got his master's degree from the University of Oklahoma, then he took an internship with Metro Transit in Oklahoma City, then eventually moved on to the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), where a former supervisor Scott Neeley saw promise in him and gave him tasks working on projects, such as commuter rail and restructuring routes.

When Neeley went to the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority (CCRTA), Weckenmann followed him there and was named project manager for the "¡Vámonos!…Let’s Go!" long-range transportation plan and was Title VI officer.   

Weckenmann eventually moved on to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), where he is now senior manager of system planning. At the agency, Weckenmann was project manager for the route optimization initiative, which overhauled Jacksonville’s fixed-route bus services. The initiative added 18 bus routes running at 30-minute frequencies and 10 routes at 15-minute frequencies, which JTA didn’t have before the project.

The number of routes running after 11 p.m. was doubled and 13 routes were added after Midnight.

Operating costs didn’t rise and ridership has increased 7 percent year-to-year in the first five months of 2015.

Weckenmann has become a big proponent of transit because it improves quality of life and provides a more environmentally sound mode of transportation rather than personal automobile use.

“I think one of the things I’ve always sort of been disappointed with in the industry is its ability to change, especially in relation to other industries; It doesn’t seem to be as great and there needs to be more openness to innovation.”

“Being a transit planner, it really gives you the opportunity to be innovative, creative and maybe think outside the box for ways to solve common problems.”

“Be patient. I know a lot of people around my age and when I look back at my career, I’ve never been a patient person in terms of wanting new challenges or wanting to move up in my career, but just understanding that all of it can’t happen overnight, I think that I would’ve been better served being more patient at times.”