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Research and Policy Associate or Assistant

Job Title: Research and Policy Associate OR Assistant 

Reports to: Research and Policy Manager 

Job Location: This is a fully remote position, and candidates can be based anywhere within the United States. Travel to our New York office will be expected several times a year. 

 Salary Range: $74,240 - $95,490 for Associate, $50,928 - $65,782 for assistant. Salary range is benchmarked for the NYC region. For those outside of NYC, a geographic differential will be applied to base salary and yearly cost of living adjustments. 

 Application period: We will review applicants on a rolling basis, beginning on August 31, 2023. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply before that date. The job application will stay open until the position is filled. 

 About the organization: TransitCenter is a foundation that works to secure a more just and sustainable future with abundant public transportation options. We make grants, conduct research, and coordinate a national network of local advocates. We envision regions where public transportation is dramatically expanded, clean, and safe and gives all equitable access to opportunity, the ability to fully participate in democracy, and that mitigates climate change. 

The Research and Policy team works to identify systemic policy and practice barriers to radically improving transit in the United States. It develops reports, datasets, and policy analyses to influence the transit policy and encourage improvements to the state of practice. It builds and maintains relationships with transit agencies and partners across the US to promote its work and to push for policy reforms. It works to support advocacy campaigns with technical assistance, inside-game strategy, and relationship-building with agencies. 

More about TransitCenter’s work and staff can be found on our website, transitcenter.org [1] 


About the position: The Research and Policy Associate/Assistant will work on a range of tasks focused on improving the planning and performance of transit systems and transit agencies in major cities across the U.S. This position focuses on identifying systemic policy and practice barriers to improving American transit, and improving the effectiveness of transit agency governance, planning and management. Work will include: interacting with transit agency staff and leadership on a range of issues that includes transit operations, safety on public transit and workforce challenges; conducting applied research to highlight new approaches to equitable transit planning; completing analyses of public transit performance on different metrics of equity and service quality; developing reports and disseminating ideas on current issues; and contributing to moving the industry forward with informative blog posts and speaking engagements.  

The ideal candidate has a demonstrated ability to work creatively with a diverse team. The position will also involve engaging effectively with a range of stakeholders—city and agency leadership and staff, advocacy groups, and others—to help improve transit in the US. They will have a chance to hone their technical knowledge, writing, and management skills while gaining exposure to the fields of sustainable transport, city planning, and municipal governance. 

Key Duties & Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct policy research and analysis that informs the state of transit planning in the United States and promotes the adoption of progressive policies and planning practices across the transit industry 
  • Work with allies in government and civic organizations to help them use research and reports to drive improved performance of transit agencies  
  • Stay abreast of the latest trends and issues affecting public transportation in the U.S. 
  • Preparation of presentations, speeches and articles for TransitCenter staff members, or the organization 
  • Design and conduct data analysis that support TC research and/or advocacy campaigns to improve public transit service and advance equity 
  • For Associate: Work directly with transit agency and department of transportation staff to advise on recommended practices, speed adoption of new management practices, and assist in implementation and evaluation. 
  • TransitCenter is a small organization, so everyone is expected to play a hands-on role in operations such as staffing events and shouldering a portion of the organization’s administrative duties.   

Qualifications for Assistant: 

  • 0-3 years of professional experience. Bachelor’s degree required. 
  • Knowledge and interest in public transit issues, including operations and governance 
  • Experience with policy analysis, qualitative methods, and applied research. Exceptional undergraduate coursework applies. 
  • Ability to summarize data with descriptive statistics, charts and graphics  
  • Ability to communicate findings in written formats with clarity 
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively on teams 
  • An interest in advancing racial, gender, and socioeconomic equity through transit research and practice 

Qualifications for Associate: 

  • 2-5 years of professional experience. Bachelor’s degree required.  
  • Knowledge and interest in public transit issues, including operations and governance 
  • Experience with policy analysis, qualitative methods, and applied research.  
  • Ability to conceptualize, advance, and conduct research projects 
  • Ability to form research questions & identify how to find the answers; synthesize multiple types of information to answer questions and create new understanding 
  • Experience analyzing public data sets, including finding appropriate data sources to answer research questions; understanding pros, cons, and implications of different sources; preparing/cleaning data for analysis; and producing descriptive statistics, creating charts and graphics to summarize data 
  • Ability to communicate findings in written and verbal formats with clarity and awareness of audience 
  • The ability to work independently, and the ability to make determinations about what to prioritize based on changing circumstances 
  • Open to feedback and comfortable working in close collaboration across internal teams and with external partners 
  • An interest in advancing racial, gender, and socioeconomic equity through transit research and practice


  • Experience with urban transportation policy, planning and/or operations, from having worked for a transit provider, consulting firm, municipal government, non-profit, or related entity. 
  • Experience using GIS, statistical analysis tools, and data visualization tools 
  • For Associate, a Master’s degree in a relevant field such as urban planning, transportation planning or engineering, or public administration

In order to live our values to have an equitable and inclusive workplace and because we believe in the power of complementary strength, people of color, people with low incomes, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.  

Eligibility for non-US citizens: TransitCenter will consider non-US citizens with authorization to work in the US. Individuals without sponsorship or authorization to work in the US are not eligible for this role.  

Benefits package: 

• 401(k) with 5% matching contribution (no waiting period). 

• Medical, dental, vision insurance, FSA benefits (no waiting period). 

• Short-term and long-term disability insurance. 

• 11 company holidays, 22 days of vacation, 10 sick days per year, and 12 weeks of paid parental leave for new parents. 

• Commuter benefits. 

TransitCenter is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, political orientation or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Employment is on an “at-will” basis, meaning both the employer and the employee can terminate the relationship at any time.  TransitCenter, a private philanthropic foundation, is incorporated in the State of New York, with its sole office located in the City of New York, and is bound by the employment statutes and regulations of those jurisdictions. 

To apply, please click here: https://forms.gle/GR6jBCcy6QxkjJzS8 [2]

  1. http://transitcenter.org/
  2. https://forms.gle/GR6jBCcy6QxkjJzS8

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