Author Archives: Tania Wegwitz

About Tania Wegwitz

Senior Transportation Planner & Transit Lead for Western Canada's Watt Consulting Group, in both my professional life and as a community volunteer I'm passionate about making cities more connected and vibrant. With 20+ years experience, I've worked with over 70 communities to shape their sustainable transportation networks. Thoughts and my blog my own.

Rockin’ it New and Old School: Transit Data and Planner Scratch Maps

It goes without saying that changing technology has had huge impacts over the last 20 years, and its impact on how we plan cities and transit systems is no different. This post is about some of the best parts of those changes…and a love letter to the “old school” practice of marking up maps that I still believe is an… Read more »

Why the Odds are Usually Stacked Against Transit Schedulers (and Why They Deserve our Thanks More Often)

Transit Schedulers as Superheros

As I write this, over this past week, transit systems across North America have been gearing up for the big show: the Tuesday after Labour Day when schools and colleges again crank into full swing and travel patterns hit reset after the summer. Trains and buses will get crowded, new and revised services will roll, and many, many transit operators… Read more »

On Bike Parking and the Kindness of Strangers

The other day while gingerly nestling my bike against another unknown person’s at a bike lock up it crossed my mind that no car driver would ever tolerate parking their vehicle by rubbing it up against someone else’s. I started to grumble and launch into an internal diatribe.  But then I stopped and thought again.  Because maybe this wasn’t something… Read more »

The Five Essential Ingredients of Successful Community Engagement

Whether shaping community plans or organizing to make change, how we come together has as huge an impact on our success as what we do or talk about while we’re there. Over the years I’ve been a part of many different processes, organizations and projects geared at making change happen. Based on what I’ve learned—sometimes the hard way–here’s my take… Read more »

Taking “Gertie” on a Tango Through Transit Planning Basics

An interesting question from Gabriola Island’s community bus group the other day seemed like a great leading off point to go over some transit planning basics.*  Let’s then go hand in hand with GERTIE and step our way through some elemental aspects in transit decision making. But first, some background: Who is this “GERTIE” anyway? GERTIE (Gabriola’s Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island… Read more »

The Most Powerful Word in Transportation

A number of events over the past few months have got me thinking about how powerful the word “and” is.  So powerful, I’m nominating it as my #1 transportation word of all time (okay, maybe #3 after “foot” and “wheel”…) Whether it comes to integrating transportation with land use, or integrating different modes of travel with each other, each of… Read more »

Curse of the Lollipops (A Route Structure That is Usually Not so Sweet)

I am no fan of lollipops. I’m not talking about the sweet kind, they’re great.  Instead, I mean the route structure that looks like a lollipop: the cases where a bus route leaves an otherwise lovely linear path to take riders on a journey twice.  Up a stick, around a loop, and right back down the stick (or road) they… Read more »

Hazeltons Transit: Fundamental Mobility

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Of all the systems and communities I’ve worked in over the years–big or small–none still hold a greater share of real estate in my soul than those in BC’s northwest region.  There are a lot of them: Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Terrace Regional, Kitimat, Skeena Regional, Hazeltons Regional and Smithers & District. Each of these small transit systems is as… Read more »

So You Want to be a Transit Planner (Pt. 2): How to become one

Okay, so you read the description of what the job of a transit planner entails, and you’re keen to become one.  Now what? I can’t speak for every transportation manager out there, but in general when new employees come to the planning team I work with, they come from one of two streams: Land Use Planners: Usually these folks will… Read more »

So You Want to be a Transit Planner? (Pt. 1): What the job is like

I’ve recently had the pleasure of connecting with the students of UVic’s Urban Development Club (UDC).  A key mission of the UDC is to connect students with practising professionals in fields related to shaping cities. Some of the most frequent questions I’m asked when I meet with students is about my job as a transit planner: what exactly I do… Read more »