MassDOT/MBTA Transit Division

The Transit Division provides oversight of Massachusetts’s fifteen Regional Transit Authorities, as well as intercity bus, MBTA paratransit (THE RIDE), and a statewide mobility management effort. As such, Directors Interns will work with the MBTA’s Assistant to the General Manager on transit projects that impact not only metro Boston, but the entire Commonwealth.

In recent years the group has brought innovation and reform to its areas of focus and, in doing so, has assisted in an expansion of transit options designed to spur economic development, improve the environment, and enhance the quality of life for residents, visitors and business owners.

Successful applicants for this Director’s Internship will be highly motivated and intellectually curious. Time management and attention to detail are key attributes, as the position will often require work on assignments with strict deadlines.  Director’s Interns must be able to multi-task effectively and produce professional quality work. Excellent writing and analytical skills are required.

Typically the Intern will work on one larger summer long initiative complemented by short term projects.

What the Director’s Intern can expect:

Teamwork: Director’s Interns will often work on collaborative projects led by a senior staff member. As a member of the team an intern will be expected to contribute productively towards the goals of the project.

Contribution: Director’s Interns have the ability to work closely with MBTA or MassDOT senior staff on the latest and most exciting projects. Because of the small team-based environment, an intern’s work is usually a considerable contribution to the project.

Responsibility: Director’s Interns will be responsible for significant aspects of statewide initiatives. Projects may include drafting documents, creating and preparing presentations, data analysis, research, and quality assurance.

2014 Director's Intern Reflection:

At the MassDOT Rail and Transit Division, I have been working with a close-knit team of eight people who are responsible for managing Massachusetts' entire network of public transportation in Massachusetts. Their job includes overseeing and distributing money to the thirteen Regional Transit Authorities, or RTAs, which actually run the buses and trains in a certain area. This is a more challenging task than one might think, given a history of imperfect coordination between RTAs and state-level agencies, which they are nevertheless hard at work improving.

I have worked at many different tasks over the last several weeks. In addition to serving as the stenographer for several staff meetings, which gave me a very good sense of how far my cursive handwriting has deteriorated, I have researched commuting patterns in Massachusetts in order to design extensions to Massachusetts' long-distance bus network; compiled information about every train station in New England for a comprehensive map of public-transportation services; and written a research proposal for the effects of the MBTA's commuter rail on housing prices in high-density zoning districts. These tasks have involved heavy use of Google Maps' Street View feature and a surprising amount of graphic design in MS Paint. Even in my short time at MassDOT, I have gotten a good sense of the breadth and importance of the work done there, and I am glad to be helping.

Connor Harris '16

2013 Director's Intern Reflection:

The atmosphere at the office was wonderful—I worked directly with all of the staff, each of whom was friendly, funny, and eager for me to have a good experience. They made sure to give me challenging assignments and welcomed me at all meetings and conference calls. I helped with designing data entry forms to monitor the RTAs’ monthly progress, compiling an annual progress report, researching other states’ efforts to coordinate demand response services, putting together a presentation for the Environmental Business Council (EBC) about the RTD’s and the MBTA’s efforts to “go green,” and drafting several updates to our website, including a description of each of our FY14 grant awards. I was also able to attend ribbon-cutting ceremonies for two of the RTAs’ new transit facilities, the first meeting of the state’s new demand response coordinating council, and several conference calls about the potential to use taxis instead of vans for demand response service. It’s been exciting to see how state transit actually gets funded and organized, and my experience has informed and fueled my desire to work in the government as a transportation planner.  

Emma Lucken ‘14

Boston, MA / Cambridge, MA
Federal /State and Local Government, Technology