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Rider's Almanac Blog

On Off The Clock

On the Clock/Off the Clock: Senior Planner Adam Smith

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, April 11, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Metro Transit Senior Planner Adam Smith at the Heywood Office Building in Minneapolis.

On the Clock/Off the Clock features provide an introduction to the people who spend their days working at Metro Transit and their free time involved in a variety of interesting hobbies. Read more On the Clock/Off the Clock features here

Senior Planner Adam Smith lives in south Minneapolis. He began working at Metro Transit in late 2018. 

How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do? 

After seven years as a planning consultant in California and the Twin Cities, I wanted to spend more time working on transit projects. I’d been a big fan of Metro Transit’s vision for Bus Rapid Transit and applied when I saw an opening to serve as a senior planner. 

I’m now serving as the planning lead for the B Line, a BRT line that will operate on Lake Street in Minneapolis and Marshall Avenue in St. Paul. I coordinate efforts within Metro Transit, work with other agencies and the public to move the project toward successful implementation.

Where are you from originally? Tell us a little bit about your background.  

I’m originally from Kenosha, Wis. I moved to Minnesota to attend Carleton College in 2003, which gave me a chance to get to know the Twin Cities and make friends here. I always thought of it as a place where I might end up long-term. 

After receiving a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin, I spent four years working on environmental and water infrastructure issues as a planner in Sacramento, Calif., before I got tired of all the warm, sunny weather and relocated to the Twin Cities in 2015. Since then, I’ve been working primarily on transportation projects, though I’ve always been especially passionate about transit. 

What’s your favorite part about working for Metro Transit? 

Every day we strive to improve the quality of life for people in our region. That could mean figuring out how to reduce delays and shorten travel times or providing amenities that will attract new riders and make for a more positive transit experience. I really value the fact that what we do makes a difference in our communities. I also need to mention the incredible dedication and commitment of my co-workers throughout Metro Transit. It’s easy to come into work every day when you have such welcoming co-workers who really care about their work.

What are your favorite activities when you’re working or “On the Clock”?  

I love being able to sort through data, extract the most important information and communicate that information to a broader audience. In some cases, the main “takeaways” from our analyses are simple and maybe even obvious to many of our customers. However, when we have data that confirms what we, as transit riders, are experiencing, it helps reinforce many of the improvements that we’re trying to make.

What are your favorite activities when you’re not working or “Off the Clock”?  

Since moving back to Minnesota, my partner and I have been immersed in Minnesota soccer culture. We’re season ticket holders for Minnesota United, and we’re members of the Dark Clouds, one of the club’s supporter groups (i.e. the people who stand through the whole game, often yelling, chanting, waving flags, or singing out of tune). It’s been a great way to meet people in the area and we are particularly involved with the volunteering and community service arm of the Dark Clouds, which is, of course, called Silver Lining. We’re looking forward to riding Route 21 and the A Line to watch games at Allianz Field this season. 

Learn more about taking Metro Transit to Allianz Field