Route and Crew Scheduler  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotRoute and crew schedulers are vital cogs in the transportation wheel. They prepare, write, manage and oversee schedules that regulate the operations of various establishments in the transport sector. They provide logistical planning support for transportation crew and equipment.

Joe Koffman is the scheduling manager for an urban bus system. He says each transit property differs in the way it defines the functions of a scheduler. But all schedulers develop time-based schedules that aim at being as realistic as possible.

dotThis job may go under different names and titles. It depends on the transportation area, the company and your specific duties. Some possible job titles include:

  • Bus scheduler
  • Flight crew scheduler
  • Schedule analyst
  • Schedule writer
  • Train scheduler
  • Transit scheduler
  • Truck scheduler

dotRoute and crew schedulers can be found in the shipping and airline industries. They might work for bus transit corporations and trucking or rail transit companies. Courier and postal services also employ route and crew schedulers.

dotThe job, essentially, is about ensuring that freight and passengers are efficiently and safely moved from point A to point B on time.

To do this, schedulers may assign particular personnel or vehicles to specific routes at specific times. In the case of flight crew schedulers, for example, they determine which staff fly or serve on which planes, on what routes and at what times.

dotThe schedule should be built in such a way that it neither wastes time nor puts too much time pressure on crew and equipment.

dotMichael Roschlau is president of an urban transit association. He says this is an important occupational area because of the booming need for urban passenger transportation.

"It's fundamental in providing basic mobility needs for people traveling to work, to school or other places," Roschlau says.

Amy Coggin is the communications director a transportation association. She agrees that those who work in this area provide a crucial service.

"Transit provides critical services for those who cannot or choose not to drive. For some, this service may be the only way to reach work. It helps ease congestion and keeps the air clean, which is good for everyone, not just those who use it."

dotThe work environment for a route and crew scheduler varies.

Much of the scheduler's work is clerical. But in smaller outfits, they may find they have to assist in moving and lifting work, and other physical activities.

dotMany scheduling operations have become computerized these days. This automation makes route and crew scheduling easier. It also means schedulers must be comfortable in such a setting.

Working in a computerized environment may mean spending long periods of time sitting at a desk and staring at a computer terminal. This can sometimes cause eyestrain and back pain.

At a Glance

Arrange for freight and passengers to get to their destinations safely and on time

  • Schedulers aim to develop time-based schedules that are as realistic as possible
  • You could work for bus transit corporations, trucking or rail transit companies, or courier and postal services
  • The minimum is a high school education, but advanced computer and business skills or experience are good