Route 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
This 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
Route 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.
The 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.
The schedule should be built in such a way that it neither wastes time
nor puts too much time pressure on crew and equipment.
Michael Roschlau is president of an urban transit association. He says
this is an important occupational area because of the booming need for urban
"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."
The 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
Many 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.