Project Manager - Accessible Tech

Boston, MA /
Customer Technology – Project /
At the Customer Technology Department (CTD), our mission is to apply modern principles of research, design, and technology to make our transit system easy for all riders to use. Effective and equitable public transit is essential to the social, economic, and environmental progress of Greater Boston.
The MBTA Customer Technology team is working to transform how people get around the Boston area.
We are a team of designers, engineers, product and content specialists charged with bringing novel ideas, modern standards and a user-centered approach to technology at the T. As the MBTA works to reinvent itself, we have a rare opportunity to craft the future of transportation for Boston and communities all around Eastern Massachusetts, as well as pioneer innovations for other transit agencies around the country.
Do you want to improve the daily transportation experience for 4.7 million people in the Boston region? Ready for the challenge? Then read on.

We are looking for an entrepreneurial and data-driven Project Manager to lead a portfolio of projects that we call “Accessible Tech.” These projects sit at the intersection of two departments—Customer Technology and System-Wide Accessibility, whose mission is to make the MBTA’s system and service accessible to riders of all abilities. For the past two years, we’ve been investigating how technology could support this mission. We now have a number of projects and ideas lined up, and are looking for someone to drive them forward. They include: 

-A pilot of a sensor that automatically detects the presence of urine in our elevators—a frequent and critical problem that affects riders who depend on clean elevators 
-A pilot of indoor wayfinding technologies, to support blind and low-vision riders as they take trips on the T 
-An investigation of Ultra-wideband technology, and its possible applicability to the “last 30 feet” problem faced by blind and low-vision bus riders  and more. 

This is a one-year term-limited position to align with the timeframe of the projects. At the conclusion of these projects, there may be the opportunity to continue this position within the Customer Technology Department working on other projects. 

About this position:

    • As a Project Manager in the Customer Technology Department, you are the bridge between the in-house product teams in CTD (primarily focused on software development), our partner departments across the agency, and the external vendors that make our work possible. Successfully delivering technology and infrastructure projects within a complex government agency like the MBTA will require a wide set of skills. One day you may be writing technical language for an RFP, the next you might be wearing a safety vest for a site visit with construction crews, and the next you might be delivering a high-level summary of your work to internal stakeholders. 

Principal duties and responsibilities:

    • Create complete project plans including scope, goals, budget, timeline, and deliverables. Prioritize critical path tasks and ensure that the project team is allocated correctly to keep the project on schedule.   
    • Proactively build relationships with MBTA and non-MBTA stakeholders. Keep stakeholders up to speed on project status & timeline. Actively manage relationships to minimize potential for surprise feedback, and recommend project plan adjustments to respond to feedback.  
    • Update stakeholders through all phases of a project. Provide regular internal updates and records important process details and leads retrospective analysis.  
    • Work with stakeholders to define and monitor project metrics. 
    • Coordinate directly with vendors, other MBTA departments, and internal CTD product teams to facilitate overall completion of deliverables on schedule. 
    • Ensure that vendor staff understand what is expected of them and what they should expect from MBTA. Lead regular, frequent meetings to manage discrete vendor tasks and closely monitor progress. Be the primary point-of-contact for all MBTA-related matters. 
    • Identify potential blockers in all project phases and execute solutions within project constraints to minimize disruptions.   
    • Communicate clearly via email and in 1:1 and group meetings, lead effective meetings and deliver large presentations with minimal help.

This job requires:

    • Systems thinking: The MBTA is a complex, 120-year old transit agency with a huge number of moving parts. Our team needs to understand the complexities of running transit services, the business operations of the MBTA, and how riders use our system to get around Boston in order to successfully deliver meaningful improvements. 
    • Empathy: You think about our users (whether riders or operations staff) constantly and are always looking for ways to understand their lived experience.  
    • Communication: CTD is an interdisciplinary team sitting within a large public agency. Succeeding means getting our many stakeholders—internal and external—bought into our vision, and moving forward towards a shared objective. 

Work experience guidelines:

    • Although we're mostly interested in your ability to do the work, here are some guidelines on the capabilities and experience we think might be most suited for this role. Please keep in mind that the experience guidelines are advisory, and not required. 

    • Approximately 2-4 years of professional experience in project management 
    • -Experience managing projects that involve physical infrastructure (e.g., construction, hardware, etc.) is preferred 
      -Experience managing projects that involve both public and private parties is preferred 

    • Experience using online collaboration tools (e.g., Slack, Asana, etc.) 
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills, and the ability to translate both for different audiences 
    • Exceptional attention to detail 
    • Adept at identifying problems early and overcoming them 
    • Familiarity with the MBTA transit system as a rider 
    • Familiarity with, or experience in, the communities served by the MBTA 

Minimum Education:

    • Formal education in product management, design, usability, transportation planning, computer science, engineering, economics, urban planning, data science, public administration, or a related field. (This could be a college degree, a bootcamp, a certificate program, or something else entirely)  
This is a full-time hourly position within the Customer Technology Department at the MBTA. We work with payroll vendors that offer benefits such as pre-taxed health insurance, 401k options, and paid sick time. After at least one year on the job, there may be an opportunity to become a salaried employee with the MBTA.

Diversity and inclusion are essential to us at CTD. We believe that we can only design and build tools for our riders if our team reflects the wide variety of people who use MBTA services all over eastern Massachusetts. We strive to be inclusive in our approach to both hiring and product development, and we strongly encourage applicants from historically underrepresented groups to apply for this position.