Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)



Alan Beswick

Country: Hungary

Name: Peter Kalóczkai

Company: BKK - Budapest Transport Centre

Position: Timetable integrator

ITS Course: MSc Transport Planning 2012

I currently work at the Budapest Transport Centre, which is basically similar to a PTE. I work with the timetables of trams, undergrounds, suburban railway lines and trolley buses. Our small team tries to make the timetables efficient and at the same time provide the best connections and low travel times on the network. Therefore it is our responsibility to design journey times and designate departure times on the lines. We also plan and supervise passenger information activities. I additionally have to deal with customer enquiries relating to timetable matters. Although I have not been working here for long, I have already been involved in modelling (VISSIM) as well.

My experience at ITS has helped in my present job as I learned a lot about how the transport system in the UK works. Thus, I know what the best and worst practices are. This knowledge distinguishes me from all my colleagues, and I have a lot of ideas which count over here as "out of the box" solutions. Hopefully by putting these forward, I can make an impact on how our network operates.

I chose my ITS course and Leeds University because as an undergraduate I studied International Relations (specialized in EU integration management). So, not being an engineer I had to choose a course which was not too technical. But, at the same time, thanks to my interest in transport, I already had a bit of knowledge in this field and I wanted to make use of that. I applied to a number of UK universities for the same or a similar course. However, the reputation of ITS and the flexibility of Leeds University (regarding my language certificate) convinced me that this was the best choice.

My advice to potential students interested in this course is that the knowledge you would (should) gain as a transport professional is T-shaped. The horizontal part of the T is transport in general. It is a huge field and it is a good feeling to have an overall knowledge of the sector and know the basic technical, economic and social factors influencing it. Transport people don't simply sit on a train or plane. They know what is happening behind the scene. In fact, they make it happen! The vertical part is where you could be a specialist! Now the good thing is, that it is up to you to decide where to dig deeper. In transport, everyone can find an exciting, motivating and enjoyable area for himself/herself.