6 Sep 2016 (provided by Local Transport Today)
Two key components to becoming a successful freelance transport planner are flexibility and adaptability, which are key to building long-term relationships with clients, says seasoned freelancer Peter Organ.
As a surveyor, Organ has forged close ties with Staffordshire County Council while also maintaining his independence.
Though he works principally in public transport, Organ says it pays to achieve the right balance between being flexible and discerning. “Firstly, I would not compromise my regular work for Staffordshire, but I am open to other work when they don’t have anything available, and they are quite happy for me to work elsewhere,” he said. “For example, I also do quite a bit of work for Warwickshire County Council.”
Organ says that taking a long-term view as a freelancer can pay off. “I am open-ended, and available to do different jobs. Anyone can go out and do a basic job, but I will think forward and keep the client informed, and this includes going the extra mile in terms of providing feedback. For example, in my work monitoring bus services, I have put together route proposals, changes to schedules, and arranged timetabling.”
Organ has also been involved in security issues and the monitoring of free travel. “As part of financial cutbacks, Staffordshire had to find £1m off its transport bill and I got involved in surveying work on that,” he said. “They know they can ask me to do a wide range of jobs and leave it to me. I will follow things up, and can work seven days a week and give good value. The bottom line is that you have to be reliable and trustworthy, and also be aware that you are seen as a representative of the client.”
Peter Organ's broad remit has included arranging bus timetables for Warwickshire County Council