Traffic Engineering (Transportation)

Career Objectives

Obtain an efficient, safe and convenient *traffic system both for people and merchandise.

Professional Profile

-Professional whose task has relation to transport *infrastructures, operation and exploitation of different means of transport and in a complementary way, transport commercial and economic aspects.

He plans and organizes the *traffic and the *road design of the maritime, air, rail, road and urban sectors and their relationship with the different *modes of transport.

In this task, he must consider different approaches that ranging from psychology, in order to understand human behavior, to engineering, contributing his analytical methods, and then through geography, *economics and *urbanism.

He has knowledge of physical, mathematical and *IT and technology applicable to the transportation and traffic sector.

Specific tasks or activities carried out in the profession

He identifies, *formulates and solves design, management, supervision and control problems of the transportation sector.

Main work lines of the traffic engineer:

Studies Traffic and Transport

He knows specific problems and circumstances that cause or exacerbate traffic jams and creates solutions by optimizing and organizing the resources to meet the demand for mobility.

Some factors he must consider are:

-When the traffic volume in a given time generates the demand for more space than the one that is available on the roads.


-Construction of Road Works

-Climatic events

Among others

He considers urban development variables. For that, he must:

Delimit precisely the area in which the transport activity is studied. For instance, if he wants to carry out a study of only one bus or subway line within a city, he must delimit the zone of that line within the city and relate to the rest of the city areas. If, on the contrary, what is intended is to analyze the situation of the whole transport in a region, he will have to analyze the whole municipality or region.

Detail the *morphology and geography of the area and take them into account when making the analysis, for example, he must point out if there is a *coastline, if there are significant elevations or depressions of the terrain, if rivers or streams flow, if there are forest parks or wetlands, parks or gardens and all the landforms that are perceived; and highlight which are their characteristics and their position within the studied area.

Make a list of the facilities available in the region: airports, ports, railways, highways and roads, walkways, etc.

It is convenient to make a brief description of their characteristics and location.

Describe the *town planning situation, types of streets and their layout, accesses, density in each area, etc, that will help him to have a complete picture of the transport characteristics, as well as the functional areas (commercial, residential, industrial).

He anticipates the demand for transportation in short and medium term.

For this, he considers socioeconomic and demographic factors. He collects data from multiple sources according to the project and its location.

Statistics are significant sources of information for him.

He must know about:

Population: The most common data to foresee a transport demand are the number of inhabitants and their distribution. Another important factor is density. In addition to these basic data, he looks for those that allow us to observe the population evolution in this regard, both in the study area and in the surrounding populations.

Employment: The existing employment in the territory determines the number of trips made due to work in it. Specifically, the number of jobs must be analyzed in each transport area, as well as the number of employees.

So we can point out areas that attract people from other places by offering employment sources and those that, on the contrary, are areas with a high number of workers of the same zone or residents. The best source for this information comes from household surveys related to transport.

Studies: The number of schools and universities, as well as the population with the lowest age ranges are key factors to be able to determine which areas are ones that, potentially, can generate and attract trips for study reasons.

The number of schools and the number of resident students in each area are observed and with them the school / student relationship is established, which will allow the comparison between some areas and others.

Transportation: Transport modes (car, motorcycle, public transport, etc) influence the way in which a trip is made.

*Demand and *supply in cargo transport.

He Plans and Designs Transport Systems

He carries out the design of *Transport Networks that correspond to the sketch of roads and highways, walkways, railroad tracks, air routes, channels, pipes; as well as the location of airports, railway stations, bus terminals, ports, among others, according to the organization of transport and the characteristics of the area.

He performs the planning and operation of the Transportation Network *Traffic and its relation with different means of transport. These operations deal with the system control, such as layout of traffic lights, train control, *air traffic control, control of the traffic condition on roads, etc; as well as the transportation regulatory policies and type of financing through the use of tolls and taxes.

He solves technical and operational problems in the several means of transport.

He analyzes the structural, functional and operational characteristics road, railway, air, maritime and river *means of transport both for cargo transport and passengers.

For the design, he *formulates *Mathematical Models that *simulate the behavior of Transport Systems or interprets models already created by applying mathematical knowledge and making adequate use of computer techniques.

He carries out the *simulation of the real system, through an experimentation with the model, to test a *hypothesis or a set of working hypotheses, in order to understand the behavior of the system or evaluate new strategies for the functioning of the system.

*Simulation is a numerical technique performed on a digital computer that understands certain types of mathematical and logical relations, which are necessary to describe the behavior and structure of complex real-world systems through long periods of time. For instance, the influence of Public Transport on *traffic modeling.

He designs dynamic models of *Transport networks, Public transport networks, *Traffic *simulation models.

He carries out public transport plans.

-Planning of special events.

*Parking policy and planning.

*Pedestrianization and *bike path projects.

He performs Project Feasibility Analysis

He determines and verifies if the project is *viable from all perspectives.

The main purpose is to determine the advisability of undertaking an *investment project or not.

Among the most important *feasibility we have:

*Market Feasibility:

Market feasibility is focused on a market research aimed at knowing: first, *demand for the good or service the project will produce, quantifies the *investment securities in required *infrastructure and an important part of operating costs.

*Technical Feasibility:

-Specific characteristics of facilities, civil works and necessary equipment.

-Skill or specialization of the human team required by the project.

*Financial Feasibility:

It determines the investment costs in *infrastructure and operating costs.

He demonstrates that there are mechanisms, public or private, that will *finance the *investment and operations.

Controls Transport Systems

He uses Intelligent Transportation Systems which is a set of telecommunications and computer technological solutions designed to improve the operation and safety of land transport, both in urban and rural roads, and for railways.

Intelligent transportation systems collect, store, process and distribute information related to the movement of people and goods.

Examples include systems for *traffic *management, public transport management, emergency management, user information, safety and advanced control of commercial vehicles, electronic payment and safe crossing at the level of railroad lines.

Performs *Logistical Tasks

The key activity of *Logistics consists in the management of the necessary means and methods for the organization of a distribution service, acting as a bridge between the production and markets that are separate by time and distance.

It has relation with the movement, storage and control of product inventories and the handling of information associated with this such as the processing in international trade, attention to insurance regulations and management of related plans, etc. in order to have the product in the right place, at the right time and at the lowest possible cost.

Performs the Planning and Functional Design of Airports, Railway Stations, Bus Terminals and Ports

He arranges the orderly development of the transport station, adapted to the present and future needs of transport.

He determines the capacity of each infrastructure (port, airport, etc) according to the predictions of *traffic demands.

He predicts the operations in terms of capacity.

He prevents the number of passengers, and load volumes, both in normal periods and times of peak demand.

He plans, implements and control transport activities.

He manages human, material and *financial resources to meet the objectives of the business function of the company.

He solves operational problems specific to the activities related to the type of transport.

He contributes in the implementation of policies, projects and programs in the field of transport.

Studies the Environmental Impact of Transport Projects

He considers ecological impacts and the effects on the environment, because the environment can suffer strong alterations if the necessary measures are not taken to reduce these harmful effects, although sometimes it is necessary to reach compromise solutions on both sides, since the benefits produced by transport are evident.

Depending on the type of transport and the Project, there may be effects such as:

High noise levels

Air and soil pollution

Use of important areas of territory that exclude other land uses

Interference with the transportation of wild animals, cattle and local residents

Among others

Implements Transport Policies

He implements policies and legislation in terms of the environment. He addresses the surveillance of standards on vehicle emissions and quality of fuels.

He leads multidisciplinary work groups devoted to the study, operation or management of transport undertakings.

He performs Business Management

He carries out the *management, planning and operation of companies to which development involves national and international transport.

Occupational Field

-Transport and Traffic Public Institutions

-Land cargo transport companies

-Air transport companies

-Railway undertakings

-Shipping agencies

-Port companies

-Loading/unloading agencies and traffic safety

-Shipping companies

- International freight forwarding companies

- Urban transport companies

-Interurban transport companies

- Productive and / or industrial companies that require the administration of the transport function.


Estimated time of College years

5 years approximately

Main courses considered in the syllabus

Basic Training Courses

Mathematics (5 semesters)

Technical Drawing

*Physics (2 semesters)

Professional Training Courses

*Applied Mechanics


*Transportation Technology and Cargo Handling

*Programming and Applied Computer Science

*Systems Analysis

*Statistics applied to Transportation (3 semesters)

*Transportation Systems Engineering

*Traffic Engineering

*Urban Transport

*Road Transport

*Air Transport

*Maritime Transport

*Rail Transport

*Transport Economics (3 semesters)

*Research Methodology

*Operations Research

*Project Evaluation

*Transportation Costs

*Urban Transport Management

*Maritime Transport Management

*Transportation Logistics

International Trade and Transport

Environmental Impact

*Legal Elements


-Specialization in planning, organizational design and operation in transport *infrastructure works.

-Specialization in planning, design and *management of transport systems, both for people and cargo.

Vocation, Skills and Interests required in the candidate to this career


-Give importance to the planning of a task.

-Natural inclination to order.

-Motivation for *management.

-Motivated by the operation, perfectionism, optimization, realization, by doing things well.

-Tendency to the use of scheme to understand something.

-Taste and appreciation for technology and sciences that support it, based mainly on mathematics.

-Motivation for the application of knowledge.

-Interest and appreciation for technological advances.


-Mathematical Skill

-Creativity and initiative in the search for solutions to specific problems

Analytical Capacity: Method that focuses the whole and separates it into its basic elements to then see the relationship between these elements.

Logical Reasoning: It is captured through the observation of a reality, a drawing, a diagram, the functioning of something, behavior, etc. Ability to analyze proposals or complex situations, predict consequences and be able to solve the problem in a consistent way.

Innovative: He tends to innovation in pursuit of incorporating new things, to use inventiveness either in new devices as well as in procedures or ways of doing things, which allow him to solve problems by creating new systems or adapting the existing reality to new requirements.

-Vision of the three-dimensional space and ability to express graphically

-Good attention and concentration abilities

-Ease to relate to others and teamwork


-For working to improve his community, making it -more organized and functional in order to improve people’s quality of life.

Or any specific dream or longing which feels involved or oriented towards this direction.

Candidate Personality



Practical and functional personality

Leadership and decision-making skills

Ability to work in teams


Work Scope


Office work

*Management, working together with a variety of professionals such as urban planners, architects and lawyers, among others.

Related Careers

Civil Engineering, *Urbanism, Architecture

*Glossary of Terms

*Algorithm: Sequence of steps to be followed by them program.

*Systems Analysis: Study of the function of a system, its parts and the interrelation between them.

*Parking: Temporary place to park.

*Bike paths: Paths for bicycles.

*Transport Costs (Course): Operating costs (maintenance and repair of means of transport, oils, fuels, etc), Administrative Costs (planning, organization, management and execution), Financial Costs (financial management, interest payments, etc) and other service costs.

*Demand: Required amount of a product by the population.

*Road Design: Design of all types of transport routes such as roads, bridges, tunnels, etc.

*Economics: Science that studies the most efficient methods to meet the material needs of individuals in society by allocating resources that are limited.

*Transport Economics (Course): Understand the nature of markets, as well as the principles that govern their operation, such as costs, *demand, pricing, *investment decisions and the structure of transport markets.

*Electrotechnics: Science that studies the technical applications of electricity.

*Legal Elements: Transport contract, Insurance and responsibilities, International standards, among others.

*Statistics: Techniques for the collection, presentation, treatment and analysis of data, in order to summarize and describe the characteristics of the information they provide.

*Statistics Applied to Transportation (Course):*Probability and *Statistics, *Transport models, forecasting techniques, *Simulation applied to transport.

*Project Evaluation (Course): Analysis methods of a project in relation to its costs and sustainability, that is, that it is maintained over time by self-financing, generating wealth and providing its services or products to the community.

*Financial: Funds intended to financially support an objective or project.

*Physics (2 semesters): -Classical Mechanics, Applied thermodynamics.

*Formulate: to shape something, describe.

*Management: Inquiries and procedures to carry out a project.

*Hypothesis: Proposal highly possible but which veracity has not yet been proven.

*IT: Study of the quality of information and how it flows in the area to which it belongs.

*Infrastructure: Structures necessary for vehicle circulation such as bridges, roads, tunnels, runways, terminals, etc.

*Transport System Engineering: Transport planning. -Geometric urban design, Road Design, etc.

*Traffic Engineering: Planning and organization of traffic flow in a road, street or highway.

*Investment: Purchase of a good in order that it produces profits.

*Operations Research: Study that concentrates practical applications of decision making in organizations.

*Coastline: The coast of a region.

*Transport Logistics: The efficient distribution of products in a certain company, with lower cost and excellent customer service.

*Applied Mechanics: Understanding the functions of vehicles. -Propulsion systems (engines) and their components.

*Means of Transport: Related to all kinds of vehicles such as cars, trucks, bicycles, ships, airplanes, etc.

*Research Methodology (Course): Recognition methods of the stages and the importance of the scientific method and its application in problem solving.

*Mathematical Model: It is the mathematical representation of relation between entities, variables or operations, to study the behavior of complex systems in situations that are difficult to observe in reality.

*Morphology: Related to form, shape.

*Supply: Amount of a product or service offered for sale at a certain price.

*Pedestrianization: Related to pedestrian zones.

*Probability: Study of the frequency with which an event occurs or a result (or set of results) is obtained when carrying out a random experiment, of which all possible results are known under sufficiently stable conditions.

* Programming and Applied Computer Science: *Algorithms and Computer Language.

-Management of computer software specific to the international transport activity and port service companies.

*Simulation: Software program that tries to be a replica of phenomena of reality, to carry out an exploratory work with it.

*Transport System: *Transport Network: Network of vehicular circulation.

*Transportation Technology and Cargo Handling: (Course): Technology of vehicles designed according to their needs and requirements, vision of all the modes of transport that exist. –Propulsion systems (engines). –Equipment technology for cargo movement (ducts or conduits that fulfill the function of transporting water or other fluids, conveyor belts, etc.) among others.

*Transport Terminals: Places where passengers or cargo are transshipped, or places where vehicles are gathered for temporary or night parking, and even for repair and maintenance work.

*Traffic: The greater or lesser flow of vehicles on a road, street or highway.

*Air Transport: Related to aircraft (airplane, helicopter), airports, airlines, itineraries, schedules and frequency, transport of passengers and cargo, transport agencies.

*Road Transport: Related to the organization, planning and design of land routes; behavior in transportation of passengers, cargo, luggage and parcels; road transport operations; means of transport; equipment and machinery for road transport such as luggage trolleys, trawlers, among others.

*Rail Transport: Related to railways, trains, cableways, railway stations, rail network, railway undertakings, itineraries, schedules, frequency.

-Techniques, means and methods that ensure the circulation of trains with safety and smoothly.

*Maritime Transport: Related to port operations, operation of vessels, operation of containers, operational problems in land specific to the activity related to maritime transport, ports and interior cargo terminals and containers.

*Urban Transport: Related to urban infrastructure elements such as streets, bridges, stops, bus terminals, pedestrian network, etc; urban means of transport such as cars, trucks, bicycles, etc; parking lots; urban transport operations; systems and devices for control and regulation of traffic.

*Urbanism: Discipline that studies cities from a global perspective, studying and organizing the dynamic components of a city and the relation between them.

*Feasible: That it is possible to carry it out.