Aspiring urban planner shares takeaways after one year as a transit volunteer

Aspiring urban planner shares takeaways after one year as a transit volunteer

Community Transit Volunteer Er Jun Ma standing behind a Waterfront Station entrance

Er Jun Ma advocates for transit and that’s why he joined the Community Transit Volunteer Program. As an urban planning student, Er Jun approaches his role as a volunteer with curiosity. He recognizes that taking public transit can help minimize congestion and address climate change, allowing those whose occupations involve driving, such as truck drivers and delivery personnel, to have better access to roads.

He also recognizes that making transit a better commuting option than driving will encourage more people to ride. Er Jun believes that providing a transportation system that’s accessible is one way to make transit the preferred choice. It’s one thing he hopes to achieve as a volunteer.

Community Transit Volunteers help enhance customer experience by greeting customers and offering assistance when navigating our transit system.

Er Jun finds it rewarding to see the result of his efforts in real-time. He recalls a time when he helped a customer in Mandarin. They were so grateful that they snapped a photo with Er Jun and shared it with their family.


Through the Community Transit Volunteer Program, Er Jun has been able to connect with fellow volunteers who are also interested in transit. While there are online communities, he thinks it’s unlike meeting like-minded people in person.

It’s also through the program that he attended the Lunar New Year Parade, his first-ever parade! Er Jun also likes volunteering at the Car Free Day Festival.

“You get to experience the city in a completely different way, without any cars on the street,” he says.

Other than acquiring new experiences, Er Jun is also gaining new skills. It’s helped him get better at public speaking, customer service, and problem solving.

We’re looking for Community Transit Volunteers to help make our customer’s experience the best it can be! Volunteers receive a one-day training course to learn more about the Metro Vancouver transit system and be armed with the tools to fulfill their role.

Volunteer shifts are scheduled on weekends, holidays, and evenings when there are community events or a high volume of tourists arriving. Shifts run around 3-4 hours long. Interested? Apply now!