Gold Coast Transit District’s Planning Manager Honored by Mass Transit
Magazine as 
One of Top 40 Under 40 Transit Professionals  

Mass Transit, the only magazine exclusively dedicated to public transportation, announced the sixth annual Mass Transit Top 40 Under 40list, honoring those professionals who have made significant contributions to the public transit industry.  Honorees were nominated by their peers and judged on criteria that included job commitment, industry involvement and contribution, achievement in his or her position and innovation in his or her field.  

On the list of honorees this year is Vanessa Rauschenberger, Gold Coast Transit District’s (GCTD) Planning Manager. Vanessa has more than 10 years of professional experience in the transportation/transit industry. Growing up in Oxnard, she knew she wanted to either become an artist or an architect. It was during the pursuit of her degree in city and regional planning, however, that she discovered her passion was in planning, a career path which satisfied her need to be creative and think in terms of the “big picture.”


Vanessa Rauschenberger, GCTD Planning Manager

In 2001 Rauschenberger moved to New York City to complete her Master’s in urban planning, during which she worked for the Brooklyn Center for Urban Environment where she taught students about how construction of major infrastructure projects like the Brooklyn Bridge helped transform the city.  From 2004 to 2009 she worked as an associate planner/project manager for the NYC Department of Transportation, working on numerous projects including Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza and 7th Avenue/Penn Station and managing the city’s Safe Routes to Schools Program.

Taking the opportunity to shift gears and return to her hometown, Vanessa moved back to Oxnard in 2009, hoping to be able to help improve transportation options in her local community. In her role at GCTD she is responsible for managing fixed-route service planning and ensuring high-quality service delivery. She also provides leadership and project management skills, while ensuring successful implementation of transit technology projects and is currently working on GCTD’s first short range transit plan in more than a decade.

In her time at GCTD, she has spearheaded numerous leadership roles, including leading the implementation of new transit technologies such as scheduling software, which resulted in considerable savings for the agency and improved on-time performance. Additionally, Vanessa established a Planning & Scheduling Advisory Team that brings both bus operators and planning staff together to help find ways to improve service.

In 2013, she helped to develop a popular new bus route, Route 21, which now carries more than 20,000 monthly passengers. Vanessa also developed a set of fixed-route service planning standards and guidelines for the agency that won unanimous board support and continues to lead agency-wide efforts to bring innovative changes into fruition, including implementing Google Transit, which has contributed to record ridership increases.

“What I enjoy most about being a transit planner is collaborating and learning from passionate and dedicated co-workers who strive each day to improve the service we provide.”, said Vanessa. “In addition, working at a smaller agency that is experiencing a period of growth affords me the opportunity to see and learn about all aspects of how a transit agency works. From navigating the challenges that change brings, to the energizing process of planning for both our near- and long-term future, my work is constantly evolving and I look forward to learning something new each day.”

Vanessa currently serves as vice-chair of the Transit Operators Advisory Committee, which advises the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) on all transit-related matters in the county. She is also a member of Young Professionals in Transportation, a Washington, D.C., based non-profit, and the American Planning Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in city and regional planning from Cal Poly State University, and a master’s in urban planning from Hunter College, City University of New York.

“I’m very pleased that she was selected for this prestigious award”, said GCTD General Manager, Steven P. Brown.  “She is very deserving of this recognition as it celebrates her many contributions to GCTD and her dedication to providing the best possible service to our passengers and community.”

Gold Coast Transit provides safe, responsive, convenient, efficient, and environmentally responsible fixed-route bus and paratransit public transportation that serves the diverse needs of the cities of Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Ventura, and in the unincorporated County areas between the cities. Utilizing a fleet of 54 clean-fueled buses, GCT carries over 3.8 million passengers annually on its 19 bus routes. GCT is governed by a Board of Directors made up of an elected official from each member jurisdiction.  For more information, visit our website:



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