Jo Draper

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Jo Draper

Principal Transportation Planner

About Jo

Jo is an experienced Transport Planner with a strong project management background on projects ranging from very large to small in both public and private sectors.  Jo has managed every part of major transportation investigation projects from procurement through to delivery of scheme options and is uniquely placed to advise on transportation project delivery.  Jo has significant experience in public consultation, facilitation and stakeholder engagement and uses her Transport Planning background to interpret outputs from engagement and apply them to help improve mobility.  Jo is a clear communicator with a strong delivery focus who enjoys working with stakeholders to achieve their goals. 

Jo has a professional interest in road pricing structures – a topic which will become increasingly important as different vehicles become more prevalent.  She also enjoys working to facilitate active travel modes.  She is passionate about leadership and enjoys helping others to grow professionally.  

What Jo has to say:

What made you decide to become a Transport Planner?

It was my love of maps which led to it really. I had studied geography at university and I wanted a career where I got to look at maps for a living – and I succeeded!  I was also passionate about modal choice and wanted an opportunity to shape transport mobility.

What did you do before joining Abley?

I worked for the NZ Transport Agency managing the investigation of a number of large roading projects for many years.  Working on enormous projects with huge teams is a great experience and means I have an excellent understanding of how projects are funded and delivered in the public sector, and the vital role stakeholder and public engagement plays in shaping outcomes.  Before working for the NZ Transport Agency I worked for consultancy in the UK.

What does a typical day in the office include?

I try to keep active so I’ll try to intersperse desk work with meetings.  Getting out and about to see sites and meet people is really important too so there will probably also be a bit of travel outside the office.  Failing that, I break up the desk jobs with cups of tea!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I get to play with maps!  The ability to get out and about as part of your job is really great and I also love meeting people in the course of work.  Having an opportunity to change people’s lives is a privilege and we are lucky to work in an industry which has the ability to improve outcomes for customers significantly in a really short space of time.    

What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

If only I could be paid for all the things I want to research!

What’s been your career highlight so far?

I was lucky to lead the Waterfall Road investigation project which had to be delivered quickly to meet stakeholder goals.  By applying myself wholeheartedly to it and having a great team in support we managed to investigate, design, consent and build a new road in under one year – just shows what can be done if you really try, and everyone pulls together.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

There just aren’t enough hours in the day!  I enjoy sports (tennis, skiing, surfing, and a bit of multi-sport if I’m feeling energetic), and love getting out and about in the wilderness, especially on cycling or walking holidays.  I have been known to dabble in DIY and once made a complete set of leadlight windows for my house.  I would love to write a novel but though I’m not short of ideas I am a bit short of time!