News | METRANS Student Correspondent Hayley Rundle Masters Urban Planning

Stop the Video



by Jacob Wong, USC Master of Public Policy, 2023

Join us in congratulating newly minted Master of Urban Planning, METRANS News Correspondent Hayley Rundle.  While working toward her master’s degree, Rundle served as our lead writer at METRANS, specializing in covering complex topics in transportation research.  In addition to her work with METRANS, she was an active member of the Associated Students of Planning & Development (ASPD) for both of her years at USC. During her first year, she served as the First-Year Representative and the Professional Development Chair. In her second year, she led ASPD as a co-chair.


Hayley Rundle, USC Master of Urban Planning, 2022


“I’ve always been involved in leadership organizations, especially when I was in undergrad,” said Rundle, who earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA before coming to USC. Still, she found a lot of personal growth in the co-chair position: “I had never been [the president of a club]… the person who was fully in charge, leading meetings, advocating on behalf of the organization,” said Rundle. “I was really intimidated at first to be co-chair, but it helped give me more confidence to be in charge and [taught me] how to work with different kinds of people, whether that was students, people on the board, or faculty, within Price.”


Rundle came to USC, and more specifically to the Price School, to gain expertise in the field of transportation planning. She is originally from the Sacramento area, and as a child she visited the San Francisco Bay Area to visit relatives often. Whenever she was in the Bay Area, she recalls marveling at the region’s vast and various public transportation modes to get around. “I grew up taking the bus, taking BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit rail), and walking around a lot,” said Rundle.


Although Rundle’s exposure to public transit led to an interest in the transportation field, it was not her undergraduate field of study at UCLA, where she majored in political science with a minor in environmental studies. After finishing her bachelor’s degree, Rundle began to consider transportation planning more seriously.


She started by attending seminars hosted by the Sacramento chapter of WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) on transportation issues in her area. Once the seminars shifted to a virtual format as a result of the pandemic, she found it easier to attend them and learn about other transportation issues outside of the Sacramento area.


“I started going to the WTS events because they were free for students and young people,” said Rundle. “I would just sign up if there was a seminar that interested me, and I didn’t have to go in person since they were virtual.” Rundle regularly attended the seminars and was thrilled when she received a scholarship from the organization’s Sacramento chapter as she started her program at USC.


Rundle is quite optimistic for her graduating cohort and the future of urban planning in general. “I’m really excited for this younger generation of planners,” said Rundle. “We really need innovative ideas in the field of transportation planning…My classmates have good ideas that are out of the box, and I hope that we’re able to go out there as practitioners and influence people rather than continuing to follow the older way of doing things.”

About the author:

Jacob Wong is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the Price School of Public Policy. He is curious about issues in urban policy and transportation planning. He is a recent LA transplant, and in his free time he enjoys exploring the area and the local food scene.