All About the Agency Explorer
What is the Agency Explorer?
The Agency Explorer is a dashboard presenting employment data from the National Transit Database. This dashboard provides agency-level employment statistics from 2017 to 2021 for all directly operated services of full reporters to NTD.
Mode: A system for carrying transit passengers described by specific right-of-way (ROW), technology and operational features.
Labor classification: The occupational categories FTA uses to distinguish between different types of transit work.
Operating labor: FTA defines operating labor as the personnel necessary to carry out the day-to-day requirements for providing transit service. Transit agencies report operating labor in four functions: vehicle operations, vehicle maintenance, facility maintenance, and general administration. (For definitions of each labor classification, see the NTD Glossary.)
Capital labor: Capital labor is the personnel involved in the purchase of equipment (e.g., buses, shelters) and construction of facilities (e.g., garages, guideway, stations). The work activities for capital labor are design and engineering, purchase, land acquisition/relocation, construction, rehabilitation, and management of capital grants and projects.
Directly Operated: Transportation service provided directly by a transit agency, using their employees to supply the necessary labor to operate the revenue vehicles. The Agency Explorer shows only directly operated statistics.
Full Reporter: Systems receiving Urbanized Area Formula Grants and operating more than 30 vehicles or either fixed guideway or high intensity busways.
Vehicles Operated in Annual Maximum Service (VOMS): The number of revenue vehicles operated to meet the annual maximum service requirement. This is the revenue vehicle count during the peak season of the year; on the week and day that maximum service is provided.
Unlinked Passenger Trips (UPT): The number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. Passengers are counted each time they board vehicles no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination.
Urbanized Area (UZA): An urbanized area is an incorporated area with a population of 50,000 or more that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
The Agency Explorer can be filtered using dropdown menus for state, agency name, mode, labor classification, and full-time/part-time. These filters will adjust all of the data in the four charts, table, and summary statistics, with some exceptions:
- Capital labor: There are no capital labor data for hourly wage and salary expenses. If only capital labor is selected, those charts and related statistics will not display any data.
- Full-time/part time: Full-time/part-time data are not reported for hourly wage and salary expenses. If a selection is made in that filter, those charts and related statistics will not update and will continue showing the data for both full-time and part-time workers.
There are also dropdowns that use ranges of two statistics, employee count and urbanized area (UZA) population, to filter the data. These dropdowns use ranges to help select a smaller subset of agencies; the ranges are not consistent in size, but rather aim to split the number of agencies between them as evenly as possible. They use data from the most recent year an agency has reported to NTD.
The Agency Explorer features four charts with workforce statistics from 2017 to 2021:
- Employee Count: The number of individuals who are compensated by the transit agency for directly operated (DO) services.
- Labor Hours: The number of employee work hours, not counting paid leave, on directly operated services at the agency.
- Average Hourly Wage: A calculated statistic of average hourly wages of directly operated employees at the agency, determined by dividing operating salary expenses by operating labor hours. Note: this chart does not include capital labor and does not distinguish full-time and part-time employees.
- Operating Salary Expenses: The total salary expenses by agency of employees who work on directly operated services at the agency, including cost of labor and excluding paid absences and fringe benefits. Note: this chart does not include capital labor and does not distinguish full-time and part-time employees.
The summary statistics (within the light green boxes on the right side of the page) show average and total data from 2021, with the exception of the number of agencies, which shows the number of agencies that have been selected by the filters.
More details about each statistic are described below:
- Total employees: This statistic shows the total number of employees in 2021 from each agency. Each filter affects this statistic. Again, please note that this is not the total number of transit employees in the country, but only the employees from directly operated services of full reporters to NTD.
- Average wage: This statistic calculates the average wage across each agency. Each filter except for the full-time/part-time dropdown affects this statistic.
- Average labor hours: This statistic calculates the average labor hours across each agency, with each agency weighted equally. Each filter affects this statistic.
- Average salary expenses: This statistic calculates the average salary expenses across each agency, with each agency weighted equally. Each filter except for the full-time/part-time dropdown affects this statistic.
- Average Vehicles Operated in Annual Maximum Service (VOMS): This statistic calculates the average vehicles operated in annual maximum service across each agency, with each agency weighted equally. Each filter except for the labor classification and full-time/part-time dropdowns affects this statistic.
- Average Unlinked Passenger Trips (UPT): This statistic calculates the average unlinked passenger trips across each agency, with each agency weighted equally. Each filter except for the labor classification and full-time/part-time dropdowns affects this statistic.
- Average Urbanized Area (UZA) population: This statistic calculates the average urbanized area population across each agency, with each agency weighted equally. Each filter except for the mode, labor classification, and full-time/part-time dropdowns affects this statistic. Please note that smaller agencies may operate in areas with a large UZA population.
The table beneath the charts lists 2021 operating data for all full reporting transit agencies. Use the column headers to sort the table from largest to smallest or vice versa or select a specific agency to display it on the time series charts.
Please not that the statistics listed in the table, not just hourly wage and salary expenses do not include capital labor. Also note that not all agencies reported data in 2021; there may be agencies that appear in the charts for previous years but not in the table.