The Transit Workforce Center is pleased to host a curated collection of publications and other materials to assist stakeholders engaged in transit workforce development. The Resource Center includes case studies, training materials, research reports, and other materials of interest, including publications produced by federal government agencies, transit organizations, and independent research entities. Resources may be filtered by topic, resource type, and transit mode.
We are continuing to update the Resource Center regularly. Please contact us via the Request Help menu option if you would like assistance using the Resource Center or are looking for resources on a particular topic. We also welcome suggestions of topics or specific resources to add.
Steps for Transportation Workforce Diversity Outlined in TRB’s Research
This blog post highlights resources for improving inclusion and diversity in the transportation workforce.
Transportation Research Board
Transit Workforce Shortage: Root Causes, Potential Solutions, and the Road Ahead
Public transit providers across North America face a shortage of operators and mechanics during a period of economic instability and reshuffling exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, agencies’ ability to respond to the worker shortage has been hampered by inadequate information about its causes and effects. The Transit Workforce Shortage Study builds a framework for APTA, its members, and its partner organizations to better understand the workforce shortage’s causes and provides best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining transit operations workers. The study is comprised of two phases. This document, the Interim Findings Report, synthesizes the findings from Phase 1, which included a survey of transit agencies and background research into the macro causes of the shortage.
American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
TOPICS: Hiring and Recruitment
Women in the Workplace 2022 & WTS Summary and Analysis
Women in the Workplace is the largest study on the state of women in corporate America. In 2015, LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company launched the study to give companies insights and tools to advance gender diversity in the workplace. The full report is linked below.
An analysis from WTS International outlining the report’s implications for the transportation workforce is also attached.
LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company; WTS International
ATTAIN Rail/Signals/Traction Power and Facilities/Elevator-Escalator Committees Meeting
The American Transit Training and Apprenticeship Innovators Network (ATTAIN), run by the Transit Workforce Center (TWC), is a peer network created for transit agencies and labor unions to explore new apprenticeship programs or enhance existing programs for their frontline workforce.
This recorded meeting of the ATTAIN committees for Rail/Signals/Traction Power and Facilities/Elevator-Escalator serves as a resource for transit industry stakeholders and includes presentations on apprenticeship and case studies of successful programs across the country.
Transit Workforce Center
Recruiting Seniors and Retirees – Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority
This TWC mini case study focuses on CCRTA’s recruitment of seniors and retirees.
Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) & Transit Workforce Center
Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority in Massachusetts serves 15 towns within a 400 square miles area in an area where the population triples in the summer with seasonal residents. CCRTA runs seven year-round fixed route lines, several on-demand and hybrid on-demand services, and three summer shuttle services. In 2021, CCRTA served approximately 2.5 million people with 98 drivers.
Faced with driver shortages, CCRTA and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1548 worked together and negotiated driver raises and $1,000 bonuses paid after 90-days. In addition, a six-step salary scale to reach the top pay grade was reduced to two steps. Drivers can now reach the top pay level within two years.
Barnstable County’s senior population is among the largest per capita in the country, and CCRTA has instituted hiring initiatives aimed toward the senior and retiree population. In connecting with this population, CCRTA has taken a variety of actions, including:
- Reaching out through Cape Cod Elder Services to communicate CCRTA’s interest in hiring seniors. CCRTA’s Human Services Transportation Manager sits on this organization’s board, facilitating ongoing contact.
- Targeting recruitment of retiring teachers, firefighters, police, and school bus drivers. Cape Cod RTA staff visited schools, fire houses, police stations, and municipal offices to share recruitment information.
- Visited each town on Cape Cod, talked with local retirement agency officials, and posted and mailed banners and notices.
- Overall increase in the agency’s traditional and social media presence generally, including advertising explicitly aimed at seniors, including on social media. Developed advertising, messaging, and imagery to make seniors and retirees feel welcome. To see samples of advertising, visit Cape Cod RTA Jobs on Facebook, the ad on their website’s front page, and see the video, featuring older drivers, on the CCRTA career page.
- Emphasizing the short time it takes to reach the highest salary level, a compelling message for seniors and retirees, who often value salaries more than benefits, as well as the ability to reach the highest level within their time at the agency.
- Offering various employment options, including full-time and part-time, and seasonal. The agency has found that individual needs lead to varied choices; they estimate their senior employees have split 50-50 in what scheduling option they choose.
- Providing full CDL training, testing and additional agency-specific training for all employees without CDLs. The agency pays for all training.
- Offering options for non-CDL drivers, who operate smaller vans. The agency encourages the CDL route because it gives drivers more flexibility in shifts and allows them to work and get paid at a higher rate.
- Currently exploring working with the Barnstable County Retirement Commission to arrange for a notice about CCRTA employment options to be part of the Commission’s information packet when an employee puts in for retirement.
CCRTA values its older workforce and their commitment to the job; through its efforts, it has been able to hire a dozen seniors and retirees as drivers. The agency notes that with this population, it is reasonable to expect excellent attendance, while also allowing for the potential of more short-term disability and time for medical appointments. COVID-19 saw CCRTA lose about half of its senior workforce, given seniors’ sensitivity to exposure. However, CCRTA is renewing its recruitment efforts in this area through the various methods noted.
For more information, contact:
Penny Grossman, H.R. Manager – Pgrossman@capecodrta.org – 508-385-1430, ext. 106
Come Drive with (B)us – Akron METRO Operator Recruitment Event
This TWC mini case study focuses on a recruitment event held by Akron METRO which could serve as a model for other agencies.
Akron METRO Regional Transit Authority & Transit Workforce Center
TOPICS: Hiring and Recruitment
Akron METRO Regional Transit Authority (METRO): Transit agency serving Summit County, Ohio and the city of Akron, with a fleet totaling 231 vehicles: 140 large buses and 91 smaller paratransit vehicles. METRO employs 425 team members.
Stark State College: Local event venue and partner in advertising campaign. METRO is currently in the final stages of an agreement with Stark State to supplement its CDL training program.
METRO’s “Come Drive with (B)us” event was a major initiative designed to recruit bus operators. Held at Stark State College, the event featured on-site bus-related activities, interviews and job applications. Extensive outreach activities before the event through diverse outlets, combined with the themed ad campaign, brought 99 interested participants and resulted in 71 contingent offers. The key “draw” to this event was the ability to test drive our vehicles on a closed course alongside our staff. METRO’s idea was that if the thought of driving a bus was keeping people from applying, they could offer a nontraditional mechanism to overcome that hesitancy. Once that challenge was overcome, the process could focus on the soft skills related to empathy and great customer service that are critical to success.
Key Program Elements
- Pre-event publicity
- Pop Art themed ad campaign (viewable on Facebook; an example is attached below as a PDF)
- Free and purchased advertising through social media, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts
- Information on METRO’s website
- Print ads in local daily and weekly publications
- Two digital billboards, and flyers on buses and posters at METRO’s transit center
- A radio ad on several local radio stations
- Two days before to the event, Stark State College promoted the event on their digital sign, readable from the expressway
- Four radio personalities from four different stations drove the bus two to three weeks prior to the event and promoted on the air, including one station that put together its own video.
- Television interviews that resulted in a full story and a variety of mentions of the event on other stations
- Creating two bus wraps with the pop art feel (see PDF below) on careers, though not event-specific
- Outreach to past applicants
- Videos of three in-house of staff driving for the first time, along with videos featuring County Executive and Representative Casey Weinstein, and an invite video from METRO’s CEO
- Event activities and design (see PDF of signage below)
- Participants were told to bring a valid driver’s license
- Four clearly-marked stations for applicants to go to where they had the opportunity to:
- Secure a mobility device
- Drive a bus
- Every applicant moved through all four stations
- At final stop, attendees received:
- Bag of information
- Digital and paper copies of the CDL training booklet for them to start studying
- Event planning activities
- Started six to eight weeks before event
- Committee was made of HR, Marketing, Operations, Maintenance and Safety/Security
- Eighteen staff members worked the day of the event – five working check-in/applications, five doing on-site interviews, two working the mobility station, five running the “test drive” station, and one runner to move between all stations to relieve backlog
- Used seven 40 foot buses (2 spares) and 2 paratransit vehicles
- Ninety-nine event attendees interviewed and were able to test drive
- Twenty-five additional people applied who could not attend; follow up interviews were planned
- 71 of the 99 were moved through to a “contingent offer” pending background checks with a start date of September 26th
- Twenty-three of the 99 had areas of their application that required reviewing before proceeding
For more information on this event, contact: Jarrod Hampshire – Chief Operations Officer, METRO RTA 330.808.0144
More recruitment advertising materials and resources can be found here.
Recruiting and Retaining the Best: Transit Workforce Best Practices
This blog post from Transportation for America details successful strategies and best practices employed by transit agencies to empower their operator and maintenance workforces.
Transportation for America
Transportation Learning Network (TLN)
The Transportation Learning Network (TLN) is part of an industry-wide effort aimed at strengthening transit training programs. It is designed and maintained by the International Transportation Learning Center, and provides a platform for accessing industry specific training materials – both for direct self-led online learning and also for download by trainers to use in a classroom or field settings.
Topics covered include maintenance of transit elevators and escalators, signals, railcar and traction power.