RESOURCE TYPE

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Wire Women: Lighting it Up

This illustrated publication tells the stories of women who are undertaking apprenticeship to become union electricians. This resource could be used by transit agencies, unions, or apprenticeship programs as promotional material or for educational purposes.

Sharon Szymanski
September 2022
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Advancing Racial Equity through Federally Funded Public Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Projects

This report provides data sources and tool to quantify racial equity and environmental justice in transportation-related projects. It also describes how the data can be used to speak to the equity priorities of grants available through the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act.

Urban Institute
September 2022
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Bus Operators in Crisis

TransitCenter’s report, entitled Bus Operators in Crisis: The Steady Deterioration of One of Transit’s Most Essential Jobs, and How Agencies Can Turn Things Around, analyzes the nationwide phenomenon of bus operator shortages and advocates for enhanced job quality in the occupation.

This resource includes links to the report as well as to a webinar from July, 2022.

TransitCenter
July 2022
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Higher Education Practices to Prepare Future Transportation Professionals Regarding Disability, Accessibility, and Mobility Management

This NCMM Information Brief, Higher Education Practices to Prepare Future Transportation Professionals Regarding Disability, Accessibility, and Mobility Management provides the results of a NCMM study regarding content in higher education preparation programs and offers recommendations regarding how to integrate disability-related content in preparation programs. The brief also includes recommendations regarding the recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities into the transportation industry.

Please click the link below to view NCMM’s Mobility Management in Practice Series; this report is one of several 2022 publications listed.

National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM)
April 2022
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Policy Brief: Workforce Shortages Impacting Public Transportation Recovery

This recent report summarizes results from a survey APTA conducted with transit agencies in early 2022. The majority of responding agencies reported difficulties with hiring, with bus operator recruitment being the biggest challenge.

American Public Transportation Association
March 2022
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FTA Standards Development Program: Rail Transit Roadway Worker Protection (Report 0212)

This report contains research that reviewed existing standards and best practices and develops use cases, a risk assessment matrix, and high-level concepts of operations (CONOPS) for Rail Transit RWP.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2022
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Providing Training for Zero Emission Buses: Recommended Expanded RFP Language

This document includes recommended language for agencies to build robust training procurement into their ZEB Request for Proposals. It is intended to be used as a starting point for agencies to tailor their training procurement to suit their specific needs.

International Transportation Learning Center & Jobs to Move America
February 2022
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FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2021 (Report 0209)

This statutorily required annual report provides information on FTA’s Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program (49 U.S.C. § 5314). It provides information on technical assistance, workforce development, standards, human resources, and training projects active in FY 2021. The report also includes information on FTA’s process for making upcoming allocations for FY 2022.

Federal Transit Administration
January 2022
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Zero Emission Transit Bus Technology Analysis Volume 2

This report, Volume 2, is the second edition of the Zero Emission Transit Bus Technology Analysis (ZETBTA) which includes results from the fuel-cell electric bus (FCEB), battery electric bus (BEB), diesel hybrid bus, and conventional diesel bus technologies control fleet. It integrates lessons learned and best practices gleaned from AC Transit’s extensive experience in deploying ZEB technologies, including developing innovative workforce training programs, data integration and management, and transit deployment viability.

AC Transit
December 2021
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Managing the Labor Shortage at Transit Agencies

This article examines labor shortages in the public transit industry. It focuses on the following points:

  • Transit agencies across the United States are experiencing a significant shortage in labor, that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened. This shortage is negatively impacting the services they provide to the public.
  • Employees at transit agencies have a significantly higher median age than employees in other industries.
  • Transit agencies should use data and information to consider recruiting and retaining employees for the long term.

Shared-Use Mobility Center
November 2021
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Identifying Current and Future Training Needs of the Public Transportation Industry (Report 0191)

This report documents a study commissioned by the National Transit Institute (NTI) as part of its work to address training needs. The study investigated skills gaps among the workforce of the U.S. public transportation industry, identified strategies to address those gaps, and explored approaches to more successfully recruit and retain the full spectrum of the transit workforce, from frontline to technical to professional staff.

Federal Transit Administration & National Transit Institute
June 2021
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Wayside Worker Protection Technology—TrackSafe Phase II Research & Demonstration (Report 0194)

This report outlines research and demonstration of a roadway worker protection (RWP) warning technology developed by Bombardier Rail called TrackSafe. The system was installed at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and was designed to reduce the hazards of working within a transit rail right-of-way (ROW).

Federal Transit Administration
May 2021
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FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2020 (Report 0180)

This statutorily required annual report provides information on FTA’s Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program (49 U.S.C. § 5314). It provides information on technical assistance, workforce development, standards, human resources, and training projects active in FY 2020. The report also includes information on FTA’s process for making upcoming allocations for FY 2021.

Federal Transit Administration
May 2021
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Electrifying Transit: A Guidebook for Implementing Battery Electric Buses

To assist stakeholders with interest in deploying BEBs, this guidebook describes the decisions and considerations required for successful BEB implementation.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory
April 2021
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The President’s National Advisory Council Workforce and Talent Management Study

An in-depth examination of the U.S workforce development system. The Education/Career Readiness Continuum graphic on page 11 of the report has particular applicability as agencies consider comprehensive workforce development plans.

National Infrastructure Advisory Council
March 2021
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APTA Transit Workforce Readiness Guide

APTA’s Transit Workforce Readiness Guide is a highly interactive and easy-to-use online resource for executives and their staff to assist organizations in building a more diverse talent pipeline by attracting high school students, especially those coming from underserved communities, into entry-level transit positions.

American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
March 2021
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TCRP Research Report 228: Resource Guide for Improving Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the Public Transportation Industry

Examines industry diversity programs, including how inclusion has been incorporated, and what policies, plans, and practices have been successfully implemented.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2021
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TCRP Research Report 225: A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Program have jointly issued NCHRP Research Report 963/TCRP Research Report 225: A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies, which was created to improve transportation agency responses to a pandemic.

The Playbook concentrates on what needs to be done, when and by whom. It briefly addresses planning for a pandemic, a topic addressed in greater depth in NCHRP Report 769: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response. It summarizes effective practices currently used by transportation agencies based on interviews with state departments of transportation and transit agency leaders and operational personnel, supplemented with national and international research results.

The Playbook contains several sections focused on the transit workforce, including Chapter 4, “Challenges,” and the “Employee Impact” section of Chapter 5.

National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Program
January 2021
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Mountain Line Zero-Emission Bus Implementation Plan

The Northern Arizona intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (referred to as Mountain Line) contracted with the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) to develop a Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) Transition Plan to identify a zero-emission roadmap for full-scale deployment.

Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) and AECOM
December 2020
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MTS Zero-Emission Bus Fleet Transition Study

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) engaged the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) to perform a zero-emission bus (ZEB) transition study in March 2018. The study’s goal is to create a plan for a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2040 to be in compliance with the Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation enacted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The results of the study will be used to inform MTS Board members and educate MTS staff of estimated costs, benefits, constraints, and risks to guide future planning and decision making.

Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), AECOM, & the Fiedler Group
September 2020
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FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2019 (Report 0168)

This statutorily required annual report provides information on FTA’s Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program (49 U.S.C. § 5314). This annual report provides information on any technical assistance, workforce development, standards, human resources, and training projects active in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.

Federal Transit Administration
July 2020
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Bus Maintenance and Bus Testing Program Peer-to-Peer Exchange (Report 0160)

This report presents a summary of the bus maintenance worker training peer exchange, hosted by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Significant shifts in the types of transit buses being procured (e.g., from traditional buses to alternative fuel/low- and no-emission buses) require new and different types of frontline worker training. Through the peer exchange, stakeholders, including industry representatives, shared knowledge about bus maintenance worker training and discussed best practices for developing the next generation of highly-skilled bus technicians.

Federal Transit Administration
May 2020
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Advancing Frontline Workforce Development Meeting: Synthesis

This report synthesizes findings from a two-day gathering of more than two dozen transit industry labor and management representatives who engaged in in-depth discussions on frontline workforce training needs across the U.S. The purpose of the meeting was to identify immediate, short-term, and long-term training needs for the frontline public transportation workforce in the U.S. and ways to connect apprenticeship and formal training programs to support these needs.

National Transit Institute and Federal Transit Administration
February 2020
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Innovative Transit Workforce Development Projects of 2015: Summative Evaluation (Report-0153)

This report provides the results of an evaluation of Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program projects awarded in Fiscal Year 2015. Based on a competitive application process, FTA awarded 16 workforce development projects to transit authorities, higher education institutions, Native American tribes, and nonprofit organizations individually or as a consortium.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2020
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TCRP Synthesis 147: Attracting, Retaining, and Advancing Women in Transit

Explores the strategies that have been deployed in transit and other related industries in order to attract, retain, and advance women in a variety of roles.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2020
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Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program: Key Lessons Learned (Report 0139)

This report summarizes the impacts and lessons learned of individual project models, identifies transit workforce needs, and develops recommendations for the continuation or improvement of FTA’s workforce development efforts and investments.

Federal Transit Administration
September 2019
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Attracting and Retaining Women in the Transportation Industry

Examines recruitment and retention strategies and emphasizes importance of community-orientation and mentoring.

Mineta Transportation Institute
February 2019
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FTA Annual Report on Technical Assistance and Workforce Development for FY 2018 (Report 0132)

This annual report to Congress provides information on Fiscal Year 2018 technical assistance, standards, human resources and training projects to improve public transportation as authorized by federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. § 5314). The report also includes information on FTA’s process for making allocations for FY 2019.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2019
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Innovative Transit Workforce Development Projects of 2012: Summative Evaluation (Report 0128)

This report provides the results of the Innovative Transit Workforce Development Program Evaluation of projects awarded in Fiscal Year 2012. FTA awarded a total of $7,048,898 for 16 workforce development projects. Recipients included transit authorities, higher education institutions, Native American tribes, and nonprofit organizations.

Federal Transit Administration
February 2019
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ATU Setting the Standard for Transit Apprenticeships

This article summarizes ATU’s and the International Transportation Learning Center’s (ITLC’s) efforts to promote transportation mentorship and apprenticeship program development.

Amalgamated Transit Union
September 2018
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Equity from the Frontline: Workers’ Insight and Leadership Supports a Network of Apprenticeships in Transit

Equity in Apprenticeship is a report series from COWS at UW-Madison. It highlights programs that use apprenticeship and mentorship to extend occupational opportunity to historically marginalized groups, especially people of color and women. In California, the Joint Workforce Investment in the South Bay Valley Transportation Authority has developed a web of apprenticeships and advancement opportunities.

COWS at University of Wisconsin
August 2018
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Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Framework

The Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Framework was developed by the National Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Committee and approved by the U.S. DOL. It is a competency based framework that includes all of the tasks an apprentice should be able to demonstrate as a result of the training. Tasks are based on the ASE task list and APTA training standards. It is only a guide, locations can add or remove tasks to suit their individual operations.

International Transportation Learning Center & The Urban Institute
January 2018
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TCRP Research Report 199: Transit Technical Training (Volumes 1 & 2)

TCRP Research Report 199: Transit Technical Training is a two-volume set that presents guidance on technical training programs and the implementation of those for transportation agencies.

The report’s first volume, Guide to Applying Best Practices and Sharing Resources, documents the best models of technical training programs serving U.S. and international transportation agencies and related industries.

The second volume, Guide to Overcoming Barriers to Implementing Best and Innovative Training, provides public transportation agencies with best practices, strategies, and resources to assist with the implementation of effective and innovative training programs and techniques for frontline employees.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2018
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TCRP Research Report 194: Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 194: Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies explores the importance of knowledge management (KM), which is an organization’s process for collecting, storing, and sharing organizational information and knowledge, and provides guidance on implementing KM strategies in transit agencies. In addition, the guidance includes action plans for developing particular aspects of KM, analysis of KM strategies at several transit agencies, and a catalog of KM technology tools and resources.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2018
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Transit Coach Operator Competency-Based Framework

Full Competency-Based Occupational Framework for Registered Apprenticeship for Transit Coach Operator/Bus Operators.

The Urban Institute and International Transportation Learning Center
August 2017
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TCRP Synthesis 126: Successful Practices and Training Initiatives to Reduce Accidents and Incidents at Transit Agencies

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 126: Successful Practices and Training Initiatives to Reduce Accidents and Incidents at Transit Agencies documents current practices and training initiatives, including bus operator training and retraining programs that have been effective in reducing accidents and incidents at transit agencies. The study also focuses on other system approaches that have been implemented to address safety hazards. These approaches include various technology applications, infrastructure modifications, and programs and initiatives such as driver incentive programs and close call/near miss reporting.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2017

The Transit Elevator-Escalator Training Consortium: A Model for Successful Training Development

A report on the process, products and outcomes related to the first National consortium for development of training for public transportation maintenance employees. This joint labor-management effort set a proven model for multiple other similar consortia. Products include – instruction ready courseware, a nationally recognized apprenticeship program for transit maintenance elevator/escalator maintainers and train-the-trainer program.

International Transportation Learning Center
September 2016
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TCRP Report 184: Maintenance Technician Staffing Levels for Modern Public Transit Fleets

This report identifies existing tools and practices used to determine optimum maintenance technician staffing levels. The report also provides an analysis of variables that influence maintenance technician staffing needs.

A Microsoft Excel calculator is also available, along with a user guide and case study.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
August 2016
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Innovative Transit Workforce Development Projects of 2011 Report (0094)

This report provides the results of the Innovative Transit Workforce Program Evaluation of projects awarded in fiscal year 2011. The evaluation was conducted via review of updates and final report submitted by grantees and telephone interviews with grantees.

Federal Transit Administration
April 2016
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TCRP Synthesis 120: Use of Automotive Service Excellence Tests Within Transit

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 120: Use of Automotive Service Excellence Tests Within Transit documents how the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) program is accepted and used within the transit bus maintenance community. The ASE program is nationally recognized as the standard industry credential provider for automotive professionals. The report explores how a cross section of transit bus maintenance personnel view the ASE certification program and summarizes their perspectives to improve ASE certification acceptance and participation.

Other ASE-related resources can be found by using the Resource Center’s search function.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2016
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A Guide for the Development of Career Pathways in Transportation

This Guide outlines the steps that transportation industry stakeholders can take to develop or expand Career Pathways to focus on the skills, competencies, and credentials needed for high-demand jobs in the transportation industry and its subsectors.

U.S. Department of Education (OCTAE), Jobs for the Future, International Transportation Learning Center
December 2015
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Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways Across the Transportation Industry

STRENGTHENING SKILLS TRAINING AND CAREER PATHWAYS ACROSS THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY: Data Report on Future Transportation Workforce Needs.

The collection and analysis of employment and skills data highlights the future growth areas and employment “hot spots” in transportation by industry subsectors, occupations, career areas, and geographic areas. It also emphasizes the need for skills training and career pathways across the transportation industry. The report identifies high-demand jobs with good wages, and analyzes the patterns in the education and work experience required for entry, as well as on-the-job training required for new entrants to gain full competency.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
August 2015
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Preventing and Mitigating Transit Worker Assaults in the Bus and Rail Transit Industry

On October 28th and 29th, 2014, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator tasked the Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) with developing recommendations for FTA on the elements that should comprise a Safety Management System (SMS) approach to preventing and mitigating transit worker assaults. Representatives from state and local transportation agencies, labor unions, research organizations, and national transportation associations worked together to create recommendations for FTA to prevent assaults against transit workers. These recommendations address each aspect of the SMS approach, including policy, risk management, safety promotion, and safety assurance.

Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS)
July 2015
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TCRP Report 181: Labor–Management Partnerships for Public Transportation, Volume 1: Toolkit

This toolkit provides resources for public transportation management and labor union leaders to establish, manage, and improve labor–management partnerships.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2015
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TCRP Report 178: A National Training and Certification Program for Transit Vehicle Maintenance Instructors

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 178: A National Training and Certification Program for Transit Vehicle Maintenance Instructors provides a proposed national program structure and plan for training and certifying transit bus and rail maintenance instructors. The report also provides best practices used in the public and private sectors to prepare and certify technical instructors, as well as the attributes and instructional delivery methods found most effective for maintenance instructors.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2015
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TCRP Report 181: Labor–Management Partnerships for Public Transportation, Volume 2: Final Report

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 181: Labor–Management Partnerships for Public Transportation, Volume 2: Final Report, documents the materials used to develop Volume 1: Toolkit. Volume 1 provides resources for public transportation management and labor union leaders to establish, manage, and improve labor–management partnerships.

The toolkit (Volume 1) can be found on the TWC Resource Center as a separate entry, or by following the link below.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2015

TCRP Report 170: Establishing a National Transit Industry Rail Vehicle Technician Qualification Program—Building for Success

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 170: Establishing a National Transit Industry Rail Vehicle Technician Qualification Program—Building for Success describes a system of qualification that has been developed for rail vehicle technicians. This qualification system is available for implementation through the Transportation Learning Center.

The program integrates national training standards, progressive classroom curricula and introductory courseware, on-the-job learning modules, an apprenticeship framework that combines well-designed sequences of learning, mentoring to support learners, and coordination of classroom and on-the-job learning. The qualification system also includes written and hands-on certification assessments to confirm that technicians have the practical knowledge and skills required to perform their jobs at the highest level of expertise.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) & International Transportation Learning Center
January 2014
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Pathways to Equity: Effective Transportation Career Partnerships

Expanding access to quality careers in transit systems and in transit capital construction has been the focus of innovative local programs around the country in recent years. This report presents case profiles of two of the most promising examples – one for youth Career Pathways into transit industry careers, and one for targeted construction hiring and training of disadvantaged workers for transit capital projects. This report focuses on two local case profiles for transit Career Pathways: a Project Labor Agreement in Los Angeles providing expanded access to jobs and training for public transportation capital construction, and a youth Career Pathways partnership in Philadelphia linking career and technical education with future transit careers. Both of these models, if taken to scale in the transit industry, can have positive impacts, locally and nationally, for improving access to family-sustaining careers and training and for improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged groups – urban low-income and minority groups as well as women – who have previously been under-represented in these occupations.

 

International Transportation Learning Center
December 2013
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Promoting Employment in Transit Construction Projects by Members of Minority and Low Income Communities (Report 0080)

This report summarizes research investigating the participation of members of low-income and minority populations in employment generated by transit projects and identifies practices to increase their participation. It features four in-depth case studies of light rail projects.

Federal Transit Administration
July 2013
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TCRP Synthesis 107: Rail Transit Track Inspection Practices

TRBs Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 107: TCRP Synthesis 107, Rail Transit Track Inspection Practices offers information across a range of older and newer U.S. rail transit agencies on track inspection practices and policies.

Issues addressed in the report include agency staffing, agency organization and characteristics, track inspection program criteria, training and certification, procurement, and track safety practices.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2013
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TCRP Report 162: Building a Sustainable Workforce in the Public Transportation Industry—A Systems Approach

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 162: Building a Sustainable Workforce in the Public Transportation Industry—A Systems Approach provides a guidebook that addresses contemporary issues in workforce development, retention, and attraction, and public transportation image management.

The guidebook provides practical tools to transit agencies on a variety of workforce issues including workforce strategies that enhance organizational processes, performance metrics to evaluate the impact of workforce strategies, image management techniques that improve perceptions of the public transportation industry, and benchmarking processes that allow for continuous organizational improvement.

The guidebook is separated into modules that may be used independently or together in the form of the fully integrated guidebook.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2013
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TCRP Synthesis 95: Practices for Wayside Rail Transit Worker Protection

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 95: Practices for Wayside Rail Transit Worker Protection is designed to highlight knowledge, practice, lessons learned, and gaps in information related to wayside rail transit worker protection programs.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2012
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Method and Processes for Transit Training Metrics and Return on Investment

This guidebook was developed by the ITLC to help transit agencies determine benefits and return on investment (ROI) stemming from their training programs.

International Transportation Learning Center
September 2011
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Dialogue for Women in Blue-Collar Transportation Careers

Short summary report on unique challenges and recommendations regarding women in blue-collar positions in transportation.

US Dept. of Transportation
September 2011
RESOURCE TYPE: | TRANSIT MODE:

TCRP Synthesis 93: Practices to Protect Bus Operators from Passenger Assault: A Synthesis of Transit Practice

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 93: Practices to Protect Bus Operators from Passenger Assault highlights practices and policies implemented by transit agencies to deter and mitigate assaults on bus operators.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2011
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National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for Bus Maintenance Technicians

​These National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) Apprenticeship Standards have as their objective the training of Bus Maintenance Technicians skilled in all phases of bus maintenance. The NJATC and its affiliated Local Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees recognize that in order to accomplish this, there must be well-developed on-the-job learning combined with related instruction. This recognition has resulted in the development of these Apprenticeship Standards.

Developed by the Transportation Learning Center and National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship.

Approved and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship on 8/25/2010.

International Transportation Learning Center & National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC)
August 2010
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Rail Vehicles Maintenance Training Standards

​In response to the transit industry’s need for rail vehicles maintenance training, the Transportation Learning Center partnered with APTA, transit agencies and unions representing transit workers to develop these joint labor-management training guidelines and recommended training practices.

​The curriculum, courseware and training guidelines adopted by the group and contained in this Recommended Practice are designed to meet or exceed the licensing requirements of jurisdictions, which currently or in the future, may legislate professional licensure or certification for rail vehicle technicians.

American Public Transportation Association (APTA) & International Transportation Learning Center
June 2010
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Learning by Doing: Hands-On Training for Transportation Technicians

Today, formal training is absolutely essential to produce technicians capable of providing safe, efficient and cost-effective transport services. The consequences of jeopardizing passenger and public safety are just too great to turn inexperienced workers loose on advanced transit vehicles without proper training, hoping they will learn “as they go.” The question becomes how best to construct an effective training program. This paper, from the International Transportation Learning Center, examines the subject of technical training and advocates “learning by doing” as an essential element to acquiring needed technical knowledge and skills. It stands to reason that someone attracted to becoming a technician is interested in working with their hands. Training, therefore, should make use of that natural inclination and engage students in hands-on activities throughout the entire learning process.

 

International Transportation Learning Center
April 2010
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Transit Partnership Training: Metrics of Success

The Metrics of Success series chronicles measurable outcomes, in particular return on investment, of transit training partnerships in which the International Transportation Learning Center has had a substantial role. Each Metrics report focuses on quantitative data from a specific partnership, while Transit Partnership Training: Metrics of Success is an overview of key findings from all Metrics reports to date.

Related reports can be found by following the link below.

International Transportation Learning Center
February 2010
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Training Partnerships That Work: An Emerging National Network

Training Partnerships That Work provides vivid summaries of successful labor-management training partnerships at sites across the country. The cases included here represent a diverse set of transit systems and unique training partnerships. Most importantly, they illustrate how labor and management can work together successfully on issues of training, and provide valuable lessons for other industries facing the problem of retiring baby boomers and inadequate capacity to train replacement workers.

 

International Transportation Learning Center
February 2010
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TCRP Report 142: Vehicle Operator Recruitment, Retention, and Performance in ADA Complementary Paratransit Operations

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 142: Vehicle Operator Recruitment, Retention, and Performance in ADA Complementary Paratransit Operations provides guidance for understanding the relationships that influence and enhance operator recruitment, retention, and performance in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit services.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2010
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Jointly Sponsored Training Systems In American Industries

​This paper examines recent developments in credentialing in jointly sponsored training and qualifications systems across the United States. This paper builds on previous work on building trades joint apprenticeship and training programs, which describes their structure and activities and documents their superior performance over programs unilaterally operated by employers. Jointly sponsored training programs are not common in the U.S., but strong programs are found in the building trades where they serve important roles in preparing and qualifying the skilled craft workers.

 

International Transportation Learning Center (with Robert W. Glover, the University of Texas at Austin)
February 2009
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Working Together: A Systems Approach for Transit Training

​Transit faces a critical skills challenge driven by changing technologies, shifting workforce demographics and record-breaking growth in ridership.

Working Together: A Systems Approach for Transit Training outlines how constructive training partnerships provide the most effective way for the transit industry to address its skill challenges. National labor-management committees have met regularly for several years to develop consensus training guidelines. These joint committees have been focusing on five transit maintenance occupations: bus, rail signals, traction power, rail vehicles and elevator/escalator. A parallel joint effort has been crafting a national framework for transit apprenticeship.

International Transportation Learning Center
January 2009
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Building an Apprenticeship and Training System for Maintenance Occupations

​This article discusses the joint training and apprenticeship system emerging in maintenance occupations in the American transit industry, its challenges and strategies to overcome them. The article reports on early results, including efforts to develop a consensus national framework for apprenticeship and training in transit maintenance.

 

International Transportation Learning Center (with Robert W. Glover, the University of Texas at Austin)
January 2009
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Building Capacity for Transit Training: International and Domestic Comparisons

This working paper provides an initial overview of the findings from ongoing research at the Transportation Learning Center regarding strong industry-wide workforce development systems in six other countries and in several US industries.

International Transportation Learning Center
December 2008
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TCRP Research Results Digest 88: Innovative Practices in Transit Workforce Development

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Results Digest 88: Innovative Practices in Transit Workforce Development examines innovative practices in workforce development in several cities in Canada, France, and Belgium.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
June 2008
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Metrics of Success Series

The Metrics of Success series chronicles measurable outcomes, in particular return on investment, of transit training partnerships in which the International Transportation Learning Center has had a substantial role. Each Metrics report focuses on quantitative data from a specific partnership, while Transit Partnership Training: Metrics of Success is an overview of key findings from all Metrics reports to date.

International Transportation Learning Center
May 2008
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Developing a Joint System of Training and Apprenticeship in American Transit

​Transit systems in the United States are facing unprecedented challenges in obtaining the workforce skills in maintenance departments to address pervasive technological changes, to replace an impending wave of retirements of “baby boom” workers, and to accommodate significant growth in transit ridership. ​Several new technologies have been driving change in the transit industry, especially advanced electronics used in controls for engines, transmissions, or brakes and in all aspects of communications, including global positioning satellite (GPS) systems. Many technologies such as electronic fare cards, automatic vehicle location (AVL) supporting real-time information systems, and new transit rail lines have increased customer convenience and led directly to growing ridership. In addition, environmental concerns are driving adoption of new clean propulsion technologies. Earlier innovations such as compressed natural gas are being augmented by cleaner-burning diesel and hybrid gas-electric and diesel-electric propulsion systems. Prospects are for continued changes; biodiesel, hydrogen, ultra-clean diesel and fuel cell power are on the horizon.

This paper reviews training innovations and lessons that may be applicable to the transit industry from practices used in other industries. It draws on a rich body of experience of joint apprenticeship and training  programs, as well as employer-sponsored training.

International Transportation Learning Center (with Robert W. Glover, the University of Texas at Austin)
September 2007
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People Make the Hardware Work: Transit Experts Call for Labor-Management Training Partnerships

This short piece outlines five tools for success in labor-management training partnerships:
1. Unions as Partners
2. A Joint Training Strategy
3. Empowering the Workforce
4. Cultivating a Learning Organization
5. Reaching High Performance

International Transportation Learning Center & TCRP
March 2007
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TCRP Report 103: Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 103: Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice documents principles, techniques, and strategies that are used in workforce recruitment, development, and retention.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
January 2004
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Pennsylvania Transit on the High Road

This report is part of a larger case study that chronicles the development of the Keystone Transit Career Ladder Partnership, including the process of job task/work task analysis, skills gap analysis, and data-driven training development.

International Transportation Learning Center
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Transit Apprenticeship at Pierce Transit: From the Ground Up

Pierce Transit is part of a transit apprenticeship initiative and has received technical assistance in structuring their apprenticeship program as well as financial assistance to reimburse some training costs.

International Transportation Learning Center & APTA Passenger Transport
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Training for Transportation Technicians: Which Delivery Methods Work Best?

This paper explores the question “what is the most effective way to train transportation technicians?” It proposes a blended approach combining classroom time with interactive hands-on demonstrations, followed by structured on-the-job training (OJT) and mentoring.

International Transportation Learning Center
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Moving Forward: Toward Women’s Equity and Inclusion in the Rail and Transit Sector

A toolkit for increasing women’s employment in Traditionally male dominated high-wage, high-skill fields on the railroad and in public transit agencies.

International Transportation Learning Center and Chicago Women in the Trades