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Transit Manager’s Toolkit: Driver Recruitment, Training, and Retention

This section of the toolkit introduces both requirements and suggested practices in the areas of driver recruiting/hiring, retention/motivation, and training.

National RTAP
May 2022
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The Road to Zero Emission Buses — National Coordinated Effort to Prepare Frontline Technicians

Transitioning from work with the 12- and 24-volts electrical systems in traditional diesel and CNG buses to Zero Emissions Buses (ZEBs), with upwards of 800 volts, requires a significant commitment to additional skills training and development. The Transit Workforce Center is producing critical resources as part of a nationally coordinated effort to help prepare frontline technicians with the training needed to meet the challenges and  demands of this new technology. This document summarizes our ZEB resources.

Transit Workforce Center
March 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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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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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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Creating and Editing Instructional Videos to Engage Learners

Beyond the traditional classroom environment, one way transit trainers can enhance delivery is through video instruction. This recorded webinar demonstrates Filmora™, an affordable and easy-to-use platform that helps you create video instruction modules.

This is one of several skill booster events held by the International Transportation Learning Center (ITLC). Other webinars can be found by filtering by resource type.

International Transportation Learning Center
November 2020
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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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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
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Troops to Transit: A Resource for Recruiting and Developing Veterans for Public Transportation Careers

The International Transportation Learning Center’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data has shown that the transportation industry in large will likely see a massive front-line labor shortage in the next ten years unless it is able to find and hire skilled workers. In fact, it is estimated that 126 percent of today’s transit workforce will have to be hired and trained in the next ten years.

In order to help fill this need, the center has produced a Veterans Crosswalk tool (see Excel document below) which matches skill-sets learned during military service with the kinds of skills that public transportation agencies look for when hiring signals maintainers. This product was produced in cooperation with a Veterans Taskforce made up of veterans who are also Subject Matter Experts in the field of Signals Maintenance. This detailed matrix has been distilled down into a user-friendly Veteran’s Factsheet (see PDF below) which provides at-a-glance information for both veterans interested in a signals career and for agencies looking to hire skilled veterans.

The tool is accompanied by a summary report.

International Transportation Learning Center
November 2016
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Training Syllabus to Instruct Bus Technicians on Hybrid Drive Systems Operations and Maintenance

This Recommended Practice provides guidelines for establishing a standardized bus maintenance training program related to the theory of operation, aintenance and troubleshooting of bus hybrid drive transmissions and related equipment.

American Public Transportation Association
October 2016
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Training Syllabus to Instruct Bus Technicians on EPA Emissions Standards and Treatment Technologies

This Recommended Practice provides guidelines for establishing a standardized bus maintenance training program related to the maintenance and roubleshooting of bus engine and after treatment components used to achieve applicable EPA emission standards.

American Public Transportation Association
October 2016
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Training Syllabus to Instruct/Prepare for the ASE Transit Bus Diesel Engines Test

This Recommended Practice provides guidelines for establishing a standardized bus maintenance training program related to the ASE certification program syllabus for the diesel engines used in transit buses and coaches.

American Public Transportation Association
October 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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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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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 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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Transit Maintenance Mentoring Guidebook

The purpose of this report is to serve as a guidebook, offering information that transit agencies can use to establish mentoring as a training method with guidance, suggestions, and examples to implement or expand upon existing mentoring programs. It is based on a generic mentoring guidebook developed by the USDOT, modified and enhanced to reflect transit maintenance applications.

International Transportation Learning Center
November 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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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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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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Digital Multimeter Reference Guide

A reference guide for using digital multimeters including glossaries, safety precautions, and related resources.

International Transportation Learning Center
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Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Webinars

The Transportation Learning Center presents three distance-based courses to help transit bus technicians gain fundamental understanding of battery electric bus (BEB) technology. These courses are recorded from live online sessions.

In each  session, experts from various BEB manufacturers presented on specific topics, with over 400 participants attending. Each session is introduced by John Schiavone, who moderated many questions from participants. Please click “Learn More” to view the recorded sessions, slides and presenters’ notes, and sample tests and test answers.

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
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Battery Electric Bus Familiarization Webinars

The Transportation Learning Center presents three distance-based courses to help transit bus technicians gain fundamental understanding of battery electric bus (BEB) technology. These courses are recorded from live online sessions.

In each session, experts from various BEB manufacturers presented on specific topics, with over 400 participants attending. Each session is introduced by John Schiavone, who moderated many questions from participants. Please follow the link below to view the recorded sessions, slides and presenters’ notes, and sample tests and test answers.

International Transportation Learning Center

Training Course – Transit Bus Emissions Control Systems

A three-day course designed to deepen bus technicians’ understanding of the operation and maintenance of transit bus emission control systems.​

Intermountain Transit Career Ladder, Inc.