Topics

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Bus Operator Workforce Management: Practitioner’s Guide

This practitioner’s guide provides recommendations and resources enabling transit agencies to better assess, plan, and implement their operator workforce management programs.

Eno Center for Transportation, International Transportation Learning Center (ITLC), Huber & Associates
January 2023
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Making Connections 2022 – Program Overview

The Transit Workforce Center hosted Making Connections 2022: The National Transit Workforce Conference in Washington, D.C. on December 13-14, 2022. This conference brought together participants from urban, suburban, rural, and tribal public transportation and industry stakeholders in plenaries, workshops, networking, and ongoing dialogue. Discussions and sessions featured topics including recruitment and retention, training, mentoring and apprenticeships, new technologies, preparing today’s and tomorrow’s workforce, and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

Session materials from Making Connections 2022 are hosted on the TWC Resource Center. Please click here to view all related materials. A PDF copy of the conference schedule is linked below.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022
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Making Connections 2022 – Designing an Impactful Training Program: Linking Program Design to Classroom Learning and On-The-Job Training for Transit Frontline Workers

This session was presented as part of TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center
December 2022

Session Summary: This workshop covered the basic building blocks of program design. Participants evaluated the pieces needed to develop a robust program that enables trainers to link good program design to effective classroom and on-the-job learning. This workshop was relevant to those looking to build new programs or refine current programs.

Moderator

Grant Young: Instructional Systems Design Consultant – International Transportation Learning Center/Transit Workforce Center

Speakers

Mike Glaeser: Manager, Bus Maintenance Training – Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Colleen May: Senior Director of Training – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

Danielle Wallace: Apprenticeship and Pathways Manager – King County Metro Transit

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Making Connections 2022 – Meeting Industry Needs: Feedback Session on FTA’s Draft Strategic Workforce Development Plan

This handout was shared with participants in a feedback session held during TWC’s Making Connections 2022 transit workforce conference in December, 2022.

Transit Workforce Center & Federal Transit Administration
December 2022

Session Summary: The Federal Transit Administration, assisted by the Transit Workforce Center, is developing a strategic plan to support, strengthen and advance the transit industry’s workforce development programs. In this working session, participants heard about the current draft version of the plan and provided feedback and input that will shape the final document and direction.

Speakers

Mary Leary: Acting Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration and Innovation – Federal Transit Administration

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Employers can support workers’ economic mobility and their own bottom lines

This article provides a concise description of several strategies employers can use to create clear advancement pathways in their workplaces, which will help attract and retain quality candidates. It discusses research around what modern-day employees are looking for in a workplace and a position. It also links to a related article, which provides an overview of the framework created by Jobs for the Future (JFF) to describe the components of a good job.

WorkRise
November 2022
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Building Pathways to Infrastructure Careers: Framework for Preparing an Infrastructure Workforce

This resource provides a framework for all workforce stakeholders, including infrastructure project leads, to engage the public workforce system in implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with strong workforce commitments and proven strategies that produce high-quality education, training, and employment opportunities for all workers.

U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
October 2022
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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
October 2022
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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
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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National Transit Frontline Worker Recruitment Campaign

Across the United States, whether large, small, urban, rural, or tribal, transit agencies are facing the challenge of recruiting and retaining drivers, mechanics, and technicians who can operate and maintain the buses of our public transit systems.  To help support local transit efforts, TWC is developing the #ConnectingMyCommunity national frontline worker recruitment campaign, coordinated with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and industry, labor, and community partners from around the country.

Transit Workforce Center
July 2022
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Strategic Workforce Planning in Transit: Fundamentals of Mentoring

This is the third in the Transit Workforce Center’s webinar series on strategic workforce development planning in transit. Labor and management leaders from across the country discussed the impact of mentorship programs in their agencies.

A video recording of the webinar and the associated slides are attached below. Please follow the link below to view all past TWC webinars and to register for upcoming events.

Transit Workforce Center
June 2022

Mentor programs provide a powerful and effective tool for workforce development and retention. For maintenance occupations, mentors deliver hands-on training support, putting skills in diverse workplace contexts beyond the classroom. For bus operators, mentors provide guidance that addresses real world situations, building and expanding on basic training and creating ongoing support for each new operator. In every transit agency across all occupations, seasoned employees have stores of knowledge waiting to be shared. Without mentorship, this knowledge can be lost when workers retire or move on. A well-structured mentorship program, designed in partnership with the workers, ensure this expertise is passed on. Strong mentorship programs also provide mentors with leadership opportunities and mentees with the skills and confidence they need to succeed, increasing expertise and morale throughout the organization.

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Strategic Workforce Planning in Transit: Recruiting and Developing Today’s Transit Workforce

This is the second in the Transit Workforce Center’s webinar series on strategic workforce development planning in transit. The TWC’s first webinar examined workforce development for the incumbent workforce. This second webinar focuses on how transit agencies and partner organizations are working to meet the significant recruitment challenges across the country and how to best turn these challenges into opportunities to reach, attract, and retain a diverse workforce. Two transit agencies and their labor partners discuss their innovative outreach and recruitment programs–including mentoring, pre-apprenticeships, and community college partnerships–followed by a presentation from a national organization leader who has coordinated cross-sectoral recruitment initiatives with agencies across the U.S.

A video recording of the webinar and the associated slides are attached below (if you are on the main Resource Center page, click “Learn More” to view the video). Please follow the link below to view all past TWC webinars and to register for upcoming events.

Transit Workforce Center
June 2022
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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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Strategic Workforce Planning in Transit: Developing, Supporting, and Strengthening Your Incumbent Workforce

This webinar, presented on April 27, 2022, explores important considerations and best practices for creating strong strategic workforce development plans.

FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez provided opening remarks, followed by insightful workforce development guidance and case examples from leading, experienced, and insightful presentations from IndyGo (Indianapolis IN), ATU International and Local 558, SporTran (Shreveport LA), TWU Local 100- NYCTA Training and Upgrading Fund (NYC), SEPTA (Philadelphia PA), and ProgressWorx.

It is the first in a series of TWC webinars on Strategic Workforce Planning.

A video recording of the webinar and the associated slides are attached below (if you are on the main Resource Center page, click “Learn More” to view the video). Please follow the link below to view all past TWC webinars and to register for upcoming events.

Transit Workforce Center
April 2022
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TWC Briefing Report: Bus Driver Recruitment and Retention in Challenging Times

The TWC released this brief in spring 2022 discussing challenges facing transit agencies in recruiting and retaining bus drivers.

 

Transit Workforce Center
April 2022
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Invisible Disabilities in the Workplace

These two resources provide insight for employers into what “invisible” or “hidden” disabilities are, how to provide opportunities for employees to voluntarily disclose them, and how to support individuals with such disabilities to be successful in the workplace.

BetterUp; SHRM
February 2022
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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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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 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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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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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 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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From Operator to Chief – One Employee’s Story

A description of King County DOT’s program for recruitment and advancement options for current employees, with an emphasis on diversity, along with one employees’ story about how he was supported in his journey from bus operator to Base Chief.

 

King County DOT
October 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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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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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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Bus Operator Restroom Use Case Study

In collaboration with the Bus Operator National Joint Training Standards Committee, the International Transportation Learning Center developed this Bus Operator Restroom Use report, a case study and compendium of practitioner resources on restroom use, including a history of restroom use policy at Minneapolis Metro Transit. The resources in this report also include a model community restroom licensing agreement, route-specific restroom locations chart, and example collective bargaining language.

 

International Transportation Learning Center
January 2012
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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
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TCRP Research Results Digest 100: Professional Certification and Credentialing Program for the Transit Industry

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Results Digest 100: Professional Certification and Credentialing Program for the Transit Industry explores the findings of a literature review and a gap analysis of the efficacy of four transit-specific professional development programs. The report also examines potential strategies that might be used to deploy and maintain a transit industry certification and credentialing program.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)
April 2011
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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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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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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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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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APTA Emerging Leaders Presentation: Recruiting & Retaining Bus Operators

This slidedeck, from an APTA Emerging Leaders Program presentation, provides an overview of research and transit agency case studies to capture key themes on the topic of bus operator recruitment and retention.

American Public Transportation Association