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T R A N S P O R T A T I O N R E S E A R C H B O A R D WASHINGTON, D.C. 2004 www.TRB.org T R A N S I T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M TCRP REPORT 103 Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation SUBJECT AREAS Public Transit Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice WATSON WYATT WORLDWIDE Washington, D.C. AND FOCUS GROUP CORPORATION Alexandria, VA
TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213âResearch for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administrationânow the Federal Transit Admin- istration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem-solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including plan- ning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooperating organizations: FTA, The National Academies, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identifying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activ- ities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. TCRP REPORT 103 Project F-11 FYâ2002 ISSN 1073-4872 ISBN 0-309-08791-0 Library of Congress Control Number 2004104645 Â© 2004 Transportation Research Board Price $28.00 NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Boardâs judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the Transit Development Corporation, or the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical panel according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. To save time and money in disseminating the research findings, the report is essentially the original text as submitted by the research agency. This report has not been edited by TRB. Special Notice The Transportation Research Board of The National Academies, the National Research Council, the Transit Development Corporation, and the Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. Published reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is a division of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Boardâs mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage more than 4,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, TCRP Manager GWEN CHISHOLM, Senior Program Officer EILEEN P. DELANEY, Managing Editor PROJECT PANEL F-11 Field of Human Resources BEVERLY A. SCOTT, Sacramento Regional Transit District (Chair) GAIL CHARLES, The Wright Choice Consulting Services, Inc. JOAN CRAWFORD, Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada SUZANNE FOSSEY, British Columbia Transit SAUNDRA FOSTER, SL Foster & Associates KEITH J. GREENE, Society for Human Resource Management PRIM LA CAPRA, New Jersey Transit Corporation JOAN MARTIN, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority JAMES E. MOORE, II, University of Southern California JEFFREY M. ROSENBERG, Amalgamated Transit Union PAM WARD, Ottumwa Transit Authority, Ottumwa, IA LYDIA E. MERCADO, FTA Liaison Representative MATTHEW J. WELBES, FTA Liaison Representative PAMELA BOSWELL, APTA Liaison Representative PETER SHAW, TRB Liaison Representative
FOREWORD By Gwen Chisholm Staff Officer Transportation Research Board 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. The report includes a companion document, Communications Strategy and Implementation Plan, Positioning the Public Trans- portation Operating Agency as an Employer of Choice that describes strategies and solutions that offer the greatest potential for positioning public transportation operat- ing agencies as an employer of choice. The Toolkit will assist transportation policy- makers and practitioners in implementing more effective human resources business- planning processes. The success and overall competitiveness of the public transportation operating agency is directly tied to its human resourcesâthe quality, responsiveness, and com- mitment of its employees at all levels. At a time of sharply increased demand for its services, the public transportation industry faces serious problems in recruiting, devel- oping, and retaining a skilled workforce. The public transportation industry would like to be positioned as an âemployer of choice.â Research reveals that public transportation operating agencies have struggled with integrating human resources into strategic business-planning processes. Today, public transportation operating agencies are facing workforce changes that threaten their tra- ditional patterns of recruitment and retention. Some of these are general trends in the society: demographic changes, changes in worker expectations, and changes in educa- tion and training. Other challenges are more specific to the public transportation oper- ating agency. The public transportation operating agency is increasingly less attractive as a career choice in part due to its image, work culture, and compensation. Traditional sources of transit recruitment are no longer as productive as they were in the past. Today, operating agencies are also challenged to use technology to recruit and develop their workforce. Although research has been completed on workforce challenges in public trans- portation, there are still significant gaps. Building on the work that has been completed to date, the Toolkit is designed to provide U.S. public transportation operating agencies with a variety of resources, methods and techniques for workforce recruitment, devel- opment, and retention. Watson Wyatt Worldwide prepared this report for TCRP Project F-11. To achieve the projectâs objective of assembling a toolkitâbased on principles, techniques, strate- gies, and available resourcesâthat can be used to recruit, develop, and retain the pub- lic transportation workforce, thereby positioning public transportation agencies as employers of choice, a comprehensive literature review was undertaken to identify fac- tors that positively affect public transportation operating agency workforce recruit- ment, development, and retention.
To ensure that the Toolkit would be responsive to the needs and concerns of the transit industry, Watson Wyatt Worldwide conducted interviews, surveys, and focus groups to solicit input from public transportation operating agency employees on their perceptions of (1) the positive aspects of the public transportation operating agency as an employer and (2) the obstacles preventing the public transportation operating agency from being an employer of choice. The information gathered from the data-collection effort shaped both the content and organization of the Toolkit. The Toolkit includes strategies and best practices that address how a public transportation operating agency can become an employer of choice.
1 COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN Introduction, 1 Communications Strategy and Implementation, 2 Measuring Effectiveness of Initial Communications, 4 Communications Beyond Year 1, 5 Communications Strategy and Implementation Plan Guidelines, 5 6 EXHIBIT A: Sample EOC Key Messages 11 EXHIBIT B: Sample Tactical Plan for Year 1âIndustry 12 EXHIBIT C: Sample Tactical Plan for Year 1âAgency CD-ROM CONTENTS Toolkit as PDF Toolkit as PowerPoint CONTENTS