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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 170 TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2014 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation Establishing a National Transit Industry Rail Vehicle Technician Qualification Programâ Building for Success TransporTaTion Learning CenTer Silver Spring, MD
TCRP REPORT 170 Project E-07 ISSN 1073-4872 ISBN 978-0-309-28419-6 Â© 2014 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. 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. The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors 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 object of the report. 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 intro- duce 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 success- ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooper- ating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research orga- nization 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 identi- fying 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 state- ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- cal 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 pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activ ities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without com pensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- ing 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. 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
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars 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 technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy 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 achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., 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 Academy, 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 Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transporta- tion Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 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 individu- als interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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 S AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS It is important to recognize the important contributions to this project from a number of industry leaders. Transit leaders especially concerned about rail car technician training have been working together in the National Training Standards Committee since 2006 through a joint working group co-chaired by Jayendra Shah of New York City Transit (NYCT) and John Costa of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). The members of the National Rail Vehicle Training Standards Committee are listed in Appendix A of the contractorâs final report. (Appendix A can be found by searching for TCRP Report 170 on the TRB website.) Transportation Learning Center staff who contributed to this effort include Julie Deibel, Mark Dysart, John J. Schiavone, Brian J. Turner, and Xinge Wang. Contributors from Educational Data Systems, Inc., included Brian Lester and Ken Mall. The industrywide organizations contributing to this effort include APTA and the national transit unions, ATU and the Transport Workers Union (TWU), who worked with the Rail Vehicle Training Standards Committee in 2007 to develop a proposal for what became TCRP Project E-07, Establishing a National Transit Industry Rail Vehicle Technician Qualifica- tion Program: Building for Success. CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 170 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Cynthia Butler, Administrative Associate Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Ellen M. Chafee, Editor TCRP PROJECT E-07 PANEL Field of Maintenance John A. Costa, Amalgamated Transit Union, Scotch Plains, NJ (Co-Chair) Jayendra N. Shah, MTA New York City Transit, Floral Park, NY (Co-Chair) Jerry Blackman, Miami-Dade Transit, Miami, FL James T. Brooks, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT John H. Buckner, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA Mark Grove, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District, Gresham, OR Frank L. Harris, II, Amalgamated Transit Union #732, Lithonia, GA James Lindsay, LACMTA - Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277, Los Angeles, CA Phil Lowe, Transport Workers Union Local 234, Westville, NJ James R. Plomin, Oak Park, IL Jack Shaw, Jr., Metro Transit, Marine on St. Croix, MN Lee Summerlott, San Diego Trolley, Inc., San Diego, CA Paul L. Swanson, Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN David L. Wright, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA Roy Wei Shun Chen, FTA Liaison Carlos Garay, FTA Liaison Betty F. Jackson, FTA Liaison Jarrett W. Stoltzfus, FTA Liaison Pamela Boswell, APTA Liaison John A. Remark, Amalgamated Transit Union Liaison Ed Watt, Amalgamated Transit Union Liaison Jennifer L. Weeks, TRB Liaison
F O R E W O R D By Christopher W. Jenks Director, Cooperative Research Programs Transportation Research Board TCRP Report 170 describes a system of qualification that has been developed for rail vehicle technicians that 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. This qualification system is available for implementation through the Trans- portation Learning Center. The development and implementation of new rail vehicle technologies in transit systems around the country have had profound effects. While these technologies have greatly ben- efited customers and agencies alike, they also have led to difficulties. The internal training capacity of the transit industry has had trouble keeping up with the pace of innovation, and it has become increasingly difficult to hire new external applicants with the specialized skills needed for the new equipment. Upgrading the skills of the workforce that maintains this new technology and developing a system that does this on an ongoing basis is of the utmost importance to the industry. A number of reports have analyzed the transit skills crisis. A common thread in their recommendations for resolving this skills crisis is that management and labor should work together in creating a joint system for developing the skills needed in this industry. The best approach is for all the major players in the transit industry, labor and management, to work in partnership to develop new approaches to training and certification. Efforts have been underway to develop national standards for training in four transit rail occupations: rail signal maintainers, elevator-escalator, wayside power, and rail vehicle technicians. National standards for training and certification jointly developed and main- tained by transit management and transit organized labor offer the best approach for meet- ing the skill needs of the transit industry for rail vehicle technicians and other maintenance occupations. Under TCRP Project E-07, the Transportation Learning Center was asked to develop a system of training and certification for rail vehicle maintenance. The Transportation Learning Center developed all content and infrastructure necessary to deliver a system of qualification to transit rail systems. The system covers both training and certification aspects of the qualification system. Appendices A through P of the contractorâs final report for TCRP Project E-07 can be found by searching for TCRP Report 170 on the TRB website. Appendix titles are the following:
â¢ Appendix A: National Rail Vehicle Training Standards CommitteeâMembership List â¢ Appendix B: Building Capacity for Transit Training: International and Domestic Comparisons â¢ Appendix C: TCRP Project E-07 Multiyear Work Plan â¢ Appendix D: 200 Level Primers â¢ Appendix E: Learning by Doing: Hands-On Training for Transportation Technicians â¢ Appendix F: Mentoring Guidebook â¢ Appendix G: Rail Car Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship with the Department of Laborâs Office of Apprenticeship â¢ Appendix H: Detailed Rail Car Maintenance Technician Progression Flowchart â¢ Appendix I: Rail Vehicle Technician Apprenticeship: Definitions of Levels of Qualification â¢ Appendix J: Written and Hands-On Assessment Process Checklist â¢ Appendix K: Qualification Assessment FAQs â¢ Appendix L: National Rail Car Hands-On Skills Assessment Tutorial â¢ Appendix M: Hands-On AssessmentâTask Application Form â¢ Appendix N: Hands-On AssessmentâEvaluatorâs Worksheet â¢ Appendix O: Hands-On AssessmentâCandidateâs Version â¢ Appendix P: Sample Written Assessment Tutorials
C O N T E N T S 1 Summary 7 Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview 7 The Problem: Demographic Transitions, Industry Growth, and New Technology 9 Inadequate Investment in Human Capital 10 Transit Industry Initiatives to Build Effective Technical Training Systems 15 Next Steps 18 Chapter 2 The Framework of Effective Rail Car Technician Training 18 Building a National System of Qualification for Rail Car Technicians 19 National Rail Vehicle Training Standards Committee 19 National Training Standards and Standards-Based Curriculum and Courseware 25 National Training Consortium 25 Train-the-Trainer and Mentor Training Programs 27 Skills Validation 29 Apprenticeship 32 Chapter 3 Qualification System Design, Program Rules, and Management of Training and Qualification Information 32 Progression of Rail Vehicle Technician Qualifications 32 Grandparenting 34 Local Training Structure 34 Assessment Modules 35 Assessment Design and Program Rules 38 Recognition of Qualification 38 Refresher Training 38 Credential Management System 42 Analyzing the Numbers: The Economics of a National System of Assessment 46 Chapter 4 Current Local Practices in Rail Car Training and Qualification and National Program Piloting Experience 46 Limitations of Current Local Practices in Rail Car Training and Qualification 47 OEM Training Quality Found to Be Inconsistent 47 System of QualificationâLocal Implementation and Pilot Experience
55 Chapter 5 Moving ForwardâImplementing Systems of Qualification 55 Local Implementation of the New Framework for Qualification 56 Registering and Expanding Apprenticeships and Standards-Based Training 57 Developing the Qualification System and Supporting Local Implementation: Proposed Rail Car Training Consortium 58 Expanding Resources for Frontline Workforce Qualification 58 Postscript: Career Pathways for Tomorrowâs Transit Technicians 59 References 60 List of Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms Note: Many of the photographs, figures, and tables in this report have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the Web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.