The average transit executive spent 23 years in the industry, with an average annual salary of $113,000, according to METRO’s seventh annual survey.
Second annual Bus Maintenance Survey finds that many agencies around the nation are experiencing difficulties with alternative propulsion, as they continue to add new equipment in the shop to service as well as learn new ways to make repairs to the vehicles. Meanwhile parts issues, including concerns about availability, lead times and frequent failures, remains the biggest issue.
Cited as the top challenge experienced by one-fifth of participating operators. Coming in second was land use coordination, at 17%, down by slightly more than 10% from last year, when it was listed as the top challenge.
As budgets and funding continue to shrink, demand continues to grow, as does the role public transportation plays in preserving the environment. Appropriately, many transit systems continue to innovate and make their case known, both at the federal and local levels. New York City Transit takes the top spot in this year’s survey.
What’s new? Not much. Ridership is still high, and funding is still vanishing. Many providers are still looking to technology to cope and some are including new types of vehicles in their fleets. Travel training, which appears to be growing in popularity, may be a partial solution.
In METRO's inaugural Bus Maintenance Survey, transit agencies find they are often asking their maintenance departments to do more with less, including cutting overtime, watching costs, reshuffling mechanic and fueler schedules, and extending vehicle life cycles.
Funding did run a close second, at 23 percent. Several survey respondents cited difficulties of complying with regulations across multiple municipalities and jurisdictions, including traffic signal priority agreements.
While 70 percent of respondents saw ridership increase, fewer plan to buy new vehicles next year and many have had to reduce service to meet tighter budgets. In many cases, software, mobile data terminals and other technologies are helping agencies streamline services.
Several projects are in the planning stages, many of them on the West Coast. Although funding is once again a common hurdle, with financial support hinging on tight application deadlines, transit agencies are pushing ahead.
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