In my other role as an editor for School Bus Fleet magazine, I just wrapped up a story about transportation directors who balance two or even three job responsibilities in some cases, and how they manage it all. Relying on a stellar team, delegating to that team, and planning and prioritizing were all listed as key.
However, despite citing supportive teams and developing solid strategic plans, these directors still recounted taking on some out-of-the-ordinary tasks. One found himself serving as a crossing guard for a day when all of the crossing guard staff members and standbys in the district were out sick or unable to make it to work due to inclement weather. Another, in his role as auxiliary services director, was given the task of coordinating facilities management for a summer school program, which included managing schedules for building cleaning and playground availability.
To me, this shows how dedicated those in the school transportation field are to not only doing their jobs well, but the communities they serve.
Additionally, in the world of public transit, we have had a lot of news lately about new CEOs and GMs, from transit systems in Texas, California and Maine. I can only imagine they must be taking on a lot of new and interesting responsibilities as well.
As part of the transit industry, do you have any interesting anecdotes about handling unexpected, possibly loosely-related tasks, in your job as a manager, director, planner, consultant, driver, GM or CEO?
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It drives me nuts when people litter. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people throw trash out of their car windows while they’re driving. I’m always tempted to honk my horn when I see drivers slyly ditching cigarette butts through their open window. Listen up, people. We see you!
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.