Bus

GM Survey: Recession Impacting Operations, Capital Programs

Posted on September 15, 2009 by Janna Starcic, Executive Editor

[IMAGE]SeptOct-GM-1.jpg[/IMAGE] IN THIS YEAR’S GENERAL MANAGER SURVEY, THE FOURTH conducted by METRO Magazine, we asked executives if state and local budgets were impacting their operations and capital programs, as well as how they plan on spending their stimulus funds, and what “green” practices and customer improvements they’ve implemented. Overall, 40 executives responded to this year’s survey. Their titles ranged from general manager to executive director to CEO to transit director. Of the respondents, one managed a Canadian system, while the rest manage systems in the U.S.

EXECUTIVE SALARIES

Most of the transit executives in our survey have carved out long-term careers in the industry, with an average of 25 years in public transportation. The longest tenure was 45 years; the shortest was just under a year. The average annual salary for transit executives in this year’s survey totaled $156,605. The lowest reported salary was $63,000; the highest was $266,000. The median was $157,000. Assessing salary against the size of the operational budget (see Figure 2, click on link below) showed a strong correlation. There was also a strong correlation between the amount of experience respondents had with their salaries (Figure 4, click on link below). Ties between fl eet size and salary were pretty predictable with a couple of exceptions (Figure 5, click on link below).

STIMULUS SPENDING

We asked transit executives how they would be spending their stimulus funding (Figure 6, click on link below). Nearly one-third (32 percent) of respondents plan on using the funding to pay for new vehicle purchases, while one out of four respondents are using the money for operations. A majority (43 percent) have tabbed the funding to pay for “other” items, which included: railcar rehabilitation, rail station upgrades, installation of security fencing and video surveillance, improving accessibility at bus stops and purchasing bus shelters. Nearly three out of four survey respondents believe that their local newspaper gives them fair coverage, while only a minimal number (6 percent) felt that media coverage was unfair. When asked about workforce diversity, a majority of transit executives (79 percent) said it wasn’t an issue at their operation.

FUNDING AND OTHER CHALLENGES

Four out of fi ve respondents said state and local budgets were impacting their service operation and capital programs (Figure 7, click on link below). Many listed fare hikes and service cuts as the unfortunate result of the budget cuts. Others cited delays in capital projects due to the shortfalls. “The use of stimulus funds has allowed us to not make signifi cant cuts in service for the next two years. After that, we will be in trouble,” said one respondent. While funding registered as the main issue plaguing transit systems throughout the survey, we asked executives what other challenges came to mind (Figure 9, click on link below). Important issues cited include: responding to the need for more service; hiring and retaining qualifi ed maintenance technicians; costs of labor and benefi ts; and implementing new fare collection systems.

GOING GREEN, HIGH TECH

We addressed the issue of sustainability and asked respondents how they were going green (Figure 10, click on link below). Making fl eets cleaner by switching to alternative fuels, such as CNG or hybrid- electric, was listed by several executives. Many respondents reported on their extensive recycling programs. We also asked about customer service improvements that agencies undertook in the last year. Revamping Websites and offering

To view the full story, click here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

National Express shuttles Baltimore commuters during subway work

Staffed 24/7 with more than 100 drivers and 58 buses, free National Express shuttles will be running every 10 minutes during peak service and 20 to 30 minutes at lower-volume commuting times.

Fla.'s JTA recieves $7.2M for BRT project

Will be used to improve sidewalks and ADA ramps within a half mile of the First Coast Flyer™ North Corridor stations and construct pedestrian access to the Armsdale Park-n-Ride facility.

2 NJ Transit buses collide in Lincoln Tunnel

Of the 20 people injured, none were considered serious and 13 were transported by New York City EMS to hospitals.

AC Transit launches on-demand bus service

Riders using a desktop computer, smart phone device or traditional telephone can schedule their pick-up and desired drop-off locations: reducing their wait time, arriving at their destination faster, and increasing the overall rider experience.

MVTA 'Bus on Shoulder' vehicles equipped with MTS guidance tech

The advanced Driver Assist System, utilizing a licensed GPS technology developed by the University of Minnesota, provides feedback to the driver regarding lane position – via graphic driver alert displays, virtual mirror, vibrating seat and actuated steering.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close