Management & Operations

Transit Wages Increase Less Than Other Sectors, Rutgers Study Says

Posted on November 13, 2000

The wages for transit bus operators in-creased .4% over the period from 1982 to 1997, compared to about 22% for other government sectors, says the Transportation Policy Institute of Rutgers University. The average wage for a transit bus operator was $15.13 in 1997, compared to $15.07 in 1982. Wages for rail operators increased 6.1% to $19.09 and wages for mechanics increased 1.1% to $16.78. "The report demonstrates that transit labor costs have increased at substantially lower rates than labor costs in other sectors of the economy," reads the study. Wages in the manufacturing sector were about 16% higher than those in transit. The increase for transit operators was consistent throughout the transportation and public utility sectors, which both had a 5% increase. While transit wage increases were less than rates in other sectors, transit operating costs devoted to labor compensation was consistent. For transit, the percentage of operating expenses devoted to labor compensations increased from 60.9% to 62.6%. Fringe benefit expenses account for most of that increase. The report observed the top hourly wage at about 130 agencies over a 15-year period.

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