The report’s initial findings point to a variety of steps transit agencies and their partners can take now to begin easing the workforce shortage in the short term.  -  Photo: APTA

The report’s initial findings point to a variety of steps transit agencies and their partners can take now to begin easing the workforce shortage in the short term.

Photo: APTA

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced a new report entitled "Transit Workforce Shortage: Root Causes, Potential Solutions, and the Road Ahead."

The new study outlines the nature and severity of the transit workforce shortage and highlights what agencies and the industry can do to deal with these workforce issues by combining background research and the results from surveys of public transit agencies.

“Like almost every industry, public transportation is facing a severe shortage of skilled workers, hindering our ability to best serve our communities. This shortage is complex, multifaceted, and connected to changes in the broader culture and economy,” said Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA president/CEO. “This workforce shortage is the confluence of multiple factors and successfully responding to it will involve a comprehensive approach.”

According to the report, 96% of agencies surveyed reported experiencing a workforce shortage, 84% of which said the shortage is affecting their ability to provide service. Most agencies across the country report the shortage has forced service reductions regardless of the size of an agency’s ridership, service area population, or fleet.

The report’s initial findings point to a variety of steps transit agencies and their partners can take now to begin easing the workforce shortage in the short term and to build a more resilient workforce development program in the long term, according to APTA.

APTA said these actions will have short- and long-term benefits for workforce development and include:

  • Increase compensation.
  • Improve worker schedules.
  • Create a positive work environment.
  • Demonstrate a clear path to promotions or raises.
  • Ensure worker safety.
  • Providing ongoing training.
  • Increase hiring practice effectiveness.
  • Increase recruiting practice effectiveness.

The Transit Workforce Shortage study is Phase 1 in APTA’s continuing research efforts surrounding this persistent and pervasive issue, according to the news release. Gaps identified in the knowledge of the ongoing workforce shortage will be filled in Phase 2 through agency case studies and frontline worker surveys.

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