NJ TRANSIT CEO Kevin S. Corbett, along with International Association of Public Transport (UITP) secretary general Mohamed Mezghani, and Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) director Dr. Ali Maher, announced that NJ TRANSIT, UITP, and CAIT at Rutgers University will partner to establish UITP’s first North American Regional Training Center (RTC).
An agreement formalizing the partnership was signed at the Rutgers CAIT, according to NJ TRANSIT's news release.
“New Jersey residents will reap massive benefits from this newly forged partnership, which convenes NJ TRANSIT, New Jersey’s premier state university, and a worldwide leader in sustainable public transportation,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By hosting the first Regional Training Center on the continent, New Jersey will earn worldwide recognition as a North American transportation hub. Just as importantly, the establishment of the training center emphasizes our ongoing commitment to invest in the growth and development of our critical public transportation workforce.”
UITP currently has Regional Training Centers in Europe (France, Germany, and Spain), Asia-Pacific and Eurasia (China and Turkey), South America (Chile), and South Africa, and said it will look to make history with NJ TRANSIT and Rutgers CAIT by establishing the first RTC in North America.
The RTCs offer transportation training through the establishment of uniform standards and best practices for all areas of sustainable transportation. Additionally, the training sessions will provide a network of data and catalogs of programs driving innovation within rail, bus, and more.
NJ TRANSIT will lead the regional partnership by committing to sponsoring four training programs annually, providing guest speakers for programs when possible, and leveraging its experience as a leader in the delivery of public transportation throughout the area.
CAIT at Rutgers will act as a key partner in this endeavor by coordinating with UITP and NJ TRANSIT to provide logistics and administrative support. They will also assist in the marketing of training courses, and by hosting the training sessions.
"Healthy infrastructure and transit systems serve as the backbone of the US economy, and require a skilled workforce to maintain, operate, and improve them,” said Maher. “The current and future transit workforce will be tasked with addressing climate change impacts, building with resilience, and improving the equity of our transportation systems. This North American Regional Training Center serves as an opportunity to share industry knowledge on a national scale and develop the next generation of transit leaders. Rutgers CAIT is excited to leverage its extensive workforce development and technology transfer programs in support of this Regional Training Center and in partnership with NJ TRANSIT and UITP."
The four training programs for 2023 are:
- Public Transport Fundamentals for North America – July 2023.
- Electric Buses: Fleet & Infrastructure Planning, Operations and Maintenance for North America – September 2023.
- Rail Operations and Maintenance for North America – October 2023.
- Ticketing and Fare Management for North America – November 2023.