In all industries, high-quality managers are critical to effective performance. Public transportation systems throughout the United States need to improve the recruitment, development, and retention of managers for fixed-route and paratransit services. New managers and new management capabilities are needed because public transportation systems are changing in many communities and because many mid- and upper-managers in transit systems are “Baby Boomers” who will retire during the next 10 years. Some of the current and anticipated changes being experienced by transit systems in large, medium, and small urban and rural communities include new and expanded services, new technologies in transit’s operations, maintenance and administrative functions, new organizational structures, new funding strategies, and new work force characteristics. Consequently, transit systems need to recruit and develop managers with new skills and capabilities as vacancies are filled and as new management positions evolve.
Traditionally, transit systems have tended to recruit and develop managers in-house through promote-from-within practices. Although this approach generally has been successful and should not be abandoned, the changes throughout transit systems noted above require innovative approaches to recruiting, developing, and retaining managers. Public transportation is not alone in facing the challenge of building a talented and committed workforce led by dedicated and competent managers.
Drawing on the experience of innovative public transportation systems and other industries, the objective of this research is to recommend effective strategies for recruiting, developing, and retaining high-quality managers for fixed-route and paratransit systems. The research results should serve large, medium, and small urban and rural public, private-for-profit, and private-nonprofit systems.
Status: The research report and its CD-ROM were published as TCRP Report 139 and CRP-CD-77.