The National Academies

TCRP F-31 [Anticipated]

Modernizing Transit Station Staffing Management

  Project Data
Funds: 250000
Staff Responsibility: Stephan A. Parker
Comments: In development
Fiscal Year: 2023

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

Many transit staffing practices are a legacy continuance of pre-modern technology practices. Staffing of transit stations is a good example, with agencies continuing to staff stations with stationary agents based in enclosed booths. Technology has been introduced to station management in the form of fare payment, customer information, security, and customer service. These introductions, however, have not changed the practice of stationary agents in booths. Some agencies have added staff to handle security and fare evasions and even to sell fare payment options like commuter checks and discount passes.  

Staffing stations is very costly and needs to be revisited and reengineered. With cameras and modern communications tools, the opportunity exists to redefine how stations are staffed and how best to use technology. What staffing functions are needed at modern transit stations? Do these differ from busy downtown stations to lower volume suburban stations with regular riders? How does stationary staffing better serve ADA assistance needs and emergency incident response? Would staffing resources be better used as roving ambassadors rather than in stationary booths? How might evolving technology be used to better manage stations?  
Public transit systems, at their core, are customer service systems with FTA’s “placing the customer first” a good example of this prime function. Transitioning station staffing to meet modern needs should also be sensitive to disruptive labor impacts.

The objectives of this research are to (1) review current station staff management practices; (2) compare these practices to current and foreseeable future needs of riders, neighboring communities, and transit agencies; and (3) identify how current and manifesting new technologies might be used to better deploy staff resources at transit stations.

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