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Project Details

Title:Rural Transit Workforce Development and Succession Planning
Principal Investigators:Del Peterson
Start Date:June 2022
End Date:April 2023
RiP #:01851436
Keywords:managerial personnel, personnel management, rural transit, workforce


For nearly two decades, succession planning and recruiting, developing, and retaining transit managers has been the subject of research studies by the Transit Cooperative Research Program and related efforts by the Federal Transit Administration. Some of these studies have focused on rural and small urban areas and have included case studies of related transit systems. Despite the aging of upper management in the rural transit industry, little has been done to prepare local systems for the inevitable departure of many baby boomer managers.

It should also be noted that many rural transit systems began as adjuncts to local senior meal programs and eventually became conjunctive elderly and handicapped transit programs. This symbiotic relationship still exists today, often with the same managers who were onboard at the time of creation. These managers have decades of experience and are responsible for not only transit operations, but also for functions such as operating local senior centers and running local senior meals programs. Related organizational structures are commonly flat and managers dedicate only a small percentage of their time to transit activities.

Current workforce shortages need to be considered as well. For example, the lack of qualified drivers in numerous rural areas has made providing high quality and timely transit service difficult to near impossible. These workforce labor shortages must be addressed or transit service in many rural areas may cease to exist in its present form.

Project Deliverables

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050