Overcoming Barriers to Implementing Best and Innovative Training Practices for Public Transportation’s Frontline Workforce

Best and innovative training practices for public transportation frontline workforce have been well documented. For nearly two decades, the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), and the transit labor unions have sponsored important research programs to better define these best and innovative practices. In addition, subject matter experts (SMEs) from over 40 different transit agencies and local unions have worked together to develop nationally accepted training practices for the transportation industry. However, the results of these efforts have not been readily implemented by public transportation agencies. There is a continuing gap between traditional training practices and innovative and best training practices. Where nationally accepted training practices have been used to train public transportation technical maintenance employees, large improvements in equipment reliability and cost savings for operations and maintenance have been realized. When implemented, these innovations and industry-accepted training approaches have resulted in significant savings for public transportation agencies and have allowed them to improve operations. However, in spite of these proven advantages, these innovations in frontline maintenance and operations training remain the exception, not the norm, across the public transportation industry. Research is needed to understand and address the barriers that are limiting effective training practices and to understand proven methods to ensure implementation. The research should provide public transportation agencies with a variety of options to explore when implementing effective training programs within constrained training budgets and limited capacity for training. The objective of this research is to provide public transportation agencies with best practices, strategies, and resources to assist with the implementation of effective and innovative training programs and techniques for frontline employees. For purposes of this research, public transportation frontline employees include operators and maintenance personnel across all modes, all disciplines, and all system sizes. This research will identify barriers to implementation of effective training approaches and develop strategies to overcome them. The research is intended to be used by frontline management, CEOs, labor unions, training departments, human resource professionals, technical training institutions, and other key officials.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $300000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project F-24

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Performing Organizations:

    ICF Incorporated

  • Principal Investigators:

    Cronin, Brian

  • Start Date: 20151028
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180228
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180228
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38988

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01551872
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project F-24
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 28 2015 1:00AM