Rural Transit Workforce Development and Succession Planning

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.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $94816
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility

    Montana State University
    Bozeman, MT  United States  59717
  • Project Managers:

    Kack, David

  • Performing Organizations:

    Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

    Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
    P.O. Box 6050
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Principal Investigators:

    Peterson, Del

  • Start Date: 20220601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20221231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20230425
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01851436
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 15 2022 10:43AM