Upcoming Webinars
Eno Center for Transportation – January 19th at 2:00 pm ET
Christof Spieler has recently released the second edition of his wildly popular book Trains, Buses, People. Christof’s new book now covers eight Canadian cities and two new US areas (Indianapolis and Puerto Rico). His original book was dubbed “a transit wonk’s bible” that has guided “a smarter conversation about urban transit”. Christof will discuss the evolving conversation around transit in the past three years since the book originally published. He’ll also briefly cover updates around fare policies, wayfinding, transit governance structures, customer experience, how to create inclusive transit systems that work for all riders.
Public Transportation
The Urban Institute – December 16, 2021
Before the pandemic, transit riders were disproportionately people of color and people with low incomes. Essential workers who continued to commute during the pandemic also disproportionately shared those characteristics. These trends play out in data from across the country. Boston bus routes running through neighborhoods where people of color predominately live held on to more of their ridership during the pandemic than other neighborhoods. Denver bus and rail stops that added riders had lower median household incomes than stops that lost riders. And nationwide, transit continued to be more popular in communities with more people of Hispanic descent and lower incomes.
Bloomberg - December 16, 2021
Transit agencies around the country are adding perks, discounts, and updated features as they adjust to their new reality: the five-day-a-week commute to an in-person job may not come back for a lot of people. Agencies that relied on fare hikes and assumed a captive audience have shifted to figuring out what it takes to win people back on board while they count on money from the new infrastructure law to give them some padding.
Mass Transit Magazine – December 21, 2021
Bottom line, BRT can be a highly effective and economical means for providing mass transit in the right geography. The key is for municipalities to do their homework up front, make certain it will be a fit for the market’s population density, investigate what has worked (and what hasn’t) in comparable markets, and most importantly, make sure that the R in BRT continues to stand for rapid. So long as BRT lives up to its promise to move riders rapidly from Point A to Point B, it will succeed and yield benefits that outweigh any advantages offered by fixed rail alternatives.    

Arkansas Democrat Gazette – December 29, 2021
Labor shortages are plaguing public transportation systems in nearly every big city, disrupting one of the critical support systems of modern urban life and complicating the recovery of an industry that has struggled mightily during the pandemic. This is raising new challenges for many cities, which have already been battered from the pandemic.
Transit Partners
The incoming New York City mayor’s agenda for the streets hints that he’s eager to help bus riders, and advocates think the wonkier aspects of that agenda--such as creating 80-foot long neighborhood loading zones on every block or converting 780,000 free parking spaces to paid parking or car-share parking spots as the NYC 25X25 report suggests as possibilities, could still generate some ribbon cuttings. Eric Adams, and his new DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, will have to embrace their inner nerds to sell people on projects that are wonky but can make real material change.
International Transportation News
Workforce Development
The Aspen Institute - December 8, 2021
To build this new narrative, let’s first be honest about labor demand: there are plenty of jobs that don’t require a college degree or extensive pre-employment training. While it is true that occupations requiring a college degree are growing faster than those that don’t, it is also true that the large majority of jobs—70 percent—require only a high school degree or less. And these are the jobs employers are currently struggling to fill. There is plenty of demand for labor that is willing to accept low wages, but the skills-based, “demand-driven” framework guiding the delivery of workforce services leaves practitioners with few tools to respond to this labor demand in ways that make progress toward goals of job quality and equity.

The Astorian – December 10, 2021
“I am more than willing to go before any elected board and talk about this because I would challenge them, ‘What would you rather do?’” Hazen, executive director of the Sunset Empire Transportation District in Oregon, said. “Have someone come out of prison, work at a fast-food place, flipping burgers for minimum wage, getting back into their old routine of doing things and reoffending … or would you rather support the training and get them into a good job with your agency and help them be successful and not be part of that vicious turnstile — that rotating door — where they are just going back into prison all the time? I dare anybody to say that I am wrong on that.”
EdSurge – December 21, 2021
There is ample evidence of demand for new types of educational credentials—especially since the start of the pandemic. The growth of educational platform companies such as Coursera and 2U is being driven in part by a surge in demand for certificate programs and “alternative credential” offerings. The number of open badges awarded nearly doubled from 24 million in 2018 to 43 million in 2020. And major companies and industry groups are increasingly getting into the credentialing game, exemplified by firms such as IBM and Google. Strada Education Network’s consumer polling has shown that 40 percent of working-age adults have earned some type of non-degree credential—and that non-degree credentials are at the top of the list for adults seeking education or retraining. Among employers, awareness of and experience with new non-degree and digital credentials is also continuing to grow—and the potential value proposition of digital credentialing resonates, according to survey results that we published just last week.
International Transportation Learning Center