ITLC Update
TWC Holds Webinar on Recruitment and Workforce Development
On Tuesday, June 7, the Transit Workforce Center (TWC) held the second webinar in its series on strategic workforce development planning, “Recruiting and Developing Today’s Transit Workforce”. FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez opened the session, thanking webinar speakers for sharing their experiences so that others could benefit from what they had learned and accomplished; she also expressed appreciation to the over-300 webinar attendees for their interest in building well-trained, dedicated transit workforces throughout the country. ITLC Deputy Director Xinge Wang thanked Administrator Fernandez for all she and her team has done for the industry and then discussed key data points on underlying causes of transit workforce shortages, ITLC Executive Director Jack Clark moderated the session and introduced the speakers, who provided examples of innovative practices transit agencies and partner organizations are using to meet significant recruitment challenges, with insights on how to best turn these challenges into opportunities to reach, attract, and retain a diverse workforce:
  • Mona Babauta, Deputy General Manager, Golden Gate Transit, San Francisco Bay;
  • Rich Diaz, Bus Operator Mentor Lead, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575;
  • Tracy Spikes, Workforce Development Senior Program Manager, Central Ohio Transit Authority, Columbus, Ohio;
  • Jarvis Williams, President, Transport Workers Union Local 208;
  • Dr. Beverly Scott, Founder, Introducing Youth to American Infrastructure, Inc. and Vice-Chair, President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Committee of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security; and
  • David Stephen, Senior Communication Specialist, Transit Workforce Center. 
FTA Administrator, Nuria Fernandez provided opening remarks for the webinar
Following the presentations, the speakers were joined by ATU Apprenticeship and Workforce Development Coordinator Jamaine Gibson, FTA Associate Administrator Karina Ricks, and FTA Senior Transportation Specialist Betty Jackson, for a lively question and answer session.
Public Transit
The Washington Post – June 6, 2022
Philadelphia was reporting an 80 percent increase in assaults aboard buses. St. Louis was spending $53 million on a new transit security plan. The transportation union president in Tucson said the city’s buses had become “a mobile refuse frequented by drug users, the mentally ill, and violent offenders.” The sheriff of Los Angeles County had created a new transit unit to keep passengers from having to “step over dead bodies or people injecting themselves.” And, meanwhile, Suna was compulsively scanning her rearview mirror, watching for the next crisis to emerge as she began another shift.
Next City – June 3, 2022
In the United States, directly elected boards overseeing regional infrastructure are rare. Only three transit agencies, two of which are in the Bay Area, are directly elected. And so is only one metropolitan planning organization, in Portland. But holding a transit agency accountable might not be as simple as electing them. For one, just because a transit board is elected does not automatically result in better transit service.
Transit Partners
Mass Transit – May 31, 2022
Bus rapid transit (BRT) stations are unique for several reasons, but at the most basic level they establish a sense of permanence not seen in the traditional fixed-route stations that can be subjected to route changes and discontinued use. Because of this, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is finding more generated interest in its future BRT stations, particularly in the development community.  MARTA’s future stations for its Summerhill BRT corridor aim to offer a modern experience with community programming, as well as spur economic development that focuses on affordable housing. And with these goals, MARTA is further enhancing its place as a community asset. 
KSHB – June 6, 2022
High gas prices are steering more and more commuters to rely on mass transit. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority reports a 74% increase in ridership on weekdays, and the Kansas City Street Car Authority is operating almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

The Washington Post – June 2, 2022
Amtrak will use the federal grant to launch a three-year mechanical training program this year, setting up training hubs in Washington; New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Wilmington, Del.; and Beech Grove, Ind.
Labor News
WHI-TV – June 7, 2022
According to the latest Gallup Poll -- 68% of Americans approve of labor unions. That is a 56-year high. "I think it all boils down to, if you're in a union, they give you the respect because the collective bargain demands it," Business Manager at IBEW Local Union 725 Todd Thacker said.
Economic Issues
Governing – June 3, 2022
Many cities enacted fare-free transit options during the pandemic, both as a means to help essential workers and to limit interactions. But as life returns to a semblance of normal, some cities are backing away from the idea. Almost two years later, however, Alexandria’s buses remain free.
Workforce Development
The Roosevelt Institute – June 1, 2022
Workforce development policies can serve as a vehicle for an equitable transition to a green economy and mediate labor disruptions, while supporting an economy that centers workers and frontline communities. Green public investments can expand the productive capacity and environmental sustainability of the American economy, but reliance on market-based mechanisms to facilitate decarbonization will only reproduce existing inequities in a greener economy.
The Business Journals – June 1, 2022
According to a 2021 research study conducted by Larissa Petrucci, Ph.D., through the University of Oregon’s Labor Education & Research Center, union apprenticeship programs are leading in diversity and showing higher success rates all around compared to nonunion programs, especially for women and people of color.
Upcoming Webinars
TransitCenter – June 13, 4:00 pm ET
TransitCenter's "Who Rules Transit?" report chronicles that white people hold a majority of leadership positions on transit agency boards, despite making up less than half of transit riders. Furthermore, men in general and white men in particular are overrepresented on transit agency boards relative to riders. This disconnect between “who decides” and “who rides” means that the voices and experiences of those who actually ride transit are often not heard and debated in those agencies’ deliberations and decisions.
TRB – June 21, 2:30 pm ET
The demand for public transportation investments far exceeds the funds available. While states and communities seek additional revenue sources to maintain current transit assets and serve rapidly changing travel markets, they need methods to help decide where to allocate their limited resources. TRB will host a webinar that will explore practical advice to improve the prioritization process for public transportation projects. Presenters will focus on methods used to prioritize transit capital projects and on cross-modal decision-making, specifically the comparison of public transit and non-transit projects.
International Transportation Learning Center