ITLC Update
TWC Holds Mentor Roundtable
On July 13, the TWC hosted a Mentor Roundtable. Thirty-four individuals involved in their agency’s mentor program for frontline employees registered to participate in this valuable discussion. This event provided the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and exchange: attendees asked questions of each other, shared their best practices, and offered insights on how their program has benefited their agency and how to get the most out of a mentor program. The attendees at this event all recognized the value of a network of agencies running similar programs and agreed to share their information so that the dialogue could continue outside of the event.
For more information, please contact Karitsa Holdzkom at
Public Transit
Next City – July 14, 2022
To better engage youth, BART and Muni started TikTok accountsBART’s TikTok account has over 18,000 followers, second only to the New York City Transportation Authority. “You got to reach them where they’re at,” said Melody Starling, who is consulting with BART on ways to engage youth after serving on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s youth advisory board. “The pandemic has changed how we need to engage with young people; [they’re] in a world where everything is more remote.”
The American Prospect - July 14, 2022
In this third summer of the pandemic, the American Public Transportation Association’s mid-February to April ridership data shows that transit ridership nationwide is at 60 to 65 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Bus networks are something of a bright spot; in urban areas, they show steady and encouraging ridership trends. Systems operators that equipped drivers and buses with robust COVID sanitary regimes saw riders coming back at a fairly steady clip once people ventured back out into the streets. Low-income people and people in neighborhoods of color continued to ride buses throughout the pandemic to get to jobs, shops, and medical appointments.
Streetsblog – July 20, 2022
Bus driver shortages are undermining transit agencies’ efforts to recover from the pandemic and become the front-line mobility option that American cities need — and they won’t end until policymakers and transportation leaders confront the many structural reasons why so few Americans are climbing into the (bus) driver’s seat, argues a new report from TransitCenter. Read the report here.
Transit Partners
Mass Transit – July 15, 2022
“Following the FTA’s initial safety review, the MBTA was asked to implement changes to the system to improve the way it is run and operated,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I am pleased that the MBTA has completed many of those updates and continues to make progress on many more. These recommendations will make the T safer and more reliable for both our riders and our employees. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to work closely with these safety experts to improve the MBTA system.”
Mass Transit – July 15, 2022
The HOYA Foundation started the Transportation & Construction Girl initiative to encourage more young women to pursue careers in transportation and construction. RTD says it wholeheartedly supports this work and endeavors to do all it can to attract more women to the field of public transit. This aim aligns with the agency’s mission, vision, values and strategic priorities.
KSL – July 18, 2022
"We really want to provide local and regional connections to the larger regional transit systems (in Murray and West Valley City)," said Marcus Bennett, a UTA project manager, during an online open house session Monday afternoon. "We want to provide for the future and invest in an alternate mode of transportation since we know there will be increased population growth and demand for travel."
If all goes to plan, Bennett said construction could begin in 2023 and wrap up in 2025. He adds that the service will also be free to ride for the first five years of service under a proposed federal partnership.
Health & Safety
Politico – July 17, 2022
As bus drivers, subway operators, maintenance workers and others face a growing risk of attacks, economists warn that the delay could hamstring recruitment and retention of transit workers, rendering the infrastructure bill’s $39 billion in new public transit funding less effective. Workplace violence against transit workers “manifests itself in awful ways,” ZipRecruiter Chief Economist Julia Pollak said. “It leads to fewer people using transit; then less money flowing into the system; then fewer resources to solve the problem.”
Next City – July 19, 2022
BART isn’t alone in exploring non-carceral approaches to safety. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has an ambassador program that relies on contractors, with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to follow next month. Metro Transit’s Police Department in the Twin Cities created a Homeless Action Team in 2018 that connected over 400 formerly unhoused people who ride the system for shelter to public housing managed by its parent agency, the Metropolitan Council.
Workforce Development
National Governors Association – July 5, 2022
During a time of increased concern over worker shortages, skill gaps and workforce readiness, youth apprenticeship has emerged as an important strategy to prepare the future workforce and meet the needs of the evolving economy, to build consistent and diverse talent pipelines and to improve career prospects and economic outcomes for learners. Governors are uniquely positioned to create, enhance and grow youth apprenticeship programs and the systems that support them. State leaders play a critical role in shaping a policy landscape that facilitates, rather than complicates or impedes, efforts to increase the availability of high-quality youth apprenticeship pathways into family-sustaining careers or further postsecondary education. Creating this environment requires policies that broadly support career readiness ecosystems by improving connections and alignment across education and workforce systems, as well as policies that specifically support youth apprenticeship programs and facilitate greater student, employer and partner participation. This state policy playbook lays out several actions that can foster high-quality youth apprenticeship. 
Economic Issues
Mineta Transportation Institute – July 13, 2022
Free (or fareless) transit has been presented as part of a solution to many problems — low ridership, growing income inequality, racial discrimination, and even climate change. This solution has become increasingly popular because it is direct and easy-to-understand. While wholly unrealistic to expect fareless transit to solve any of these challenges on its own, this popular idea presents a substantial opportunity. It is worth asking — how can the ideas behind free transit be combined with other policies to make a dent in some of these goals? The latest Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) perspective, Free Transit: It All Depends on How, presents a variety of ideas, grounded in research, that show promise in empowering policymakers to combine free transit with other policies to overcome pressing problems in the transportation industry.
Upcoming Webinars
TransitCenter – July 27, 2:00 pm ET
The operator shortfall is crippling transit agencies across the country. 71% of agencies recently surveyed by the American Public Transportation Association reported that they have either had to cut service or delay service increases because of worker shortfalls. More than nine in ten public transit agencies stated that they are having difficulty hiring new employees. And nearly two-thirds of agencies have indicated that they’re having difficulty retaining operators. The forthcoming report, Bus Operators in Crisis, makes the case that to tackle operator shortfalls, the transit industry must dramatically improve the quality of the job. Operators are the backbone of the industry—they deserve better compensation, paths for advancement, and the opportunity to influence their working conditions. Join for a panel discussion to launch the report that will discuss the causes of the bus operator shortfall, and detail how this issue grew into a crisis afflicting agencies across the country. We will hear from representatives from across the transit industry that can speak to the experience of driving a bus, detail the issues that impact job quality, and begin articulating what agencies can do to solve this crisis.
International Transportation Learning Center