This final report documents the findings of TCRP Project F-5. The project focused on identifying the challenges facing public transit maintenance in coping with new skill demands. The findings of the project are based on an industry-wide survey of North American bus and rail maintenance managers, which had a 54% response rate, six in-depth case studies of innovative transit agencies, and over 40 interviews with industry experts. Among the major results are that managers perceive a worsening skills gap, especially with the advent of new transit technologies; and that most agencies are ill-prepared to close this gap, with a limited in-house training capacity and poor links with external training suppliers. The authors were able to identify a number of agencies pursuing strategies to raise maintenance skills and/or improve work organization, including one property that achieved dramatic performance improvements by combining the introduction of self-managed teams with a modular training program and skill-based reward system. The report concludes with detailed guidelines to assist transit agencies and their local partners in creating higher-skilled, better-performing maintenance organizations, and a set of recommendations on how the federal government can support these reforms.
Finegold, David, Marc Robbins, Lionel A. Galway, and Tessa Kaganoff, Closing the Knowledge Gap for Transit Maintenance Employees: A Systems Approach. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1996. https://www.rand.org/pubs/drafts/DRU1472.html.
Finegold, David, Marc Robbins, Lionel A. Galway, and Tessa Kaganoff, Closing the Knowledge Gap for Transit Maintenance Employees: A Systems Approach, RAND Corporation, DRU-1472-TCRP, 1996. As of November 29, 2023: https://www.rand.org/pubs/drafts/DRU1472.html