Report: Transit Agencies Face Imminent Staffing Crisis

Already understaffed, most of the nation’s transit agencies will need to replace a majority of their workers due to retirement, but recruitment efforts are not yet keeping up with the need.

1 minute read

May 29, 2024, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Worker in yellow safety vest holds clipboard and stands in front of parked red and white train in maintenance center building.

narong / Adobe Stock

Public transit agencies will have to replace most of their maintenance workers by the end of the decade, according to a new report from TransitCenter.

Writing in Governing, Jared Brey explains, “The report, Developing Transit Talent Pipelines, is the last in a series that has examined workforce challenges in the industry over the last several years.” As many transit workers reach retirement age and recruitment lags, agencies “have much more work to do to solve the challenge — and prevent it from making public transit’s woes much worse.” Currently, roughly 13 percent of mechanic positions in the industry are vacant, forcing service cuts in some fleets.

The report concludes with recommendations for filling staffing gaps that include apprenticeship programs, expanded efforts to recruit diverse populations, competitive compensation, good workplace culture, and more funding directed to workforce development. “Above all, transit agencies need to steadily improve job quality to make transit jobs attractive to young workers.”

Thursday, May 23, 2024 in Governing

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