Transit Workforce Shortage Study

For the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), EBP worked with Foursquare ITP to study workforce issues facing the nation's transit agencies.

Public transit providers across North America face a shortage of operators and mechanics, a crisis that has strained budgets and forced agencies to reduce service. This shortage is occurring during a period of economic instability and reshuffling exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Agencies’ ability to respond to the worker shortage has been hampered by inadequate information about its causes and effects.

The Transit Workforce Shortage Study builds a framework for APTA, its members, and its partner organizations to better understand the workforce shortage’s causes and provides best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining transit operations workers. The study is comprised of two phases. This document, the Interim Findings Report, synthesizes the findings from Phase 1, which included a survey of transit agencies and background research into the macro causes of the shortage. Phase 2 will use the findings outlined in this report to shape the final two research tasks: Agency case studies and a frontline worker survey. A final report will summarize the results from both phases and make additional recommendations for how APTA and its member agencies can respond to the shortage.