​Throughout the year class members discussed transit leadership key issues important to their system, resulting in the development and delivery of seven leadership projects during the program year.  Each team’s presentations are available below.  We highly encourage you to download and read the results of their interviews, findings, and related research.

Synopsis: Since ridership across the country has been declining, along with budgets becoming even more constrained, our group wanted to take a more in-depth look into ways that agencies are thinking outside of the box and utilizing existing resources to entice people to use transit. By conducting extensive research as well as phone interviews with transit professionals, our team will identify a wide variety of programs being implemented across the United States, along with the efficacy of these programs to the extent possible. In addition, our team will share what we learned from our interviews about ridership, the customer experience and creating better communities. 

Team Members: 

  • Alicia Leite
  • Spring Worth
  • Jose Barreda

Team 2 – The Aging Transit Workforce: Investing in Human Capital

Synopsis: Americans are living and working longer than ever before. As a result, the transit industry is facing the challenge of how to maintain a sustainable workforce as so many longtime industry employees are reaching and exceeding the retirement age. To prepare for the challenges of an aging workforce, our group proposes to survey how quickly public transportation agencies across America will be affected and what best practices attract and retain a qualified transit workforce. 

Our team has focused our initial research on the aging workforce within bus operations and maintenance. Focusing on that group, our research will analyze the current trends of the aging workforce, assess the factors that contribute to these trends, and offer recommendations to help the transit industry prepare for the challenges of developing and retaining qualified human capital.

Team 2 Survey Data Set 

Team Members: 

  • Carissa Nichols
  • Cheryl Riddick
  • Joe Calhoun
  • Julio Monroy

Team 3 – The Future of Transit and Autonomous Vehicle Technology

Synopsis: With new autonomous and connected vehicle technology fast approaching, the transit industry will benefit from new smart technologies.  We intend to examine the impacts to different components of the industry including; safety and security, infrastructure, accessibility, workforce impacts, and vehicle functionality. Through interviews with industry professionals, case studies, and research of current literature the team has developed a framework for the impacts on public transportation. As we look to the future in addressing the issues of tomorrow, autonomous vehicles will play an important role in shaping changes to the transit sector.

Team Members:

  • Carly Shapiro 
  • Christina Arthur
  • Nicholas Biggar
  • Nicholas Davidson

Team Members: 
  • Carrie Desmond
  • Caitlin D’Alton
  • Matthew Hibbard

Team 5 – Mobility on Demand 

Synopsis: The market for personal mobility is changing rapidly due to changing social and cultural trends, as well as technological advances such as smart phones, information processing, and widespread data connectivity. New mobility concepts and solutions, from bike- and car-sharing systems to demand-responsive bus services, are providing travelers with flexible and convenient transportation options.

Group 5 took a closer look at the new FTA Mobility on Demand Sandbox Program (MOD). The Sandbox Program is part of a larger research effort at DOT that supports transit agencies and communities as they integrate new mobility tools like smart phone apps, bike- and car-sharing, and demand-responsive bus and van services. We will specifically be considering how Dallas Area Rapid Transit and Valley Metro, two of the eleven 2016 MOD recipients, are implementing their programs, and the challenges and opportunities they have encountered.

Team Members:

  • Brittney Farr 
  • Tammy Sommerfeld
  • Kate Halverson
  • Cavan Noone

Team 6 – Best Practices and Trends for Communicating the Value of Public Transit

Synopsis: Developing a strong marketing and communication campaign is one strategy that transit agencies are using to increase ridership and public investment. Through literature research, case studies, and a survey of transit professionals, we will research best practices and trends for communicating the value of public transit. The team will also share techniques employed by other transit agencies to reach new transit riders. Finally, we will share marking and communication messages that resonated or failed with the public.

Team Members: 

  • Jessica Brandt
  • Rachel Russell
  • Thomas Schaich
  • Kathleen Weinand

Team 7 – Leveraging your federal dollars: Best practices and lessons learned for P3 Projects

Synopsis: A challenge for public transit agencies around the country is expanding and improving their infrastructure due to the lack of available funds. One solution is the adoption of a Public-Private Partnership (P3) Model to ensure financing and efficient project delivery. Our team will explore a handful of case studies to highlight successful P3 models, best practices, and lessons learned.

Team Members: 

  • Whitney Lewis
  • Christopher Pieper
  • Rachel Russell ​​​​
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