Recommended Practice

Rail Operations Employee Development Practices


This recommended practice provides guidance to rail transit agencies (RTAs) for the creation of programs that encourage and promote rail operations employee development through the use of employee development programs (EDPs), or “relief” working programs, for supervision or other positions as determined by the RTA. It addresses the creation of such programs, ideas for qualifications for participation, employee development tracks, labor coordination, employee evaluations, promotions and succession, and program administration concepts.

Document History
Document Number Version Publication Date Publication Related Information
APTA RT-OP-RP-029-21 Original 09/28/2021 Published Current


employee development, labor relations, operations, rail transit, relief, skills advancement, succession, supervision, training


This document establishes a framework for the types of EDPs that RTAs may enact to assist their employees in gaining the requisite skills to advance within rail operations and supervision. It describes EDP approaches that can provide for additional coverage of certain positions while creating a learning and growth path for employees who wish to consider higher-level positions. RTAs may use these EDPs to help prepare employees to be qualified and prepared for succession opportunities. Such a program also affords the RTA the opportunity to augment classifications of certain rail operations positions with employees who have undergone the requisite training and qualification in the program but who are working in their original position, such as rail operations employees who can serve periodically as a train supervisor or in another role, as determined by the RTA. It also provides guidance for other types of elective EDPs that RTAs may put in place to help employees develop communications, operations, decision-making and other skill sets.

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