Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

Posts categorized under "Training"

4-Part eLearning Series: Human Resources

SURCOM has created a series of short, 10-minute eLearning courses to assist small urban, rural and tribal transit managers in navigating several common transit human resource challenges. As agencies continue to hire and train new employees for the future, effectively managing the “people side” of their business becomes more and more critical. This series of “HR Short” courses is available at SURCOM's eLearning webpage:

HR Short – Interview Questions: Hiring great employees can be a challenge. Asking the right questions during the selection process is critical to vetting the best candidates. This short course looks at how to develop great transit, mobility and transportation centric interview questions.

HR Short – Onboarding: The first day for a new transit employee can be both exciting and scary. The best way to get our new team member off to a great start is a robust onboarding experience. Follow along as we look at how to create a successful start to a long career in the transportation industry.

HR Short – Performance Appraisals: Sometimes considered a management chore or burden, the performance appraisal may be the most important tool in the human resource toolbox. Being thoughtful and meticulous about the process can result in a positive experience for both the employee and supervisor.

HR Short – Employee Recognition: Another important component of the “people-side” of our business is employee recognition. Often overlooked, recognizing great performance helps build employee retention and can have a side benefit of boosting employee morale. Get some fresh ideas by viewing this eLearning course.

To view these courses at no cost, go to SURCOM's eLearning page. If you currently have a National Rural Transit Assistance Program eLearning account, enter your username and password to view these and other SURCOM courses. If you don’t have an eLearning account, you will be given the opportunity to register and create an account when you click on any SURCOM course.

SURCOM Launches eLearning Library

SURCOM is excited to offer an eLearning library of instructional courses tailored specifically for small urban, rural and tribal transit operators. eLearning, or electronic learning, is the delivery of traditional training through digital resources. SURCOM has created a group of interactive courses integrating sound, music, video, pictures and quiz opportunities to help the learner stay engaged and interested. Courses range in length from 10-60 minutes. 60 minute courses include a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the training. Courses are designed for learners at all levels of transit development. Front-line staff, drivers, administration and transit managers will find valuable information on a variety of important subjects.

SURCOM has partnered with the National Rural Transit Assistance Program (National RTAP) to provide a portal to offer these courses at no cost. Learners will be required to register and create a quick profile for access to the eLearning library. Learners can take the self-guided courses and access other training materials, and managers can obtain reports to document employee training. Courses are regularly updated and new courses are added as they are developed. Visit the SURCOM eLearning webpage to see the current list of available courses and to register at the National RTAP portal

For more information, contact Rob Lynch, SURCOM training coordinator, at

SURCOM Producing Videos for Research Projects

SURCOM has begun recording short video summaries for recently completed research projects. These videos are typically about 5 to 7 minutes in length and provide a brief, non-technical overview of the research projects. SURCOM will continue producing these videos for all future projects. These videos can be found along with the completed research reports and executive summaries on the SURCOM website. They can also be found on UGPTI's YouTube channel.

Over the past year, SURCOM has also participated in webinars and virtual conferences, and recordings from some of those events are available online. Recordings can be found at the links below.

Session on Rural and Tribal Transit – 2020 National Shared Mobility Summit – SURCOM researcher Ranjit Godavarthy moderated this session and gave a presentation on Opportunities for DOTs and others to Encourage Shared Use Mobility Practices in Rural Areas.

LRTP Future of Transportation Technology Forum – This webinar was hosted last year by the Nebraska DOT. SURCOM researcher Jeremy Mattson participated in the webinar by presenting research on a cost-benefit analysis of rural and small urban transit.

Rural Transit During Crisis – SURCOM training coordinator Rob Lynch participated in this session at the 2020 National Transportation in Indian Country Conference. He gave a presentation on Crisis Management for Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Transit Agencies

2020 NDDOT Local Government Virtual Summit – Jeremy Mattson participated in this event hosted by the North Dakota DOT. He presented results from two studies. One study analyzed the benefits of transit services in Greater Minnesota and the other assessed mobility options in the state of North Dakota.

Transportation and Equity – SURCOM director Jill Hough participated in this panel hosted by Mobility21.

Transit II Training Course Offered in Oregon

Transit II – The Pillars, a two-day training course developed by SURTC and taught by SURTC training coordinator Rob Lynch, is being offered by the Oregon Department of Transportation and is open nationally for enrollment. Details are below.

TRANSIT II – The Pillars

This course is designed to build upon a transit administrator's or supervisor's existing base of knowledge and is designed to help them further develop their managerial skills. The material will be presented through a combination of lecture and activities, requiring individual critical thinking and significant group participation. This course is broken into individual modules which cover: Advanced Human Resources; Funding and Finance; Intelligent Transportation Systems for Transit; Strategic Planning; Emergency Management and Continuity Planning; Ethics, Leadership and Organizational Culture. Prerequisite for this course: SURTC's TRANSIT I or Principles of Transit Management course

2 Open Enrollment Opportunities!

TRANSIT II – The Pillars

Monday/Tuesday – July 8/9

Oregon State University

725 SW 26th St

Corvallis, OR 97331

TRANSIT II – The Pillars

Thursday/Friday – July 11/12

Shilo Inn

3223 Bret Clodfelter Way

The Dalles, OR 97058

Cost is $295.00 per person. For more information or to register, contact Rob Lynch at

TRANSIT I Training to be Offered in Oregon – Registration Available

SURTC will be conducting training for TRANSIT I – The Foundations in Oregon in July. Any interested participant can open enroll. There are two opportunities to attend this course: Salem, OR, July 23-24, 2018, and Warm Springs, OR, July 25-26, 2018.

Description: This course is intended to provide new transit managers with a base of information and resources to assist in navigating through the maze of transit management responsibilities. For those who have managed programs for a number of years, it provides exposure to key elements of management and transit program assessment that previously you may not have taken the time to address or implement. This course is broken into individual modules which cover: Introductory Human Resources; Vehicle and Facility Maintenance Programs; Safety and Risk Management; General Administration for Transit Agencies; Financial Management and Introduction to the Federal Transit Administration.

Lunch will be provided.

Option #1 Location:
Salem, Oregon (ODOT Region 2 Campus, 885 Airport Rd SE, Building X)
July 23-24, 2018 (Mon-Tues)
8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Option #2 Location:
Warm Springs, Oregon (Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, 6823 Highway 8)
July 25-26, 2018 (Wed-Thur)
8:00am – 5:00pm

Cost: $295/participant

More information can be found here: TRANSIT I Course Details – Oregon, July 2018

Registration Closed on June 25, 2018

Upcoming Course: Systems Engineering for Technology Projects

The National Transit Institute is conducting a two-day course titled "Systems Engineering for Technology Projects," April 25-26, 2018, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mohammad Smadi from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute will be instructor. This course will discuss systems engineering, a structured development process for implementing technology systems. It is an introductory level course geared for people with little or no experience with systems engineering but who are involved or will be involved with a technology project. The target audience is transit professionals involved with planning, writing requirements, and implementing technology projects but don't have experience with systems engineering. This course is geared towards medium to large transit agencies. Click below for more details or to register:

SURTC Offering Advanced Transit Professional Certificate

SURTC and the NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning have partnered to provide persons who have successfully completed TRANSIT I – The Foundations (formerly titled Principles of Transit Management) and TRANSIT II – The Pillars (formerly titled Advanced Transit Management) the designation of "Advanced Transit Professional." The Advanced Transit Professional certificate is a great way of showcasing your accomplishments as a transportation professional. Certificate recipient information will be maintained at the NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning, allowing individuals to enjoy the prestige of a university-sponsored achievement through this non-academic-track program. For more information, or to confirm your eligibility, and order your Advanced Transit Professional certificate, please contact SURTC at or call (701)231-1064 (additional fees apply).

Visit the SURTC website for more information about the Transit Management Courses.

Webinar – Estimating Ridership of Rural Demand-Response Transit

SURTC researcher Jeremy Mattson will be conducting a webinar discussing the recent report "Estimating Ridership of Rural Demand-Response Transit Services for the General Public." This report provides useful insights to operators looking to enhance their ridership and respond to the changing needs in their communities. The webinar is being hosted by National RTAP on November 16 at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM CST.

This study developed two models for estimating demand: one using 2013 NTD data and the other using more detailed service data collected from surveys of transit agencies. Jeremy will discuss the results of the study and how to use these two models.

The models can be used by transit agencies or transportation planners to:

  • Forecast demand for new demand-response services.
  • Estimate the impact of service changes, such as changes in geographic coverage, span of service, fares, reservation requirements.
  • Project future ridership based on projected population and demographic changes.

Register now and join us for this webinar! Find additional recorded and upcoming webinars from the National RTAP website.

Upcoming Course: Implementing Rural Transit Technology

The National Transit Institute (NTI) and SURTC are conducting a two-day course on implementing rural transit technology, October 25-26 in Fargo, ND. The course presents a structured approach for planning, implementing, and evaluating rural transit projects to help ensure that agency needs and expectations are met. Click below for more information or to register:

John Maxwell Leadership Training Being Conducted

Several of the John Maxwell leadership courses are now being offered by SURTC. Dr. John Maxwell is a highly acclaimed leadership speaker and author, having written nearly 80 books, and Dr. Jill Hough, SURTC director, is now a certified John Maxwell speaker, trainer, and coach. Dr. Hough is offering seven of his leadership courses, including "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership," "15 Invaluable Laws of Growth," and others. More information about these courses and other training opportunities currently being offered by SURTC are available on the SURTC website.