Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

Posts for "2010"

TCRP Report Provides Guidance for Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Transit Managers

A recently published Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) report provides guidance for transit systems that are having difficulties filling management positions and have limited human resource management resources.

TCRP Report 139: Guidebook for Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Transit Managers for Fixed-Route Bus and Paratransit Systems provides resources to assist transit systems in the recruitment, development, and retention of managers.  This Guidebook is designed primarily to address the needs of rural and small urban transit systems, with information for fixed-route, demand response, and ADA paratransit systems.

SURTC Now Scheduling 2011 Training Dates

SURTC is already looking forward to the coming year with regard to its successful training programs. Many of you have asked for 2011 dates, so the calendar is now "open" and ready for booking. The dates fill quickly, so we would encourage you to plan ahead. If you are interested in having SURTC provide training, please contact Carol Wright, Associate Director for Training and Outreach, at (701)231-8231. Popular training programs range from multiple day classes such as Principles of Transit Management and Business Plan Development to individual offerings such as the Implementing Rural Transit Technology class developed by David Ripplinger in partnership with the National Transit Institute. Other topics include diversity, ethics, cost allocation, financial management, working with local governments, performance measures, human resources, tribal transit, and motivational leadership. A complete list of training topics and brief descriptions can be found by clicking on the SURTC Training and Outreach page.

Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Conference to be Held in October

The 19th National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation will be held October 24-27, 2010 in Burlington, Vermont. The conference includes information on planning and design; policy, funding and finance; rural transportation in today's operating environment; technology; and special issues in rural transportation. Over thirty sessions, special events, and tours will expand the five routes. See the conference promotional flyer for more information.

Dr. Jill Hough, Director of the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, is serving as the conference chair.

The conference is sponsored by the Transportation Research Board, the Federal Transit Administration, and the National Rural Transit Assistance Program. The American Public Transportation Association, the American Bus Association, the Community Transportation Association, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and the University of Vermont Transportation Research Center are cooperating organizations.

PTP Project to Use Open Data Kit

The Transit, Technology, and Public Participation Project will use the Open Data Kit (ODK) suite of tools to collect transit rider information in the field.

Using ODK Collect, one application in the ODK suite, surveyors will be able to collect location, video, and audio information in addition to traditional text-based data.  ODK runs on the Android platform an operating system for smartphones, slate computers, and other mobile devices.

The Transit, Technology, and Public Participation project will survey Metro Area Transit riders at bus stops and on vehicles to collect travel behavior and transit service information.   Location-capture will be used to geotag completed surveys while audio-capture will allow survey participants to provide detailed, open-ended responses to survey questions.

The Open Data Kit is a collection of open-source and standards-based tools designed to help organizations collect, aggregate and visualize their data.

Transit Technology Course to be Presented in New Mexico

Implementing Rural Transit Technology, a joint course of the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center and the National Transit Institute, will be held September 21-22 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The course is geared toward transit professionals, state DOT office staff, and regional planners involved in planning and implementing technology-based systems for rural transit operations.

College Students Not Sure What to Expect from Careers in Transit

Students surveyed as part of a study on public transportation workforce development generally didn't express strong attitudes toward internships or careers in the industry.  For the few internship and career characteristics that students did have opinions the perceptions were negative.  These characteristics included the belief that work in transit is uninteresting, unchallenging, and does not provide the opportunity to be creative.  Project investigators David Ripplinger and Jill Hough of the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center believe that these perceptions may be due to students having little knowledge of the career opportunities in transit.

Students were surveyed to identify attitudes and behaviors that impact their choice of academic major, internship, and career, their perceptions of internships and careers in public transportation, and use of job search methods.  More than 1,000 students at North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and Minnesota State Community and Technical College participated in the study. The project report can be found online at

Principles of Transit Management Course to be Held in Texas

The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center will be holding its Principles of Transit Management course in Mesquite, TX on September 21-23.

Principles of Transit Management is an intensive three-day course developed by SURTC that covers virtually all aspects of transit and paratransit management for rural and small urban operators across America. The course has eight core modules covering the key principles of transit management: Human Resource Management; Financial Management; Administration; Operations & Service Design; Procurement; Vehicle and Facility Maintenance; Safety, Security and Emergency Management; and Drug and Alcohol Program Compliance. It is an excellent course for both experienced managers and those who are relatively new to their positions.

Transit, Technology, & Public Participation Project on Facebook & Twitter

The Transit, Technology, & Public Participation Project is now on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the links below to visit the sites and follow the developments of the project as they occur.

SURTC to Host Bus Safety and Security Training

The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center is sponsoring a one day seminar, FTA Transit Bus Safety and Security Program Overview, on Tuesday, August 17 from 8-4pm. The seminar will be held on the campus of North Dakota State University in Research Building I located at 1735 Research Park Drive in Fargo. This national seminar is being facilitated by Ream Lazaro, a well-recognized transit management consultant. The focus of the workshop will be to assist participants in understanding the new FTA Transit Bus Safety and Security Program as well as to identify "best practices." There is no cost for the seminar, but participants are required to register online.

Transit, Technology, and Public Participation Project Selected

The Transit, Technology, and Public Participation Project is one of five new projects selected by the Federal Transit Administration's Public Transportation Participation Pilot Program. The 18-month project will investigate the impact of technology in improving public participation in the public transportation planning process.

Project news and findings will be made available online at the project's website throughout the course of the project so that anyone with an interest in transit planning and technology can follow project developments as they occur.

The Transit, Technology, & Public Participation Project is being conducted by the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center (SURTC), a program of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University, in partnership with Metro Area Transit (MAT), the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments (Metro COG), and the Cities of Fargo and Moorhead.