Transit riders in cities across the country are feeling the impacts of the transit workforce challenge, especially in the St. Louis region. A new national report by TransitCenter, “People First,” examines the current challenges facing public sector human resources that limit hiring and retention, and outlines potential solutions to rethink this critical agency function.
At many agencies, the number of retirements and resignations are outpacing the number of people they can hire. Ninety-six percent of 190 transit agencies surveyed by the American Public Transit Association this year reported workforce shortages, and 84 percent reported those shortages are impacting the ability to deliver transit service. These challenges are happening at Metro Transit.
The report identifies four areas that need to be reimagined in order for agencies to reverse worrying workforce trends: where human resources sits within an agency, hiring practices, retention practices, and workplace culture.
Here are just a few of the report’s recommendations:
- Human Resource departments at transit agencies are often siloed and under-resourced. To make transit agencies workplaces of the future, HR will have to be elevated as strategic thought and planning partners at the leadership level.
- Transit hiring is slow and jobs – especially entry level- aren’t that attractive. Agencies need to speed up hiring to fully staffing HR departments and setting aggressive hiring targets.