The Contribution of Manager and Organizational Characteristics to Transit Agency Performance: A National Study of United States Transit Providers
Prepared for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, University Research and Training Program, Washington D.C.
Local transit -- Management, Transportation agencies -- Planning, Transportation agencies -- Organizational behavior
The primary objective of the report is to relate attitudinal and demographic characteristics of transit management personnel and agency institutional characteristics to agency performance. The purpose of this analysis is to determine the relative contributions of manager and institutional characteristics as explanatory factors in transit agency performance. The study is based upon the responses of 1033 managers from 134 agencies representing the full range of agency size, institutional, and locational characteristics.
Across six basic performance measures (coat efficiency, labor efficiency, service effectiveness, maintenance efficiency (measured in two different ways) and vehicle efficiency) used here, manager characteristics and attitudes do not appear to be consisteruly associated with performance outcomes. That is, while the analysis established that these are important factors, these relationships point in differina directions. Thus, efforts to increase manaaer capability may also add to the forces differentiati.na orpnizational capacity without contributing to overall industry performance. In sum, the twbulence experienced by the transit industry may not have lead it toward greater refinemenl of performance abilities but rather introduced even greater tension and centrifugal forces. The result may be an even further reduced ability to specify the keys to successful transit service delivery.
It is also clear that the changing nature of the industry in terms of its role and function in wban settings may be reflected in our findings. Increasingly, efforts toward the development of new, specialized services have been paralleled by the development of new organizational provider types. In some instances this has brought new management opportunities, demands and attitudes into the industry. The elderly and handicapped have generated an increasing involvement of health service providers in transportation. The expectations of service performance have concurrently undergone re-examination. All transit agencies have focused on more than fixed route, scheduled service the keys to improved performance have changed with the service mix.
White, Charles and Edner, Sheldon, "The Contribution of Manager and Organizational Characteristics to Transit Agency Performance: A National Study of United States Transit Providers" (1989). Center for Urban Studies Publications and Reports. 104.
Report no. UMTA-OR -11-0004. Catalog Number PR032a.
A product of the Center for Urban Studies, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.