Document Type


Publication Date



Local transit -- Management -- Surveys, Transportation agencies -- Planning, Transportation agencies -- Officials and employees -- Attitudes

Physical Description

35 pages


This paper examines issues related to the managerial personnel needs of the transit industry over the next five years. Specifically, we explore the career expectations reported by 1301 managers from 178 agencies. Their responses are grouped based on whether they will be with the same transit agency, a different agency, retire, or leave the transit industry. These stated intentions are examined in relation to agency characteristics, individual demographics, professional experience, and evaluations of personal career development and opportunities.

our survey results portray a significantly different transit manager than that described by Mundy and Spchalski in 1973. Current managers are younger, more highly educated, and more diverse in terms of training specialization and current function. Most did not plan a career in transit. Further, these "new" transit managers seem less wedded to a long term career in transit. While satisfied with current positions they are less positive about future career development and advancement opportunities offered by individual agencies and the industry. Three explanatory factors are suggested: 1) the training and experience of new managers, 2) the possible lack of a clear career ladder within the industry, and 3) the end of the period of rapid transit expansion.

Our findings indicate that the industry may experience substantial managerial change over the next five years and that recruitment needs may be greater than forecast by TRB in 1985. These needs will be more pronounced for some management categories, specifically marketing, personnel, finance.


Discussion paper 87-3. Catalog Number PR023.

A product of the Center for Urban Studies, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.

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