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SECTION 2 Wage and Benefit Data This section presents specific compensation data collected in the survey research and selected supporting industry data on regional differences. This section also includes an analysis of the compensation data in relation to various system, service, and service area characteristics. Survey Data As described in Section 1, the research team collected compensation data from 360 rural and small urban transit systems across the country. Data were collected on wage levels by job cate- gory. Data also were collected on which benefits are offered, which types of employees are offered the benefits, and whether or not the offered benefits are subsidized by the employer. The TCRP project panel decided not to collect information on the cost of providing employee benefits because of how difficult it would be for respondents to report this information. Further, it was decided that we did not need to collect information on legally required benefits (e.g., payroll taxes such as FICA/Medicare), only on optional benefits. The data were used to establish peer groups that will allow you to compare compensation levels at your system with groups of peers (see Section 3). Peer groups were developed by con- sidering how certain variables appear to affect compensation levels, namely · Transit organizational characteristics; · Transit service characteristics; · Service area characteristics (i.e., region of the country and proximity to urban areas); and · Employee characteristics. Detailed analysis of the survey data is presented below. Table 2-1 summarizes the descriptive data collected on the transit agencies, including · Service Area Characteristics Urban-rural (e.g., urbanized area in service area and proximity to nearest urban area); Service area size (i.e., single municipality, multi-town, single county, multi-county, or Indian tribal reservation); APTA and BLS regions; and Unemployment rate. · Transit Organizational Characteristics Organization type (i.e., transit authority, county or city government, and private non- profit); and Public transit service delivery method (i.e., direct operation, contract, combination, and brokerage). 8
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Wage and Benefit Data 9 · Transit Service Characteristics Type of transit services (e.g., fixed-route/deviated fixed-route, paratransit, and subscription); Number of revenue passenger vehicles; Percentage of vehicles requiring a CDL; and Number of annual one-way passenger trips. · Funding Characteristics Annual operating budget, Federal grant funding sources, and Local funding sources. · Staff Characteristics Number of employees (full-time, part-time, volunteers); Percentage of staff who are part-time; Use of volunteers; Employee turnover; Staff shortage; and Union. · Wages and Benefits Overtime wages (whether provided, at what rate, percentage of overtime wages to total wages); Benefits offered to employees; Benefits transit system contributes to; Which employees receive benefits; and Comparability of wages and benefits with those of local labor market. Compensation data (wages and benefits) were analyzed to explore which of the system and service characteristics explain differences in wages or benefits among the systems. Table 2-1. Summary of survey responses. Number of Respondents: 360 Number of States: 45 SERVICE AREA CHARACTERISTICS Which term best describes the public transit service area? Single municipal service area 76 21% Multi-town service area 49 14% Single county service area 134 37% Multi-county service area 98 27% Indian tribal reservation service area 3 1% Is there an urbanized area within your primary service area? No 179 50% Yes 181 50% If No, estimate how close is the nearest urbanized area to where the majority of your employees are based? 5 - 20 miles 20 13% 21 - 50 miles 69 45% 51 - 100 miles 43 28% > 100 miles 20 13% ORGANIZATIONAL/AGENCY CHARACTERISTICS Which of the following best describes your organization/agency? Transit Authority 50 15% Department of City or County government 122 37% Private nonprofit agency - transportation only 46 14% Private nonprofit agency - multi-purpose 82 25% All other responses 30 9% (continued on next page)
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10 Employee Compensation Guidelines for Transit Providers in Rural and Small Urban Areas Table 2-1. (Continued). Number of Respondents: 360 Number of States: 45 What term best describes the method of public transit service delivery utilized by your organization/agency? Direct operation ONLY 245 72% Contract operation ONLY 25 7% Combination 65 19% Brokerage 6 2% TRANSIT SERVICE CHARACTERISTICS What type(s) of public transit services are provided by your agency or organization? Fixed-route/deviated fixed-route only 51 15% Paratransit/dial-a-ride/subscription only 131 38% Fixed-route/paratransit/subscription mix 163 47% Number of Revenue Passenger Service Vehicles (321 respondents) 24 Average Percentage of Vehicles Requiring a CDL (321 respondents) 55% Average Number of Annual One-Way Transit Passenger Trips (269 respondents) 264,600 Average FUNDING CHARACTERISTICS What was your agency/organization's annual operating budget for public transportation in the most recent fiscal year? Less than $100,000 52 16% $100,001-$500,000 88 27% $500,001-$1,000,000 56 17% $1,000,000-$1,500,000 38 12% Greater than $1,500,000 88 27% Which Federal grant funding does your organization or agency receive? Section 5311 (rural public program) Only 235 73% Section 5307 (small urban program) Only 43 13% Sections 5307 and S.5311 28 9% All other answers 17 5% What local funding sources do you use to support public transportation? Local general funds 211 69% Specific local source 65 21% Contract revenue - Public or Nonprofit Agency 162 53% Contract revenue - Private Agency 55 18% Other (please specify) 99 32% STAFF CHARACTERISTICS Number of systems with Full-Time Employees 280 92% Part-Time Employees 277 91% Volunteers 46 15% Percentage of Staff that are Part-Time (301 respondents) 44% Average Number of Systems that Use Volunteers (all in conjunction with paid employees) 46 15% Number of Employees 0 Employees 57 16% 1-9 Employees 69 19% 10-24 Employees 106 29% 25-49 Employees 68 19% 50+ Employees 60 17% What is the employee turnover rate? (283 respondents) 11% Average Does your organization/agency currently have a shortage of staff? No 163 57% Yes 121 43% If shortages, which positions (121 respondents) Drivers Only 101 83% Drivers Plus other Staff 13 11% Other Staff Only 7 6%