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TRANSIT TCRP REPORT 127 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration Employee Compensation Guidelines for Transit Providers in Rural and Small Urban Areas

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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2008 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* SELECTION COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS Robert I. Brownstein AECOM Consult, Inc. CHAIR: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka VICE CHAIR: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley MEMBERS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Ann August Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority John Bartosiewicz MEMBERS McDonald Transit Associates J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Linda J. Bohlinger Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg HNTB Corp. Peter Cannito John D. Bowe, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA Metropolitan Transportation Authority--Metro Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson North Railroad Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Gregory Cook Norfolk, VA Veolia Transportation William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Nathaniel P. Ford San Francisco MUNI David S. Ekern, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond Fred M. Gilliam Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Charlottesville Kim R. Green Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN GFI GENFARE Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Jill A. Hough North Dakota State University Will Kempton, Director, California DOT, Sacramento John Inglish Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Utah Transit Authority Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Jeanne W. Krieg Technology, Atlanta Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington David A. Lee Connecticut Transit Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore Clarence W. Marsella Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Denver Regional Transportation District Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Gary W. McNeil Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR GO Transit Rosa Clausell Rountree, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta Michael P. Melaniphy Motor Coach Industries Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO Frank Otero C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin PACO Technologies Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando Robert H. Prince, Jr. Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR DMJM+Harris Jeffrey M. Rosenberg EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Amalgamated Transit Union Michael Scanlon Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC San Mateo County Transit District Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Beverly Scott Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority James S. Simpson Paul R. Brubaker, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT FTA George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign Secretary, Frank Tobey National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC First Transit Sean T. Connaughton, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT Frank Wilson LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Interior, Washington, DC EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC William W. Millar John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT APTA John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Robert E. Skinner, Jr. TRB Officials, Washington, DC John C. Horsley Carl T. Johnson, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT AASHTO J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space J. Richard Capka Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS FHWA William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Nicole R. Nason, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT Louis Sanders James Ray, Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT APTA James S. Simpson, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT SECRETARY Robert A. Sturgell, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Christopher W. Jenks Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, TRB U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of January 2008. *Membership as of May 2008.

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 127 Employee Compensation Guidelines for Transit Providers in Rural and Small Urban Areas KFH Group, Inc. Bethesda, MD Subject Areas Planning and Administration Public Transit Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2008 www.TRB.org

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 127 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, Project F-12 and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current ISSN 1073-4872 systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand ISBN: 978-0-309-11746-3 service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve Library of Congress Control Number 2008906709 these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to 2008 Transportation Research Board adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to intro- duce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions COPYRIGHT PERMISSION to meet demands placed on it. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report published or copyrighted material used herein. 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the Administration--now the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and success- any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes from CRP. research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, NOTICE facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research administrative practices. Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect to both the rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act purposes and resources of the National Research Council. of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this project and to review lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooper- this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions ating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research orga- necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, nization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the the Transit Development Corporation, or the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical panel according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identi- Council, the Transit Development Corporation, and the Federal Transit Administration fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or Committee defines funding levels and expected products. manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project state- ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- cal guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- Published reports of the nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- are available from: ing material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for Transportation Research Board workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure Business Office that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively and can be ordered through the Internet at address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Printed in the United States of America

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 127 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Dianne S. Schwager, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Hilary Freer, Senior Editor Natalie Barnes, Editor TCRP PROJECT F-12 PANEL Field of Human Resources Ann August, Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority, Sumter, SC (Chair) Tom Ashby, Coordinated Transportation Development, Centralia, IL Gary A. De Leo, Illinois DOT, Chicago, IL Pamela D. Evans, CARE-A-VAN Transportation, Hobbs, NM Lyn Hellegaard, Missoula Ravali Transportation Management Association, Missoula, MT Jill A. Hough, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND Amanda Jones, Centre Area Transportation Authority, State College, PA Ann Martinez, Southeast Nebraska Community Action Council, Humboldt, NE Shirley J. Tarwater, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City, MO Khuong Luu, FTA Liaison Cathy Monroe, FTA Liaison Lorna R. Wilson, FTA Liaison David Barr, American Public Works Association Liaison Christopher Zeilinger, Community Transportation Association of America Liaison Peter Shaw, TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research conducted for this Guidebook was performed through TCRP Project F-12 by the KFH Group, Inc. Sue Knapp, President of the KFH Group, was the Principal Investigator for the project and primary author of the Guidebook. Elisabeth (Lib) Fetting, Jason Quan, and Samantha Erickson assisted with the research and the survey effort. Dorothy Hersey contributed to the chapter on attracting and retaining employees, and Lib Fetting contributed to the chapter on making compensation decisions. Samantha Erickson provided support throughout the project, including an in-depth analysis of the national wage data. Finally, Jason Quan's extraordinary computer skills were used to help build the Interactive Tool. We would also like to sincerely thank the many rural and small urban transit systems that participated in the research project for sharing their data and insights with the research team.

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FOREWORD By Dianne S. Schwager Staff Officer Transportation Research Board TCRP Report 127: Employee Compensation Guidelines for Transit Providers in Rural and Small Urban Areas will be of interest to local transit providers and their governing boards. While the Guidebook largely addresses compensation, it also assists transit providers to recruit, hire and retain qualified employees. The Guidebook is accompanied by an interac- tive computer tool (located on the TRB website at http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp? id=9282) that provides an easy way to explore salary and benefit characteristics of transit systems in rural and small urban areas. The primary purpose of the project was to collect and analyze current compensation data and develop guidelines for employee compensation so that rural and small urban transit managers have a meaningful resource to use when making wage and benefit decisions. The secondary project purpose was to provide transit managers with information that can be used to attract and retain employees in the unique environment and with the challenges faced by rural and small urban transit managers. The Guidebook and interactive computer tool were developed based on quantitative and qualitative information gathered from various sources, including a literature review and pre- vious research, a survey of transit operators, and one-on-one interviews. The primary source of data for the computer tool was a survey of rural and small urban operators across the coun- try. The project team developed and revised the survey instrument and tested it in one state before conducting a nationwide survey. A copy of the survey is included as Appendix A. The interactive computer tool that accompanies this Guidebook allows transit managers to quickly and easily obtain meaningful compensation and benefit data from comparable transit systems. By entering the basic characteristics of a transit system, service area, and operating environment, transit managers will query the database to compute and report salary and benefit characteristics of comparable systems. Section 3 of the report and the TRB website include details on how to use the tool.

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CONTENTS 1 Section 1 Introduction 1 Objective of the Guidebook 2 Definition of Compensation 2 Compensation Issues Unique to Rural and Small Urban Transit 4 Guidebook Development 7 Guide Organization 8 Section 2 Wage and Benefit Data 8 Survey Data 11 System and Service Types in Relation to Compensation Levels 30 Summary of Compensation Factors 31 Section 3 Guide to Compensation Decisions 31 Setting or Adjusting Compensation Levels 33 Defining Consistent Job Categories 58 Other Influences--Wages and Compensation 59 Peer Comparisons Using the Computer Tool 61 Section 4 Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Staff 61 The Role of Human Resources 62 The Employment Cycle 62 Job Development 65 Recruiting 68 Hiring 71 Initial Training 73 Retention 83 Completing the Cycle 85 References 86 Bibliography 87 Appendix A Transit Agency Survey and Survey Responses 109 Appendix B Detailed Project Survey Data Disaggregated by Service Area Descriptions (2006-2007) 141 Appendix C Survey Project Data Disaggregated by System Size Descriptors (2006-2007) 158 Appendix D Survey Project Data Disaggregated by Organizational Descriptors (2006-2007) 171 Appendix E Survey Project Data Disaggregated by Transit Service Descriptors (2006-2007)

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176 Appendix F Detailed Project Survey Data Disaggregated by Selected Employee Characteristics (2006-2007) 186 Appendix G Bureau of Labor Statistics Selected Wage Data, May 2006 193 Appendix H Exit Interviews