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1 Transit agencies rely on technical training to ensure that their workers can safely operate and maintain the equipment and infrastructure used in delivering transportation services to the public. Providing quality transit training that is cost effective is a constant challenge. Current economic factors place budgetary pressures on agencies, impacting the resources available for training. At the same time, advancements in the complexity of transit vehicles and infrastructure increase the demand for training. Workforce demographics, including retirement of experi- enced workers and the recruitment of a new generation of workers who have different learning experiences, also impact training needs. Recognizing these challenges, the Transportation Research Board launched two interrelated research projects. The first is focused on identifying best practices and resources for transit tech- nical training; the second addresses overcoming barriers to implementing best and innovative training practices for public transportationâs frontline workforce. The two projects collaborated on the research, and this report is one of the products of that research. The major tasks involved in developing this report include the following: â¢ Conducting a literature review, â¢ Surveying over 100 transit agency representatives, â¢ Identifying and conducting interviews with representatives from organizations using and promoting transit training best practices and innovative training approaches, and â¢ Developing and populating an electronic training resource catalog that organizes training materials for transit technical skills. Additionally, we identified innovative training strategies, drawing on our knowledge of the current state of the art and research conducted in advanced learning solutions from outside the transit industry. This information is aimed at helping transit organizations explore new potential solutions for training that are adding value in other domains such as the military and aerospace industry. Purpose and Organization of the Report The purpose of this report is to provide information on training methods and best prac- tices that transit agencies can apply to guide and enhance their existing training programs. Improvements may include creating new instruction or modifying existing training. In par- ticular, innovative methods that engage learners are highlighted along with techniques for anytime, anywhere learning. The Transit Industry Course Catalog created as part of this effort will also be highlighted. The report is organized to allow users to quickly access information C H A P T E R 1 Introduction
2 Transit Technical Training, Volume 1: Guide to Applying Best Practices and Sharing Resources to apply in enhancing their transit training program. It contains the following sections as described below: â¢ Effective Approaches for Training Program Development: Information on instructional sys- tems design (ISD) and national training standards that can be used to create quality training. â¢ Innovative Training Strategies: An overview of types of innovative training strategies includ- ing simulations, gaming, adaptive learning and intelligent tutoring, transmedia, web-based training, mobile applications, and social media. This section contains examples of each train- ing strategy in the transit and non-transit industries as well as potential ways the strategy could be implemented in the transit industry. â¢ Transit Industry Course Catalog: An overview of the electronic training catalog and how it can be used to help reduce the challenges of providing quality technical training within the transit industry. â¢ Conclusion and Future Implications: Potential next steps for the transit industry for expand- ing the use of innovative training solutions and best practices.