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About 96% of North American transit agencies are experiencing a shortage of workers, according to a new study from the American Public Transportation Association.
Eighty-four percent of agencies indicated the shortage is affecting their ability to provide regular service. While the shortage is felt primarily in large cities, most agencies regardless of size reported service reductions due to the worker shortage.
The study — Transit Workforce Shortage: Root Causes, Potential Solutions and the Road Ahead — outlines the nature and severity of the "widespread and severe" transit workforce shortage and highlights what agencies can do to combat these issues, APTA officials said in a press release.
"This shortage is complex, multifaceted, and connected to changes in the broader culture and economy,” said APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas. "This workforce shortage is the confluence of multiple factors and successfully responding to it will involve a comprehensive approach."
APTA's recommended steps to help ease the shortage in the short term includes increasing compensation, improving worker schedules, creating a positive work environment and ensuring worker safety. In the long term, APTA recommends building a resilient workforce development program.