Developing an ROI Assessment Model of Training, Apprenticeship, and Mentorship Programs in California Transit Agencies

The goal of this project is to develop a model for benchmarking return-on-investment (ROI) data for training, internship, mentorship, and apprenticeship programming through a survey and focused case studies of selected California transit agencies. Transit agencies spend considerably less on training than other organizations in the transportation and goods movement industry (about 0.1% of resources to training compared to the private sector’s 4-6%). Yet, the Federal Transit Administration recommends that transit agencies contribute at least 3% of their wages and salary budget to training and professional development. This project would help agencies develop a means of justification expenses incurred as a result of investments in employee training.

Principal Investigator: 
Tyler Reeb
PI Contact Information:

Califorina State Uuniveristy, Long Beach

June 2023 to May 2024
Implementation of Research Outcomes: 

There is little research on the ROI associated with investments in workforce training in the public sector and even less that specifically addresses transit agencies. Multiple recent reports produced by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), TransitCenter, and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) emphasize the importance of training and enhancing the skillset of transit agency employees, either to improve retention or to keep employees up to speed on present policy and technology developments. Yet, this collective call-to-action remains difficult to implement as a substantial change in organizational policy in part because of the lack of metrics or criteria necessary for a transit agency to justify expenses incurred as a result of workforce training, both within the agency itself and to external stakeholders.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

Recruiting, retaining, and empowering the transit workforce remains a major challenge for operators throughout California and the nation. Identifying a new ROI context to validate workforce development priorities would help transit managers.

Project Number: 



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