The purpose of the Transit Academy is to present a comprehensive program of transit manager training for ODOT rural and small urban transit subrecipients that addresses the training needs of both new and experienced transit managers. The training program consists of a “back to basics” curriculum presented in a series of five modules, supplemented by other ODOT training and workshops. Modules 1 and 2 comprise the “Introduction to Transit Management” segment of the training while Modules 3, 4, and 5 focus on the topics of financial management, procurement, and regulatory requirements, respectively. Modules are conducted throughout the year, and across the state, for “cohorts” of managers, selected by ODOT, that progress through all five modules together and receive a certificate of completion. All participants are asked to evaluate each module; ODOT uses this feedback to modify and make improvements to future training.
Module 1: Introduction to Transit Management -- Administration and Oversight
Module 1 begins with the “Congratulations, You’re a Transit Manager! Now What?” session as an introduction to the topic and then progresses to encompass the variety of topics for which a transit manager is responsible for every day. Topics range from establishing the culture of the organization to working with governing boards and TACs and establishing the mission, vision, goals, and values of the organization. Other topics include planning; grants management, policies and procedures, training, marketing and advocacy, and crisis management.
Module 2: Operations
Module 2 jumps into a discussion of the transit “family of services,” including demand response, fixed routes, flex routes, use of volunteers, subscriptions, specialized human/contract service, feeder routes, ADA complementary paratransit, car/van pools, vehicle sharing, charter, and more. An in-depth session is conducted on performance measures, their importance, how they can and should be used to measure and monitor service quality, and ODOT’s requirements and goals. Other topics include service area characteristics such as service planning, fare policies, the correct process for fare and service changes, scheduling and dispatching, vehicle and facility maintenance, and operating policies and procedures.
Module 3: Financial Management
Module 3 begins with a short, but thorough explanation of what financial management is and what it means to the financial health of the transit organization. Operating budget discussion includes such topics as FTA’s Uniform System of Accounts, revenues vs. expenses, capitalized maintenance, direct and indirect costs; shared costs and cost allocation; ensuring the financial integrity of your data; forecasting; accrual vs. cash, and the importance of proper documentation and following policies and procedures. Capital budget discussion addresses vehicles, facilities, service equipment, office equipment, shop equipment, computers, grounds; allowable depreciation; capital costing and accounting; useful life; capital replacement funds; life cycle costing; and developing an ODOT capital application budget.
Module 4: Procurement
Although most transit subrecipients purchase vehicles from the ODOT Cooperative Purchasing program, from time to time they may conduct separate vehicle procurements as well as purchases of supplies and equipment. Certain grantees also conduct procurements for different types of services (management, cleaning, fuel, maintenance, etc.) and some contract out their entire operation. All of these procurements must be conducted in accordance with local, State, and Federal procurement regulations, including 2 C.F.R. Part 200, FTA Circular 4220.1F, and Buy America provisions. Module 4 covers all the ODOT and FTA requirements and regulations for all types of procurements, from micro, small, to large/formal purchases and the differences between them.
Module 5: Regulatory Compliance
Transit subrecipients are responsible for compliance with a host of State and Federal regulations. This module includes a discussion of each of the regulatory requirements, including ADA, Charter, DBE, Drug and Alcohol, EEO, FMCSA, Title VI, Environmental Justice, LEP, and Bloodborne Pathogens. The summaries presented in this module are to acquaint and/or refresh transit managers with “what” each regulation entails.