Adopt staffing practices for successful Transportation Management Center (TMC) staff hiring and retention.

Eight states' experiences with staffing practices for TMCs.

Atlanta,Georgia,United States; Boston,Massachusetts,United States; Detroit,Michigan,United States; Houston,Texas,United States; Long Island,New York,United States; Milwaukee,Wisconsin,United States; Phoenix,Arizona,United States; Toronto,Ontario,Canada

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The experiences described in the Metropolitan Transportation Management Center Concepts of Operation study provide insight into the operations at various Transportation Management Centers (TMCs) within the United States and Canada. The most difficult recurring challenges that the TMCs noted were related to operations and maintenance staffing.
  • Address staffing issues, one of the most difficult components of TMC operations and maintenance. Create meaningful career paths within ITS for operators and address agency policies that may hinder obtaining and retaining staff such as unclear job descriptions, low pay rates, and stringent hiring qualifications. Also, hire appropriate staff as soon as possible in the deployment process rather than waiting for the advanced traffic management system to be completed and accepted. It is critical to have correct and adequate staff as soon as possible.
  • Address factors that can generate an overload of work for staff. Realistically assess operator workload from multiple tasks especially when the tasks originate from outside of the traditional traffic management role. Workload can also be eased by switching to automated recording of incident video, and voice logging as opposed to using manual logging. Secure accommodations for personnel working around the clock to satisfy the needs of the TMC.

The effectiveness of a system can be significantly affected, both positively and negatively, by its staff. As such, it is imperative for an agency to address staffing issues, which is routinely identified as one of the most difficult challenges facing TMC operations and maintenance. Among the measures that can be implemented to minimize staffing problems are 1) creating meaningful career paths and 2) implementing safeguards against work overload. By taking these steps, an agency can prevent, reduce, or resolve these types of staffing problems; these remedies may ultimately allow for productivity and efficiency to increase.

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Metropolitan Transportation Management Center Concepts of Operation: A Cross-Cutting Study

Author: Joint Program Office (JPO)

Published By: FHWA and FTA

Source Date: 10/1/1999

EDL Number: 10923

Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-99-020 / FTA-TRI-11-99-10

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/2997

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Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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Lesson ID: 2006-00290