Have you ever wondered how people get training on running a public transit agency? Public transit is a very complex business/service to run, so how does one learn everything they need to know?
Earlier this month, Billy Terry, Executive Director of the National Transit Institute, talked with Paul Comfort of the Transit Unplugged podcast. Billy explains NTI’s role as the training arm of the transit industry, primarily focused on the administrative side including procurement, DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise), financial management, and more. Much of the work NTI does is offered free for public sector employees and entities.
Billy also discusses the difficulties NTI faced moving its courses online at the start of the pandemic. Pre-pandemic 99.8% of NTI courses were offered live at sites across the country. People came from across the country to a single location to attend a course for two or three days. When COVID forced his group to instantaneously move training to 100% virtual, in addition to providing the means to teach online, NTI needed to provide training to instructors on how to teach virtually and provide the same level of satisfaction and interaction as an in-person course. In addition, all course materials — previously handed out when a person arrived at a course — now had to be delivered electronically.
They wrap up with a discussion of courses currently in development at NTI. Billy also shares his team’s belief that by enhancing an individual’s ability in doing their job by taking one or more of NTI’s courses, they are enhancing that individual’s agency as well as the community in which that serves.