UCLA Report Examines California Public Transit Agency Labor Shortage

A report co-authored by Jacob Wasserman, a research project manager at the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, was highlighted in a Streetsblog article about labor shortages and their impact on public transit systems in California. Wasserman and co-authors Allie Padgett and Keenan Ky-An Do studied 20 California transit agencies, interviewing a number of workers, to understand ongoing labor shortages at the state’s transit agencies and efforts to attract and retain transit workers. “Raises may not prove enough to alleviate [labor] shortages, given rising costs of living, competition from other sectors and years of prior wage stagnation,” the authors wrote. They cite worker responses including California’s long commutes and high housing costs that make it difficult for them to work close to home. “Hard working conditions on transit push people away and out, even [though] pay and benefits in transit may be better,” they wrote.


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