Transit agencies are aware that many of their managers and executives have spent a considerable amount of their careers managing the business without the assistance of modern technology.
This experience must now be paired with up-to-date knowledge of new tools and technology at a relatively rapid pace and one which is not always easy or comfortable. Therefore transit managers must remain engaged in the efficiency gains brought about by transit software and similarly valuable tools.
Evaluating the ever-increasing amount of information about these technologies requires continuing diligence as well as methods to filter out the unimportant stuff. Agencies tend to rely on their mangers' willingness and ability to do this in order to remain relevant in the market and to provide quality customer service to their riders.
Staying on top of new industry technology is clearly important and at Ecolane, we’ve come up with a short list of resources agency managers can utilize to better keep themselves informed.
Although it’s typically considered a place to highlight one’s resumé, skills and experience, LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information and discussion. Managers should be encouraged to participate in these discussions about transit operating. Networking with peers on LinkedIn is also an essential activity and can go a long way towards maintaining awareness of the tools and trends shaping the industry. Transit-specific groups on LinkedIn are great resources for agencies in the market to review or purchase products, troubleshoot issues or find tips for increasing efficiencies.
Transit technology blogs
Managers and executives are following (and in some cases authoring) blogs that focus on transit topics and technology. This avenue for sharing and learning by mangers is becoming a critical tool during product decision-making processes and they introduce new software, procedures and tips to build better transit operations. These blogs also provide a venue for critical feedback to technology companies servicing transit and that encourages change.
Although it’s an activity which has been around for a while, conferences continue to be valuable channels for transit professionals looking to expand their knowledge of the industry.
- Showcase new and effective technologies in the industry
- Educate transit professionals as to best practices within the industry
- Provide additional venues for transit industry networking
Each of these avenues for interaction, networking, and learning (whether face to face or via social media and networking) keep managers and executives informed and aware of critical tools.
Although perhaps best left to another blog topic, suppliers to the transit industry benefit from these channels as well. They represent an integral feedback loop around the industry and the available products out there, ensuring that products and services are conceptualized and designed with optimal efficiency, effectiveness, and logistical feasibility in mind.