Center Addresses Bus Maintenance Training at FTA Peer-to-Peer Exchange

Posted October 2019

John Sciavone presented on the current state of bus maintenance training

On October 10, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) hosted a Peer-to-Peer Exchange with a primary focus on bus maintenance training. Following welcoming remarks by Billy Terry of the National Transit Institute (NTI) and Adriana Malasky and Vincent Valdes of FTA, the Center’s John Schiavone provided an overview of the current landscape of bus maintenance training. Stating that bus technicians generally receive decent training at larger agencies with instructors, training aids and other resources, John stressed that the majority of agencies offer little if any maintenance training despite the complexity of today’s transit buses. Vendors provide some training, but not nearly enough to match the massive need as baby-boomer technicians retire in great numbers with limited replacements ready and able to take their places.

With virtually every agency short-staffed technicians, and the outlook projected to get worse, agencies are now forced to provide more of their own training through apprenticeships, refresher courses and much needed electrical/electronic (E/E) training, especially with battery electric buses (BEB) becoming increasingly popular. John offered several solutions to what he described as a training crisis.

This event also featured a panel moderated by Center Director, Jack Clark. The panel members were Halsey King, Master Instructor, Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA); John McDermott, Director of Special Projects, Consortium for Worker Education; and Obed Mejia, Senior Bus Equipment Maintenance Instructor, LA Metro. The discussion focused on examples from across the country that make up the continuum of transit bus maintenance training programs and models.

For additional information on the Center’s Bus Maintenance Apprenticeship Program contact John Schiavone at

For copies of the presentations and videos of the event, visit:

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