Could skilled project managers save public transportation?

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Public transportation suffered in recent years, as recession-beleaguered cities and states have been forced to slash their budgets, resulting in delayed maintenance and cuts to service.

For example, a recent article in The Atlantic magazine discussed the problems facing the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority in New York. As early as 2004, the bus system had a $4.5 million deficit and an on-time performance rating of only 76 percent. At the time, it seemed that the only solution was a fare hike.

Instead, as the news source reported, Mark Aesch, head of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, took a very different approach. In 2008, just after the largest economic crash since the Great Depression, he lowered fares. To pay for it, he shortened bus routes and consolidated lines so that current buses carried more passengers per trip.

the result? According to The Atlantic, the agency's surplus reached $35.5 million by the end of 2011, while the on-time rate rose to 91 percent.

This story highlights some of the most important skills a project manager can possess: creativity and flexibility.

"I think the model works in almost any location," Aesch said. "Improving the quality of the customer experience, creating that atmosphere where the individual employee is rewarded for organizational success—that's critical. You can do that anywhere."

When it comes to making customers happier, there isn't only one magic solution. Project managers must consider the situation facing their own agency and adjust accordingly. This is easier for managers who have earned their PMP® certification.

With New Leaf's QPM™ series of games, managers can hone their skills while earning PDUs to achieve or maintain their PMP certification.

"PMI," PMP," and "PMBOK" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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