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Transit 101

The purpose of Transit 101 is to present a comprehensive program of transit manager training for ODOT rural and small urban transit grantees that addresses the training needs of both new and experienced transit managers. The training program consists of a “back to basics” curriculum presented in a series of five modules, supplemented by other ODOT training and workshops. For example, all new managers will complete ODOT’s Rural Transit e-Learning, an overview to ODOT and FTA programs and requirements. Individual trainings will also be presented on different topics, such as ADA, Title VI, maintenance, etc. from time to time. Transit 101 Modules 1 and 2 comprise the “Introduction to Transit Management” segment of the training while Modules 3, 4, and 5 focus on the topics of financial management, procurement, and regulatory requirements, respectively. Modules are conducted throughout the year, and across the state, for “cohorts” of managers, selected by ODOT, that progress through all five modules together and receive a certificate of completion.

Each module is conducted classroom style, integrated with a variety of class exercises, role plays, and case studies. Prior to each module, a “homework” assignment is e-mailed to each participant, for completion prior to the training. The purpose of this “pre-assignment” is to engage the participants so that they arrive ready for the particular topic being covered. It gives them the opportunity to think about their goals for the training and to identify any areas for which they might want to seek additional understanding. Instructors ask each participant to share these goals and topic areas at the beginning of the class in order to ensure that each is addressed. Following the class, a second homework assignment is required to reinforce the elements presented in the training.

Each participant of Module 1 receives a workbook that contains a copy of the module curriculum combined with a variety of resource materials. At each subsequent module, participants receive the materials for that particular training to be added to the workbook.

All participants are asked to evaluate each module; ODOT uses this feedback to modify and make improvements to future training.




Module 1: Introduction to Transit Management—Administration and Oversight

Module 1 begins with the “Congratulations, You’re a Transit Manager!  Now What?” session as an introduction to the topic and then progresses to encompass the variety of topics for which a transit manager is responsible for every day. Topics range from establishing the culture of the organization to working with governing boards and TACs and establishing the mission, vision, goals, and values of the organization to the importance a manager’s attitude and approach can be to his or success as leader, communicator, and coach for the transit “team.” Other topics include planning; grants management, policies and procedures, training, marketing and advocacy, and crisis management.

Module 2: Introduction to Transit Management—Operations

Module 2 begins with a brief review of Module 1 topics and immediately jumps into a discussion of the transit “family of services,” including demand response, fixed routes, flex routes, use of volunteers, subscriptions, specialized human/contract service, feeder routes, ADA complementary paratransit, car/van pools, vehicle sharing, charter, and more. This then leads into a discussion of the types of systems operating in Ohio, and includes a discussion by participants of their system history, why they operate the service they do. Next, an in-depth session is conducted on performance measures, their importance, how they can and should be used to measure and monitor service quality, and ODOT’s requirements and goals. Other topics include service area characteristics; a discussion on the impacts to local service relative to ADA, Title VI, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and Environmental Justice (EJ) requirements; service planning; fare policies; the correct process for fare and service changes;  scheduling and dispatching; vehicle and facility maintenance, and operating policies and procedures.

Module 2 concludes the introduction to transit management segment of the training. The remaining modules focus on financial management, procurement, and regulatory requirements.

Module 3: Financial Management

​Financial management is more than budgeting and accounting, and Module 3 begins with a short, but thorough explanation of what financial management is and what it means to the financial health of the transit organization. Next, budgeting is discussed from both an operating and capital perspective. For operating, the budgeting discussion includes such topics as ODOT and FTA requirements, including FTA’s Uniform System of Accounts, the National Transit Database, revenues v. expenses, capitalized maintenance, fixed and variable costs; direct and indirect costs; shared costs and cost allocation; ensuring the financial integrity of your data; historical trends, forecasting; accrual vs. cash; inflation, and the importance of proper documentation and following policies and procedures.

​The discussion of capital budgeting addresses vehicles, facilities, tools, parts inventory, service equipment, office equipment, shop equipment, computers, grounds, buildings, etc.; developing an ODOT capital application budget; allowable depreciation; capital costing and accounting; fleet, facilities, equipment, etc.; useful life; capital replacement funds; life cycle costing; and price and cost analysis.

​Other financial management topics include strategic/long range budgeting (5 or more years’ horizon); government requirements for accounting, budgeting, reporting and auditing; basic transit accounting; ODOT requirements for accounting and budgeting, including an overview of ODOT’s Accounting Done Right training; applicable FTA and OMB circulars; allowable costs; financial audits; proper accounting of farebox revenue and donations; revenues and local match requirements; eligible local match; in-kind contributions; force account; and monitoring budgets/budget revisions. Finally, other miscellaneous topics will include controlling costs, pricing and contracting out; asset management; financial audits and reviews; ethics, honesty, and accuracy; and accountability. Participants are encouraged to bring calculators and/or laptops for this module.

Module 4: Procurement

Although most Rural Transit grantees purchase vehicles from the ODOT Cooperative Purchasing program, from time to time they may conduct separate vehicle procurements as well as purchases of supplies and equipment.  Certain grantees also conduct procurements for different types of services (management, cleaning, fuel, maintenance, etc.) and some contract out their entire operation.  All of these procurements must be conducted in accordance with local, State, and Federal procurement regulations, including FTA Circular 4220.1F, the Common Rule, and Buy America provisions. Module 4 will cover all of the ODOT and FTA requirements and regulations for all types of procurements, from micro (less than $3,000) and small (greater than $3,000 but less than $100,000) purchases to the competitive, multi-year procurement for a third party service provider. This module addresses the differences and similarities of these procurements and also compares invitations for bid (IFB) with requests for proposals (RFPs).

Module 5: Regulatory Compliance

Rural Transit grantees are responsible for compliance with a host of State and Federal regulations.  This module includes a discussion of each of the regulatory requirements, including ADA, Charter, DBE, Drug and Alcohol, EEO, FMCSA, Title VI, Environmental Justice, LEP, and Bloodborne Pathogens. Because each of these regulations is covered in its own stand-alone, in-depth ODOT-sponsored training, the summaries presented in this module are to acquaint and/or refresh transit managers with “what” each regulation entails, not necessarily “how” to comply.




Tyler Bender
Compliance Officer
(614) 995-0754


 Transit 101 Presentation Slides