Monthly focus: HR in public transport

photo De Ljin - Stefaan Van Hul

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This month on we’ve decided to focus on the topic of Human Resources in public transport.

In such a customer-facing business as public transport, having well-trained staff is essential. Achieving excellence in service delivery and customer satisfaction can only be achieved by dedicated and motivated staff capable of delivering high-quality services to keep customers coming back. 

With staffing costs representing 60-80% of costs in public transport operations, in OECD countries at least, some might consider this as mainly a cost factor. However, the key to performance and productivity lies in the ability of a company to attract and retain the right qualified people.

Demographic changes such as the retirement of large numbers of workers, the development of public transport services, innovative mobility services and new technologies striving to deliver increasing quality are all factors increasing the challenge of becoming an employer of choice.

From there it’s a case of ensuring proper recruitment procedures supported by strong employer branding as well as well-defined policies and good practices on staff motivation and retention. Well-motivated staff, satisfied in their jobs, will then reflect a positive image of the company to the customers.

This month on we will be shining a light on various different aspects of HR in public transport with a particular focus on innovative practices around the world. From absenteeism, recruitment and social dialogue to diversity, knowledge transfer and the formalisation of public transport, we’ll be taking an in-depth review at this often overlooked topic.

UITP is also dedicating the next issue of Public Transport International magazine to the topic of Human Resources and corporate management, set to hit UITP members’ desks soon! 

Photo: De Lijn - Stefaan Van Hul

  • For more information please contact Cécile Sadoux, cecile.sadoux(at) or Mary Parra, mary.parra(at)

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