Analysis of Short-Duration Unscheduled Absences of Transit Operators: TriMet Case Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

organisation - management, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro


Unscheduled absences, TriMet (Portland, Oregon), Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Transit personnel, Transit operators, Transit, Public transit, Portland (Oregon), Personnel management, Mass transit, Local transit, Human resources management, Extraboards, Case studies


Factors that contribute to short-duration (1 to 3 days) unscheduled absences of operators at the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), the transit provider for the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region, are analyzed. The analysis draws on a wide array of operator-specific information recovered by the technologies of transit intelligent transportation systems in combination with information from the agency’s human resources, scheduling, incident, and customer relations databases. The likelihood of an absence is estimated in relation to personal characteristics, employment status, aspects of assigned work, service delivery, performance indicators, temporal factors, and customer feedback. The findings can be used directly to support extraboard planning practices. More generally, the findings point to changes in policies and practices that could reduce the incidence of short-duration absences.