Emerging New Paradigms -- A Guide to Fundamental Change in Local Public Transportation Organizations

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - integration, planning - signage/information


Adaptation (Psychology), Cooperation, Customer service, Fundamental change, Information technology, Integration, Mission, Organizational effectiveness, Paradigm shift, Public transit, Transit operating agencies


This report examines how public transportation organizations have entered an era of fundamental change and how they are responding to dramatic new expectations and imperatives that have triggered the emergence of a "new paradigm" throughout business and industry worldwide. This report describes the major ways in which public transportation agencies, as well as agencies in other industries, can adapt and have adapted to the changes. The report encourages public transportation agencies to continue making these adaptations and to "pursue the new paradigm." The report focuses on six dimensions of change: mission shift, "obsession" for the customer, collaboration, integration, information technology, and organizational structure change. These dimensions represent a framework that can be used to plan and guide fundamental change in public transit agencies of almost any size. The report documents changes that have occurred along each of these dimensions at transit systems throughout the United States and in Europe.


Permission to link to this report given by TRB.