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Bus Maintenance and Bus Testing Program Peer Exchange

With new vehicle types entering the industry, FTA hosted a peer exchange on October 10, 2019 to encourage and facilitate maintenance worker training. The workshop provided a forum to share best practices for developing and managing bus maintenance programs in the context of technological advances in transit.

Transit agencies and transit vehicle manufacturers (TVMs) shared approaches to maintenance programs for all vehicle types – diesel, hybrid diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), battery electric, and fuel cell electric.


An industry traditionally focused on diesel buses is shifting to alternative fuels and low- and no-emission buses, requiring new maintenance facilities, new processes and procedures, and training. Larger TVMs have robust training programs for agencies who purchase their vehicles. However, small urban and rural communities and small TVMs may not have the time or resources. This event highlighted best practices that may be especially helpful to small providers.

Agenda / Presentations

View video of Session 1: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. Overview of the Current Landscape of Transit Bus Training

  • John Schiavone, Program Director – Technical Training, Transportation Learning Center, Washington, DC

9:45 – 11:00 a.m. Rapidly Evolving Transit Bus Technician Training Needs: An Agency Perspective

  • Jerry Gauracino, Deputy Chief Engineering Officer, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA
  • Henry Lukasik, Director of Maintenance, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Connie Raya, Director of Maintenance, OMNITRANS, San Bernardino, CA
  • Dinero Washington, Chief Executive Officer, SporTran, Shreveport, LA

View video of Session 2: 11:15 a.m. - Noon

11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Preparing the Workforce for the Future of Transit

  • K. Jane Williams, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration

11:30 am – Noon How to Successfully Develop a Zero Emission Bus Maintenance Program

  • Lauren Skiver, General Manager / CEO, SunLine Transit Agency, Thousand Palms, CA

View video of Session 3: 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. A Continuum of Transit Bus Maintenance Training Programs and Models

  • Halsey King, Master Instructor, Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), Washington, DC
  • John McDermott, Director of Special Projects, Consortium for Worker Education, New York, NY
  • Obed Mejia, Senior Bus Equipment Maintenance Instructor, LA Metro, Los Angeles, CA

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Effective and Efficient Bus Maintenance Training: The Role of the Transit Bus OEM

  • Karim Derardja, Client Technical Trainer, Nova Bus-Volvo, Quebec, QC
  • Darryl Desjarlais, Technical Training Manager, NFI Parts-New Flyer/MCI, Winnipeg, MB
  • Mike Finnern, Vice President, Customer Service, Proterra, Greenville, SC
  • Jerry Sheehan, Regional Sales Manager, Gillig LLC, York, PA

View video of Session 4: 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Lowering Maintenance Costs with Bus Testing

  • Marcel Belanger, Bus Testing Manager, Federal Transit Administration

4:45 – 5:30 p.m. Industry Feedback and Wrap-up

  • Mary Leary, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation, Federal Transit Administration
Last updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2019