Mass Transit - 8


Taking it all in

As far as skill sets go, very few of us have mastered how to listen.


o paraphrase a well-known adage: You have two ears and one mouth so
you can listen twice as much as you speak. In theory, our constant contact
society should help bolster this. Aren't we all simply a text, direct message or,
if you want to go old school, phone call away from having any number of
meaningful conversations?

However, our instantly available society is fraught with distractions and we know it. An
unscientific search for "improving listening skills" among books on Amazon produces 121
available titles, which are also all sub-categorized as business books. The few samples I looked
at all had the same general advice, which was to get rid of the distractions, usually by putting
your phone down.
My intention is not to shame anyone as I cannot cast stones. I have developed an odd Pavlovian response to the notification sound Outlook makes to let
me know a new message has arrived. Not only am I constantly
checking my phone during meetings but this has had the unfortunate result of half-written responses sitting in my draft
folder for an embarrassing amount of time.
Nor is my intention to suggest that one needs to be able
to hear to be able to listen. The ability to take in, absorb and
understand another person's input is a skill that goes beyond
the physical act of hearing sound.
I bring this up to draw your attention to an article includiStock
ed in this issue on how data-driven strategies are improving
transit operations through better processes. The story begins
I have developed on page 28 and, while the work being taken on by these
an odd Pavlovian specific transit teams is full of nuance, what struck me as
response to the this story came together was that five individuals at three
notification sound different agencies, no matter the challenge, all began with the
same task and, you guessed it, that task is to listen.
Outlook makes to
One example that could not be included due to the space
let me know a new constraints of a printed magazine involved the Washington
message has arrived. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's team holding conference calls at 5 a.m. or providing breakfast at even earlier
meeting times in order to make sure the input and concerns
of night duty workers, who perform their work during
non-traditional hours, can be voiced.
Those who work in community outreach roles know what
a powerful act listening can be. No transit provider plans, or
successfully delivers, a project without first seeking feedback
from the community where it operates.
Listening may be an intangible skill, but it brings immense value.

Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor
  224-324-8532 


Mass Transit | | JULY/AUGUST 2019

Advisory Board
Andrew Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
The Rapid
Gary Thomas
Executive Director
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Keith Jones, P.E.
General Manager
DC Streetcar
Matthew Tucker
Executive Director
North County
Transit District

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Driven by Data
Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Best Practices
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - 14
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - 16
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - 22
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - 26
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - Driven by Data
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - 31
Mass Transit - 32
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - Best Practices
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - 38
Mass Transit - Products
Mass Transit - 40
Mass Transit - 41
Mass Transit - 42
Mass Transit - 43
Mass Transit - 44