The Changing Texas Transportation Workforce
This paper focuses on four areas of change that will have, or are having, effects on the transportation workforce and on those who commute more broadly. First, telework is not only protecting workers during the current pandemic, but it is reducing overall Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and associated injuries. This paper will explore opportunities that exist to permanently include telework in VMT reduction strategies. Second, vehicular automation has high safety upside but is concerning to industry-specific workers such as drivers and mechanics who worry that their jobs will be permanently replaced. The paper assesses the effects that automation will have on these jobs, and what can be done to support affected workers. Third, new technical skills are needed to understand new developments in cybersecurity, privacy, and data collection. The paper outlines these needs for Texas public agencies’ upskilling and recruitment efforts. Fourth and finally, worker classification in the gig economy has raised new policy considerations regarding worker classification. This paper provides an outline of the current legal battles around designating workers as contractors instead of employees.