Transit Finance Learning Exchange

Advancing the Training and Development of Finance Professionals in Transit

Semi-Annual Workshops

TFLEx members meet twice annually to share best practices and "needs and leads," learn from industry experts and work together to develop and maintain the ongoing TFLEx Business Plan. These are facilitated workshops where all members are able to participate in roundtable discussions.

Training and Professional Development

TFLEx members identified a need to educate finance staff in the field of transit without extensive costs. Transit 101 was developed as a web-based instructional tool to bring information regarding the transit field to the desktops of staff members whether in finance or other departments. Modules deployed to date include Federal, State, and Local Funding; Procurement; Paratransit Operations: Fare Policy; and Regulatory Framework. Others are in development with a total of 26 planned.

Financial Operations Best Practices

Sharing management tools such as benchmarking, activity-based costing, process mapping, balanced scorecard, key performance indicators, and best practices has been an ongoing activity of members attending the bi-annual workshops. Transit systems taking the lead in these practices share their successes and "opportunities" with their fellow members.

Transit Finance Learning Exchange Workshop
Valley Metro - Phoenix, Arizona
Efficiency and Effectiveness of Service

March 11-13, 2018
It is time for the 2018 Spring TFLEx Workshop. The theme is Efficiency and Effectiveness of Service.
The workshop will be in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 11-13. The business meeting will be held on Sunday, March 11,  - 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Valley Metro offices.


To register for the event, please use this form.


The host hotel for the workshop is the Kimpton Hotel Palomar at 2 East Jefferson St. Reservations can be made at 877-488-1908. Mention that you are with the TFLEx block for the group rate of $249 per night.


The registration fee for the workshop is $180 per participant. NOTE: The workshop is open to TFLEx member agencies only, and their guests. If you are a transit agency and wish to attend as a guest, please contact
If you are paying by check (at the door) please use the zero-dollar ticket option.



Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Valley Metro offices.
Business Meeting

Final Agenda

Where Have All the Riders Gone? Update on ridership issues
Updates from members on ridership trends at their agencies.

Efficiency and Effectiveness of Service
Setting service standards, how do you measure efficiency versus effectiveness?  How do you get through the ugliness of deciding what service to decrease or cut?  You do the model and then what do you do? 
Joe Gregory, Service Planning Manager for Valley Metro will discuss the model that took them three years to develop.  Sean Murdock will discuss the dilemma at OCTA during the great recession and their performance.  Houston will discuss their service standards model and DART will discuss theirs as well. 

Federal update
Discussion of 1) how the new tax law may affect transit – will it reduce the benefit of our bonds, 2) FTA’s Transit Asset Management program. Denver can talk about their program as well.

Tax Revenue Projections
How do member agencies prepare tax forecasts?  What works best?  Joshua Worley, economist with the Arizona DOT will be on hand with Valley Metro to lead the discussion as they explain how the two entities work together in projecting tax revenues.  Also: Issues with internet sales tax and distribution centers and how much tax is realized from them. 

Changing Employee Culture
Valley Metro takes center stage in discussing their efforts to change employee culture; Joe Costello, Sr. VP of Finance, DART will talk about their Five Star program, and Michelle Caldwell – CFO at Foothill Transit discusses what it was like to come into an agency that had already done the work to create and maintain a good culture.

Where Have All the Riders Gone? – Valley Metro tries to find out.
Omar Peters – Planner II with Valley Metro will discuss a recently completed ASU Student Survey.  Related to “where have the riders gone” they noticed a significant decline in college student ridership between ASU’s Phoenix and Tempe campuses and surveyed students to learn more.

For planning purposes, the Monday session typically starts at 8:00 a.m. and the Tuesday session typically ends around 3:00 pm.


Transit Finance Learning Exchange Workshop
Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Where Have All the Riders Gone?
October 30-31, 2017

Selected presentations from this workshop.







Denver Union Station

Denver Union Station

Transit Finance Learning Exchange Workshop
Regional Transportation District (RTD)

Transit Asset Management/Federal Issues
Denver, Colorado
April 24-25, 2017

Selected presentations from this workshop.


Transit Finance Learning Exchange Workshop

Transit Payment Systems and Ridership Issues
Portland, Oregon
October 9-11, 2016

Selected presentations from the workshop.

Transit Finance Learning Exchange Workshop
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

Houston, Texas
March 6-8, 2016

Selected presentations from this workshop.

Transit Finance Learning Exchange Workshop
Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority
Rochester, New York
Oct 26-27, 2015

Selected presentations from this workshop.

TFLEx Café is now open to members

TFLEx Café is a members-only website for employees of the TFLEx agencies. Users can collaborate on projects and network with employees of other agencies.

If you are an employee of a member agency, you can register for an account here. You must use your agency issued email to create and validate your account.


TFLEx members meet twice annually at one of our member properties.

To pay for an individual conference registration, or for the annual membership fees for an authority, click here.

To view the presentations from our last workshop in Houston, Texas, click here.

Between workshops our members participate in Special Interest Group (SIG) conference calls. For more information, contact Irene deMers at

Transit 101

The Transit 101 project consists of 10 modules designed to give a basic introduction to the finance function in the transit industry. The modules are self-paced, have audio narration, and have several knowledge checks to assess understanding.

The modules require no log in or account, and are freely available to any interested parties. At this time, they require the use of Adobe Flash, so do not work on Apple mobile devices.

The content and activities in this training will prepare you to:

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the benefits and history of public transportation in North America,
  • Demonstrate your awareness of the impact of planning, scheduling, and maintenance decisions to transit operations,
  • Identify and use appropriate Key Performance Indicator, or KPI, measurements,
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the regulatory environment,
  • Describe federal, state, and local funding,
  • Demonstrate your understanding of FTA regulations, and finally,
  • Demonstrate your awareness of capital projects.

We appreciate any feedback and suggestions you have after taking the modules. To provide feedback or report any issues, you may contact us here.