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Transit training, rapidly

This article appears in the issue March 2003 (100 Companies) [Volume 12, Issue 3]

A new learning management system is helping the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), train employees, meet regulations and cut costs, according to a recent press release. The e-learning system from Pathlore will be used to deliver, track and report on corporate training for up to 3,500 BART employees.

As the largest provider of mass public transit services in the Bay Area, BART continues to grow while an increasing number of its employees are reaching retirement age. To compensate for that reality, BART has developed new programs and established computer-based training that will be delivered through the learning management system (LMS).

The LMS is expected to cut costs for BART by reducing its reliance on formal classroom instruction. Also, delivering training over the Internet via an LMS allows workers to manage learning around their work schedules. They also can accelerate their education by jumping over material they've already mastered.

"The system allows us to ensure employee skills training is up to day and to increase the speed with which we provide that training," says Karen Arhontes, supervisor for technology-based training at BART.

BART will use the LMS to train maintenance and frontline workers, and plans to roll out the software to train new employees too. Its tracking features enable BART to quickly generate detailed reports that show, for example, that employees have met safety training mandated by such organizations as the California Public Utilities Commission. At an online student learning center, employees can decide what courses to take and when to take them, as well as track their progress. The system also gives BART's training and development department the ability to schedule courses, keep tabs on when employees' professional certifications must be obtained or renewed, and automate course registrations


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