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65 APPENDIX B TCRP SYNTHESIS SURVEY RESULTS RESPONDENT INFORMATION 1. Date: 2. Contact Information Name of Respondent:__________________________ Title of Respondent:___________________________ Agency Name:_______________________________ Agency Address:_____________________________ Agency Size (note: this was entered after survey responses were received, based on FY 2007 NTD data) Small (<250 peak buses) 22 55.0% Medium (250-1,000 peak buses) 11 27.5% Large (1,000+ peak buses) 7 17.5% Respondent e-mail address:_____________________ Respondent Telephone Number:_________________ PROGRAM TYPE 3. Does your agency have any type of fare program oriented toward employers? Yes, with both private sector and public sector employers participating 60.0% 24 Yes, with private sector employers but no public sector employers 2.5% 1 Yes, with public sector employers but no private sector employers 10.0% 4 No 27.5% 11 NO PROGRAM 4. What are the reasons that you have not adopted an employer-based fare program (check all that apply, then you are finished)? Insufficient staff time 0.0% 0 Lack of interest from employers 33.3% 4 Lack of interest within agency 8.3% 1 Previously tried and failed 8.3% 1 Perceived as too complex to administer 8.3% 1
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66 Concerns re adequacy of existing service levels 0.0% 0 Other (please specify) 66.7% 8 _ ther includes: Board decision; transit benefits programs administered through private companies; pretax programs O to obtain fare media appear to be meeting needs of employers, so creating a separate program for employers has not been discussed; has not been requested; we accept the Federal transit benefit as a form of payment and also accept fare programs (pretax, after tax) administered by private sector employees; we do have an interest in developing an employer based sales program but we have not been able to expand our staff to move into the local business community; not a lot of large employers with adequate service to justify the time involved, plus not a lot of perceived need (short commutes, ample parking, little congestion); we simply do not offer discounts other than for the purchase of high value tickets. PRIVATE SECTOR PROGRAMS ONLY 5. What are the reasons that you have not included public sector employers in your agency's program (check all that apply, then you are finished)? Lack of interest from public sector employers 100.0% 1 Lack of interest within agency 0.0% 0 Previously tried and failed 0.0% 0 Perceived as too complex to administer 0.0% 0 Concerns re adequacy of existing service levels 0.0% 0 Other (please specify) 0.0% 0 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PROGRAMS 6. Does your agency currently offer more than one type of program to public employees? Yes 57.1% 16 No 42.9% 12 7/8/36/64. What type of program(s) do you offer to public sector employers? Universal pass (e.g., Eco pass or similar program where ALL employees in a given agency receive a pass) 28.6% 8 Program for Municipal/County employees 21.4% 6 Program for Federal employees 17.9% 5 University pass program in which employees are eligible 17.9% 5 Program for multiple groups of public employees17.9% 5 Employer based program but not universal 14.3% 4 Program for State employees 10.7% 3 Other (please specify) 17.9% 5 Other includes: Club Ride/EZ Ride program; "Rideshare" program of match ing services with individual employees and commuter vanpool formations; $35/month, from County treasury, towards a transit or commuter rail pass; Corporate Discount Program (under Section 132(f) of the IRS); ride matching, vanpool, vouchers for fare media (like TransitCheck), guaranteed ride home.
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67 9/38/66. Is this program also offered to private sector employers? Yes 80.0% 32 No, other programs for private sector 15.0% 6 No, there are no programs for private sector 5.0% 2 10/37/65. Do public employees have the option to pay for their share of the program with pretax payroll deductions? Yes 58.3% 21 No, the public employer pays the total cost 33.3% 12 No, this option is not available 5.6% 2 Other (please specify) 8.3% 3 _ ther includes: most receive a 100% subsidy via the universal pass; don't know; it depends on the employer most O subsidize 100% in the universal pass program, however other public employers pay a partial subsidy and may or may not allow employees to use a pretax mechanism to pay their share. 11/39/67. What type of fare media does your agency use for this program (check all that apply)? Employee identification card 37.5% 15 Magnetic strip pass 32.5% 13 Voucher that can be exchanged for fare media 25.0% 10 Smart card 25.0% 10 Other regular fare media (paper passes, tickets, tokens) 15.0% 6 Other (please specify) 7.5% 3 _ ther includes: direct employee deduction; agreements with employers/employees that they will pay a monthly portion O of the van lease; most employees that ride in Metro vanpools have a full or partial subsidy paid by their employer - likewise, employers pay for guaranteed ride home and other services. 12/40/68. Who pays for the fare media (check all that apply)? Employer pays all costs 55.0% 22 Employer pays part of the cost (subsidy) 45.0% 18 Employee pays all costs with pretax dollars through payroll deduction 40.0% 16 Transit agency matches part of the cost 27.5% 11 Third party purchases in bulk for distribution to public employees 10.0% 4 Other (please specify) 20.0% 8 _ ther includes: foundation distributes tokens to agencies serving low-income clients; not sure if there is a portion of O co-pay the employee pays in addition to the employer subsidy; varies by account/agency/employer; employer determines level of subsidy; generally (because the cost is greater than $35 for all of the other media), the employee adds to the voucher value and purchases the media him/herself; depends on the employer some partly subsidize, some fully subsidize, but virtually all offer pretax payroll deduction; employer chooses level of subsidy; it varies 13/41/69. Who is responsible for day-to-day program administration (signing up employees, distributing fare media, han- dling other financial arrangements)? Employers 67.5% 27
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68 Shared responsibility 10.0% 4 Third parties 7.5% 3 Transit agency 5.0% 2 Other 10.0% 4 Other includes: self-administering; city and county Department of the Environment; varies by account/agency/ employer; Commuter Vanpool group has an arrangement with a volunteer bookkeeper to handle the monthly lease payment transit agency works with the bookkeeper and driver(s) to manage the day to day operation. 14/42/70. How do employees sign up for the program (check all that apply)? Through their employer 90.0% 36 Through a third party 20.0% 8 Through the transit agency 15.0% 6 Automatically part of the program when their employer joins 15.0% 6 Other 5.0% 2 Other includes: a regional ride matching service (free) is also available; vanpool bookkeepers manage fare collection from riders and help transit staff coordinate the employer subsidies (WageWorks also has customers in the area, though most of those customers are private employers). 15/43/71. Are there any eligibility requirements (beyond working for the employer)? (Check all that apply) No 47.5% 19 Depends on the employer 32.5% 13 Yes, employer must have minimum # employees to participate 15.0% 6 Yes, open to full-time employees only 7.5% 3 Yes, must be working for a specified period of time 5.0% 2 Other 12.5% 5 Other includes: Employees who work at least half-time (20 hours a week) must be included in the program the employer can include any category of employee (less than half time, contract employees, volunteers, employees who need a car as a condition of their job), but if they do so, they must include 100% of that category; must be full time and surrender their parking pass; must affirm transit use; all employees (full & part-time) at participating companies are eligible for the program, but self-employed persons, independent contractors, partners in a partnership and 2% shareholders in an S-Corporation have certain limitations; participation is generally on an individual basis, and any incentive programs for an individual to participate are with the employer. 16/44/72. How are benefits (fare media) distributed to the employees? (Check all that apply) At employer's centralized location 74.4% 29 At employer's branch locations 56.4% 22 Via mail 30.8% 12 At transit agency's centralized location 20.5% 8 At point of sale 20.5% 8 At third party location 12.8% 5
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69 Electronically 12.8% 5 Other 10.3% 4 Other includes: (1) Some public sector employers use their own ID cards. In this case, they have to add a decal provided by the transit agency to the ID card. All decals are sent to the employer who handles and tracks the distribution. Those who don't use their own ID cards have to either come to the transit agency to have their picture taken for a pass or email their pictures to the agency. (2) As part of employee ID. (3) The Transit Benefit Program is run jointly by the regional and local transit agency, but is administered by the employer. Fare media is distributed to the employee based on the type of fare media he/she uses. For example, if the employee uses a smart card, the initial card is mailed to the employee and automatically reloaded every month with a predetermined amount the employee selects. Vouchers are mailed by the regional transit agency to the employer who then distributes them to employees. (4) Vouchers also exist through 3rd party assistance to offset some monthly costs. 17/45/73. Who has been the program's primary "champion?" Agency general manager 20.5% 8 Agency marketing/sales/business development 20.5% 8 Public employer 15.4% 6 Multiple champions 12.8% 5 Program manager 10.3% 4 Third party (e.g., MPO, TMA) 5.1% 2 Other 15.4% 6 Other includes: Planning Manager coordinates all employer based contracts (left over from when Planning was responsible for agency TDM program); Intercity Transit Vanpool Coordinator (under Operations Department); Mayor; unspecified (3). 18/46/74. Public employer fare programs serve many goals. Which goal is most important to your agency (select up to three)? Increase ridership 80.6% 29 Build partnerships in support of transit 72.2% 26 Increase revenue 36.1% 13 Reduce highway congestion 27.8% 10 Improve air quality 27.8% 10 Other 11.1% 4 _ ther includes: all of the above; directed by the City to offer it to their employees; advance revenue/ cash flow; build O support from a primary financial supporter of ours. 19/47/75. Please characterize the role of the public employee unions in the program (check all that apply). Unions were not involved 35.9% 14 There was no union to deal with 30.8% 12 Unions neither supported nor opposed the program 15.4% 6 Program was negotiated with the unions 7.7% 3 Unions strongly supported the program 5.1% 2 Unions suggested the program 2.6% 1 Unions opposed the program 0.0% 0 Other 12.8% 5
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70 Other includes: depends on each employer, not a function that involves the transit agency; unions dealt with the employer directly or there were no unions involved (2 responses); union's only involvement occasionally comes up if there are issues over parking; it varies. 20/48/76. Please characterize the following elements as major constraints, minor constraints, or not a constraint in the start-up and ongoing administration of the public employer fare program. Major constraint Minor constraint Not a constraint Availability of free parking for employees 22% 57% 22% Lack of attention from employer 14% 46% 41% Multi-site public employers 6% 37% 57% Existing fare collection technology 14% 25% 61% Internal agency resistance 6% 19% 75% Legal or tax issues 0% 17% 83% Not the sole transit operator in the area 5% 11% 84% Union resistance 0% 3% 97% 21/49/77. Please describe the nature of the MAJOR constraint affecting the program below. Responses summarized in Table 21, p. 16 of report. Verbatim responses are provided here. Our universal program relies on individual employers to take an active role in administering the program, and to provide honest and accurate information. Sometimes there is attempt to falsify information, or the employer doesn't take the time to fully understand their administrative and contractual obligations. There is uncertainty at the transit agency about the pricing of the program. As we are currently not able to track ridership by company, there is insufficient data to address this concern or make major corrections to the program. Because of this concern, there is some serious internal resistance at the agency toward this program. Smart card for better tracking should be coming this year! Doesn't matter whether it's public or private the provision of free parking is a disincentive to using public transit. None -- It's very popular and we stay busy signing up new participants. We serve the state capital. The three largest cities in our region all have state agencies housed in them. Outside of the main state campus in the state capital, which charges for parking, many of the other agencies have free parking. An on-going issue between agencies and locations (as well as local jurisdictions) is parking and whether it's paid or unpaid for state employees. While we are the major bus operator, there are others as well as rail carriers. There are other fare-buydown programs that County employees can join to get reduced fares on those carriers mentioned above as well as other public employees in the County (Community College, Public Schools and Park & Planning [which is a separately payrolled agency, chartered by the State]). These other programs also cover private employers. These other programs also cover our bus system as well for non-county employees. State employees are provided with free parking The higher education institution provides free parking, but charges for the bus passes. Local ordinances ensure that there is plenty of parking for all employees and many areas don't have traffic congestion. Bus service is not very frequent, hourly or half hourly, so convenience is also a factor. We have old fareboxes that only work with swipe passes and transit is not widely used in our region. The city has the attitude that employees can use it or not use it. They don't really care about it one way or the other. This apathy makes it difficult to promote to city employees. No card reading fare boxes and getting employers interested before gas increases.
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71 Most public employers of any size in the county subsidize their employees' use of transit. One barrier for more suburban and rural employers is lack of transit service. There is also growing pressure to reduce costs due to revenue shortfalls. Current fare media technology is antiquated and fare evasion is rampant. Currently in the process of implementing the new smart Card fare media to simply the process and increase revenue. The concern by some Board members that people working for companies that provide passes may have a disparate perk over lower income/transit dependent riders who may or may not be employed. In other words, the ones most likely to be able to afford transportation get a price break. There are three transit agencies in the area and a fourth oversight agency that is the primary administrator of the program. Seamless coordination can be a problem. State government "red tape" adds needless steps to the process. The $35 cap is insufficient (and had been a constant for almost 15 years...) The plan administrators were not interested in making it a success. Program is capped at a specific dollar amount per budget year. Can create a problem if use significantly exceeds budget. Some internal resistance to developing lines of business that went beyond strictly "transit." 22. How is the public employer fare program publicized to employees (Check all that apply)? Employer newsletters 71.1% 27 All new employees provided with information and a chance to sign up immediately 68.4% 26 Employer payroll department 58.9% 22 Agency ads on vehicles/stations (Ask your employer about...) 28.9% 11 Agency marketing to employers/employees 18.4% 7 Third party efforts 18.4% 7 Media advertising print 10.5% 4 Media advertising radio 5.3% 2 Media advertising television 2.6% 1 Other 10.5% 4 Other includes: promoted by their employer; the Commuter Trip Reduction function mentioned earlier funds a pretty significant level of promotion to employees; State Commuter Trip Reduction resources; There is a pretty extensive sustained campaign to support ridesharing in the state. 23/51/79. Describe the level of effort in terms of marketing the program at the various points described below. Significant Moderate Minor Don't Know At original implementation 65% 19% 5% 11% When a new employer joins 36% 28% 17% 19% Ongoing within the first year 5% 32% 46% 16% Ongoing after the first year 3% 14% 61% 22% _ ther includes: After initial roll-out in 2001 nothing much has been said to existing employees. When new employees are O hired they are told in orientation (45 seconds out of an 8 hour day of orientation) and that's it; started six months ago.
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72 24/52/80. How would you characterize the training required for personnel involved in program administration? Extensive many new procedures 10.5% 4 Moderate some new procedures 50.0% 19 Minor 28.9% 11 No additional training 10.5% 4 25/53/81. What effect has the public employer fare program had on transit revenues? Revenue has increased, e.g., due to increased sales 47.2% 17 Cost-neutral no change in revenue 22.2% 8 Revenue decrease, e.g., due to employee discounts or other subsidies 2.8% 1 Don't know 27.8% 10 26/54/82. Was this effect on transit revenues anticipated? Yes the program was designed to achieve this effect 84.8% 28 No the results were not what the agency expected 15.2% 5 ASSESSMENT 27/55/83. How satisfied has your agency been with the public employer fare program? Very satisfied 56.8% 21 Somewhat satisfied 35.1% 13 Somewhat dissatisfied 5.4% 2 Very dissatisfied 2.7% 1 28/56/84. What have been the primary benefits of the program for the transit agency? Responses summarized in Table 24, p. 18 of report. Verbatim responses are provided here. Provides steady revenue stream, we receive revenues up front, distribution is simple (don't have to mail passes every month), maximizes ridership, gets employees to try transit that otherwise may not have. Increased ridership and revenue Increased ridership, goodwill, exposure As with all our programs, expansion has led to greater ridership. Disappointed more public employers have not chosen to participate, but finances have played a role in this issue. Support for public transportation from new entities and individuals. It has been the most important element of the institutionalization of public transportation into the mainstream of our community. Increased ridership, Regional coordination of TDM efforts with employer and local jurisdictions, Improvement in public perception of transit, Regular and monthly revenue from a central source. Increased revenue, ridership, awareness and goodwill We can encourage employees to use the system. Ridership
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73 These agencies have become great supporters for referendums for increased transit service. Increased partnership with the city. We are required to give all city employees a 50% discount. This cuts into our revenues. Particularly since we cannot promote our services effectively to this audience. Increased awareness of our services, enough traffic to provided an additional route, and traffic mitigation in our county to/from the one largest employer. Increased ridership and stronger partnerships with local government. The federal and local governments are a part but not the state. The state introduced a new program just a few months ago, so it's difficult to evaluate success. However, before the new program, the 2 major unions representing state employees hosted similar programs that resulted in the sale of almost 1000 transit passes/month. If nothing else, the new program will convert almost all of these sales to a coordinated, third party. This will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the programs (from the agency's perspective) and ultimately result in greater sales. We have yet to survey impact on ridership. Increase awareness of the transit system and the options available for commuters Public employers are not treated differently from private employers in our system. The transit agency has an extensive product line to meet any employer's need. This ranges from retail monthly passes to universal passes and an array of ridesharing and other services. What we have seen is that the more an employer designs a program that increases the subsidy to the user and increases pass distribution, the higher the ridership and revenue return to the agency. The agency uses federal, state, and local resources to create incentives for the employer customer to aim high with their program. Revenue consistency, cash flow. Increased revenues. Building ridership and partnerships. Increased revenue. Greater awareness of public transit as a low-cost, eco-conscious choice. Provides employers another option to participate in a transportation program Increased ridership, loyal riders, steady revenue Ridership and revenues Tailored commuter ride for a common group of individuals willing to share a ride on a monthly basis (no long term commitment). Reduces need for fixed routes that have limited ridership. Decrease congestion and vehicle emissions within the region. Coordination of services and efforts in land-use with other local jurisdictions. Most of the costs (90%) are recaptured through monthly van lease. Administrative costs are currently not covered in this. Encourage use of transit, even if not our system. Ease of administration and broad market penetration. Allows employers another option to participate in transportation program Gained additional support from local elected and appointed leaders. Additional ridership and revenues. The vanpool program really supplements fixed-route transit. If the bus system does not meet a commuter's needs, they also have an option to not drive alone. 29/57/85. What have been the primary benefits of the program for the public employers? Responses summarized in Table 25, p. 18 of report. Verbatim responses are provided here. Demonstrates commitment to sustainability, valuable benefit to provide to their employees (largely seen as part of their benefits package), relatively simple administration and distribution of passes, reduces pressure on parking demands.
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74 Considerable savings for commuters, more flexibility in available workforce, less traffic congestion and emissions For employers: employee retention, it's a well-received benefit, giving employees transportation options, less parking needed. For employees: low-cost passes, flexibility in mode choice, annual photo ID (easy to use). Parking available for others. In difficult time, public employers are being perceived as trying to do "something" for their employees even when financial other improvements are not possible. Reduced cost for commuting for employees. An incentive if they use transit (fixed route, paratransit and commuter vanpools) results in a significant personal savings. Reduction in the need for additional parking at the work sites. Environmental (both real and perceived) benefits. Ability to meet state/local commute trip reduction requirements (ordinances and state requirements). Shift from driving to transit along with associated benefits We can say we encourage employees to use transit Parking relief Employers have had safe, reliable, consistent transportation for their employees and broadened their application pool. One more "green" benefit to draw potential employees. More room in city parking lots. Actually, we only have one public employer who participates, so the benefit is very little. They look like a hero to their employees No need to use personal car- saving on gas, upkeep and stress of driving. Also, financial incentive for them to look toward increasing a one-car driver scenario. Low cost to getting to work, no parking hassles Reduced demand for parking Awareness of option available for daily commutes The universal pass program is an annual program and one pass fits all of the user's needs: several transit agencies are covered, rail, and vanpool are all covered by one pass. This makes the program easy to administer. The program is also a fixed annual cost, so when usage increases during the year, costs do not increase. Employee satisfaction. It provides a benefit to their employees. Tax break, lower cost. Provides employers/employees chance to participate month to month Able to offer a pass program to their employees, offer a program only to those who want to participate Less financial commitment to parking facilities. Happier employees. Better air quality and less traffic congestion for all. Reduces demand for on-site parking stalls at employment site. Helps reduce vehicle miles travelled and helps to meet commuter trip reduction/TDM requirements. Ease of administration and limiting costs. Provides passes pretax Cost savings and environmental improvements. Options for employees.
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75 30/58/86. What have been the primary drawbacks of the program for the transit agency? Responses summarized in Table 26, p. 18 of report. Verbatim responses are provided here. Relies on employer to take active role in administration, relies on employer to provide honest and accurate information. None 8 responses As mentioned above - a growing concern that the program is underpriced. Also a concern about inequities, since these low-cost passes are only available to employees at participating organizations but not other riders. (Minor) statistical accurate tracking of public employee ridership counts. (minor) Use of employee ID isn't quite standardized since a number of state agencies are allowed - for security purposes - to issue their own IDs. Can result in coach driver confusion or potential misuse of this fare media. Trying to meet some of the day to day demands/ requests of individuals. Some say they want more, quicker, door to door service (between home and office). With fixed route it's nearly impossible to provide a "taxi service" without it affecting many others. Legislature has to review/re-authorize funding every two years. Lack of access to the riders Inability to change during turbulent economic times. We have had to renegotiate contracts to address high fuel prices, etc. Abuse of ID card -- non-city employees using someone else's card. The 50% discount and the inability to participate in the employee orientation process for their new employees. Not enough training to market to other potential employers in our region. Education for drivers, who can ride and who can't Until about 1998, all universal pass programs were unique to the customer, specifically the pricing. After 1998 the transit agency simplified the pricing and program elements available for employers with fewer than 500 employees. This simplified administration significantly. Current fare media is antiquated and prone to fare evasion. Currently in the process of implementing new smart-card technology fare media with our smart card program. Constructing a program that is equitable for both the employer and the agency. Tracking ridership through the program. Lack of financial resources to promote program. Costly to distribute passes on monthly basis Monthly pass program -- administration of mailing passes to employees' homes State "red tape" requires us to spend a little more time on this particular program Not enough vans available to meet demand. Variations in monthly lease fees vary between public transit systems. People and/or groups will jump around looking for the best deal. The $35 cap is so paltry that we receive considerable criticism from participants and would-be participants. Revenue stops when budget cap is reached. Complexity and managing a broad array of products. 31/59/87. What have been the primary drawbacks of the program for the public employers? Responses summarized in Table 27, p. 18 of report. Verbatim responses are provided here. Administration can be complicated. Requires employer to conduct surveys on biennial basis. None -- 9 responses
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76 Not sure -- it's probably hard for them to get out of the program once they've joined, because it's such a well-liked benefit. Tough economic times at the employer/state level may result in the loss of the program. Legislature has to review/ re-authorize funding every two years. Providing a financial incentive (via reduced fare) actually get people to use alternative transportation on a regular basis. Union reps want to continue free parking for employees and not feel they have mandated to reduce trips. Fare integration with other public transit providers so it's consistent throughout the larger region. Size of benefit Not integrated with other transit providers in the region. Really limits the program's attractiveness. Lack of knowledge The program is limited to larger employers. Cost Unknown -- 2 responses I think other employers don't understand the program a) is even offered, and b) what the benefits are to their agency/ organization. Internal education for our drivers Rising costs over time. Delivering the fare media to multiple locations. Regional and local transit agency handle different aspects of the program. Depending on fare media used, employer/ employee may have to deal with one or the other. This is at times confusing. Not a photo ID pass Individual state agencies work out any employee assistance/incentives pretty much on their own. Some agencies cover it and some don't (unlike transit service). Can be administratively cumbersome Managing cost over time. 32/60/88. How has the program performed in terms of the following elements? Exceeded Met Fell Below Expectations Expectations Expectations Don't Know Level of participation 29% 51% 11% 9% Ridership 29% 47% 9% 15% Revenue 18% 62% 6% 15% Benefits to employers 23% 60% 9% 9% 55. If you could change one aspect in the process of designing and implementing this program, what would you change? Responses summarized in Table 29, p. 19 of report. Verbatim responses are provided here. Streamline administrative requirements. However, we have found through experience that there are many "exceptions" and "gray areas" in terms of what an employer can/can't/will try do. Addressing scenarios in administrative requirements results in a relatively high level of complexity. We would implement a smart card to allow for more flexibility We are eagerly awaiting the introduction of the Smart Card to finally have better ridership data -- usage per company/ridership frequency/types of services used. Price the program a little bit higher. It's been so popular, we could be charging more.
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77 The program has been evolving over time. It's actually difficult to answer the previous question, for example, since there are a number of variations of what meeting expectations can mean. Some years the annual ridership, for example, does better than others. Some years have seen the employer (state) fund service hours or service routes. But the one thing I'd like to see is that the program be fully mandated for all state agencies, including adequate program funds. Larger tax benefit would encourage more participation Figure out how to integrate with regional transit agencies. More access to employees We recently added the ability to changes based on the price of fuel. Now we are happy. None -- 2 responses We would have direct access to their employees in order to motivate and encourage them to try public transportation. I believe some form of `outreach' packet developed for transit agencies to deliver the message of `benefit' to prospective employers would improve awareness of local businesses. To get all transit agencies in the region to participate. The imminent launch of the region's smart card will address this problem. We are currently modifying our program so evaluation will occur when we have a full year completed. As stated earlier, our program is run jointly with the regional agency. We are in discussions with them about how to restructure the program to make it easier for customers to use. Mail passes to employer and have them distribute, instead of mailing to employees' homes Streamline some of the state process. It's complicated and time consuming, although it has not harmed participation. More capital funds Raise the $35 cap Simplifying the options available and simpler administration. No cap on revenues. Simplify 56. Please describe any "lessons learned" that would benefit other transit agencies that are considering implementation of a similar program. Responses summarized in Table 30, p. 19 of report. Verbatim responses are provided here. It is helpful to have some way to measure ridership changes on a regular basis. Though it results in complex administrative requirements, it is important to address scenarios contractually. Has worked for us to have a pricing mechanism that can be applied to all employers, as opposed to negotiated individually. Avoidance of having to build or maintain expensive parking facilities has been a significant selling point in our program. Accurately determine what the construction costs "per space" in you service area are (underground, surface and elevated) and compare them on a per space per employee basis with your program. The comparisons are staggering and really sell the program. Depends on the size of the local transit system and how much they can invest in the program. We are "small" and some of the issues we encountered included: Fare integration between transit different transit systems can become a sticking point. Standardization of a transit pass or ID. How do these get managed and maintained (i.e. getting an ID returned or a transit sticker removed). Initially convincing the upper management within the employer groups.
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78 On-going and/or readily available performance reports, including staying in touch with upper management (on the employer side) and listening to their perceptions/comments. Excellent PR at roll-out. Doesn't cost much and really looks like (because it is) making a contribution to reducing congestion. Be sure you have a good relationship with the client's administering department (HR, Benefits, Parking, etc.) Sometimes these deals get set up between honchos and these folks who have to make the program happen are either not interested or sometimes downright hostile. Having access to employees and a plan for how employees will be informed and marketed to is very important. Knowing who will pay for this upfront is also very important. Whenever possible try to use your own fare media and avoid "flash" IDs. Also be sure you have a way to count ridership. We recommend adding some flexibility under extreme circumstances to increase the cost of the contract in the middle of the contract period, if needed. None that I care to share It's simple. We order tickets, just like we do our standard twenty-ticket booklets, we collect funds from the employee, and, together everyone benefits. None The transit agency has been doing this for over 15 years. The program has led to significant gains in ridership and revenue. Our customers love the program, as do their employees. Transit agencies ought to take advantage of this market if do not already do so. We will let you know after this revision year is completed. We are starting a new program where passes won't be mailed to employees' homes. It will offer a pretax option and a quantity discount. Be careful of state required oversight requirements that can become burdensome if you let them. Program has evolved over the years. Our region appears to be somewhat unique in that quite a few public transit systems operate their own vanpool programs. Whether this can be replicated is actually up to other states and transit agencies. The biggest impetus is statewide TDM laws ("commute trip reduction" mandated on the state and local level). If you can't bankroll it sufficiently, don't embarrass yourself. If you're going to do it, do it right. Find the right fit between having a broad array of products and services and the need to limit administrative requirements. Don't artificially cap revenues. Simplify 91. Would you be willing to participate further as a case study, involving a telephone interview going into further detail on your agency's program, if selected by the TCRP panel for this project? Yes 80.0% 20 No 20.0% 5 92. Is there another transit system that you suggest we contact for this synthesis project? If you know of a contact at that system, please list the name also. Various responses.