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100 Among services that have an integrated workforce, there is forces prior to the ADA, including Citibus, Lubbock, TX a continuum of degrees of integration and a variety of pos- (1976); Pierce Transit, Tacoma, WA (1981); and CamTran, sibilities of organizing such a workforce. Johnstown, PA (1986). Operator bidding preferences do not appear to compli- Respondents reported a number of standard reasons for cate service provision or generate more than a minimal and instituting wage parity and an integrated workforce. These expected level of frustration about desirable runs. include a concern with the efficient use of resources on the part of local politicians or the transit agency itself; recognition of the comparable level of effort and skill required for opera- Methodology tors in both modes; frequent complaints about service pro- The research began with the national survey results, which vided by a contractor; factors that made it easier for the service included data on 22 transit systems that had instituted, par- to simply operate paratransit in-house like the absence of qual- tially or completely, workforce integration and/or wage parity. ified potential bidders or a relatively small service; union Follow-up contact was successful with 20 of the 22 national demands; and a management or board commitment to equal survey respondents. Of these, it was learned that two did not pay as a matter of fairness. in fact have integrated workforces and had not achieved wage Specific systems that made changes toward workforce inte- parity. One additional system, which was identified by the gration and wage parity cited the following reasons: research team after the survey was completed, was added to this sample. A total of 19 systems were therefore studied. Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation (Triangle A list of questions was developed that examined each sys- Transit), Morrisville, NC, formerly provided only com- tem's experiences with workforce integration and/or wage muter service. But in expanding to an all-day service, the parity and verified information collected in the initial survey. system was required to provide paratransit, which began in The questions focused on topics including operator aware- 2002. Because Triangle Transit was responsible for a rela- ness of the needs of riders with disabilities, union issues, and tively small service (6 paratransit operators), it seemed the motivations behind instituting workforce integration and/ easier to operate in-house and train all operators together or wage parity. A copy of the questions and interview protocol than to attempt to contract or train them separately. is provided as Appendix D. Lawton Area Transit Service (LATS), Lawton, OK, took In advance of each interview, participants were e-mailed a over the paratransit service in 2002 from a local contractor. list of questions to be discussed in order to give them time to The contractor's performance was consistently unsatisfac- acquire the information as needed. Using the list of questions tory, oversight was problematic, and rider complaints were as a guide, semi-structured telephone interviews were then con- frequent. In taking paratransit in-house, LATS opted to ducted, with follow-up calls and e-mails as needed. The data pay paratransit operators $.50 more per hour because man- from the national survey plus the follow-up survey and inter- agement believed that the job was more demanding than views were then analyzed for themes and findings. Table 9-1 fixed route. provides a profile and general information of all 19 systems Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority, Nashville, TN, studied. equalized pay and integrated its workforce in 2003. In doing The following sections present the main themes and findings so, the system attempted to satisfy union demands for higher identified by the research. The experiences of several systems paratransit pay while creating a larger, more flexible pool that were particularly salient are then presented as case studies. of operators to improve run coverage. Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS), Muncie, IN, began cross-training its operators on both paratransit and fixed- Reasons for Workforce Integration route services in the mid-to-late 1990s in order to save and Wage Parity money by reducing the need for overtime with a more flex- All of the systems with wage parity and an integrated work- ible extraboard. MITS had operated fixed route and para- force reported that the decision to equalize pay was made transit in-house since 1982 when the system took over a along with, or soon after, the decision to integrate the work- senior citizens service. force. The systems with some form of integrated workforce fell into two broad categories, those that brought paratransit Costs and Benefits of Workforce in-house following a period of time when it was contracted Integration and Wage Parity out, and those that started providing paratransit services in- house at the same time as fixed-route services. Roughly half In general, respondents noted that operating costs increased of the services interviewed made the change in the last 10 years. when paratransit was brought in-house and when wages were Several other services equalized wages and integrated work- equalized. Systems typically did not alter benefit packages

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Table 9-1. Systems that have achieved or are working toward workforce integration and wage parity. Hourly wages for paratransit Hourly wages for fixed route Workforce Size Turnover Costs vehicle operators vehicle operators Paratransit Fixed Vehicle Route Annual Paratransit Paratransit Name Operators Operators Notes: Turnover Rate Training Starting Max Training Starting Max Cost/Trip Cost/Hour Notes LATS 4 33% $7.75 $10.25 $15.25 $7.75 $9.75 $14.75 $11.44 $27.55 Triangle Transit 6 none 0% $12.00 $12.00 $20.14 $12.00 $12.00 $20.14 $39.25 $68.84 These figures are based on operator trends, since they can bid on paratransit or Metro fixed other modes. CamTran also route operators operates a Metro fixed have a max route service with 44 pay of CamTran 6 10 operators. 0% $8.50 $11.95 $15.93 $8.50 $11.95 $15.93 $56.49 $18.31/hour MITS 11 37 0% $7.25 $11.84 $16.92 $7.25 $12.32 $17.60 $20.08 $61.92 MARTA 125 10% $11.23 $11.23 $14.62 $13.68 $13.68 $19.54 A section of the paratransit service, not included here, Pierce Transit 53 553 is contracted out. 0% $14.19 $15.77 $23.74 $14.19 $15.77 $23.74 $20.00 $40.04 All drivers operate both, with daily pull-out of 14-15 Link Transit 82 paratransit vans 18.3% $11.00 $14.50 $20.00 $11.00 $14.50 $20.00 $26.35 $78.77 CDTA 51 Plus 22 taxi cabs* 10% $10.00 $13.07 $18.67 Extra Board Operators are full time and work in all Citibus 21 34 departments 5% $9.50 $10.50 $15.00 $9.50 $10.50 $15.00 $23.26 $58.07 (continued on next page)

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Table 9-1. (Continued). Hourly wages for paratransit Hourly wages for fixed route Workforce Size Turnover Costs vehicle operators vehicle operators Paratransit Fixed Vehicle Route Annual Paratransit Paratransit Name Operators Operators Notes: Turnover Rate Training Starting Max Training Starting Max Cost/Trip Cost/Hour Notes Route deviation service fulfills paratransit responsibilities; 30 Annapolis Transit 35 operators have served on 40% $11.00 $11.50 $17.00 $11.00 $11.50 $17.00 Incls. 12 Special Services $29.72 on Operator: part-time buses, paratransit operators at $15.78 on Metro RTA 73 203 fixed wage, $10.68 8.3% $10.68 $12.92 $21.53 $10.68 $12.92 $21.53 cabs Wages split by Metro and There are 75 County County Service, operators and 104 Metro not paratransit San Joaquin RTD 78 105 operators $10.88 $13.93 $17.42 $10.88 $13.93 $23.22 and fixed route MATA/MTM 69 260 28% $9.00 $12.00 $14.63 $12.00 $14.63 $19.81 $18.00 $32.00 PRN 65 21.54% $7.15 $8.15 $11.15 $7.15 $8.15 $9.15 Veolia Transportation (Irvine) 522 16.66% $9.00 $10.75 $14.06 $9.00 $10.75 $14.06 Respondent Veolia Transporation (DART) 320 45 48% $10.00 $10.50 $14.41 $10.00 $10.50 $14.41 $41.33 $58.42 could not verify Merced County Transit 24 20.83% $8.00 $10.45 $14.25 $8.00 $10.45 $14.25 Total workforce 300, and 292 operators perform Nashville Metro. Transit Authority fixed route and paratransit 12.00% $11.92 $11.92 $18.90 $11.92 $11.92 $18.90 $19.53 $44.31 Wage parity will be UTA 82 860 instituted in July 2009 $14.10 $18.24 $14.10 $18.24