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104 runs by seniority. These two exceptions have relatively small $12.92/hour). SSOs have the option of moving into full- paratransit workforces (4 and 6 operators) that are distinct time employment but roughly half have no interest in from the fixed-route workforces. Generally, these operators doing so. work only one mode, and there is little regular cross-over. But A private for-profit contractor, Veolia Transportation in in the case of both systems, managers are able to draw on the Dallas, TX, employs 320 paratransit operators and 45 fixed- paratransit operators to cover fixed-route runs as needed. route operators under a pilot program called Innovative The remaining services employ a diverse set of arrangements Services which offers on-call drop-off service at fixed points to structure their integrated workforces. Services including within a zone. Operators are trained for 3 weeks to drive Metro RTD in Akron, OH, and CamTran in Johnstown, PA, paratransit and may seek additional training of 2 weeks per maintain separate urban and rural services with a pay differ- zone to drive Innovative Services which uses paratransit ential determined by bus size. Across this diversity, operator vehicles. bidding preferences do not appear to complicate service pro- vision or generate more than a minimal and expected level of Training frustration over desirable runs. A number of systems noted that operators often tend to prefer either paratransit or fixed- Systems with integrated workforces and wage parity begin route runs and consistently bid for them. Some respondents with a shared training period for all operators. When bring- noted that paratransit presented an attractive bidding option ing paratransit in-house, systems in the study sample gener- because of the convenience of a fixed schedule. In the case of ally modified training curricula to address the unique nature Pierce Transit in Tacoma, WA, the paratransit service that of both paratransit and fixed-route runs. Annapolis Tran- complements fixed-route evening hours is provided by a con- sit reported the curriculum was expanded to include more tractor. As a result, the more convenient service hours of the awareness training about riders with disabilities, as well as in-house paratransit program, which also has wage parity, is information on ADA requirements and how to board riders so popular that operators must have at least 10 years senior- who use wheelchairs. The Nashville Metropolitan Transit ity to have a chance of securing a paratransit run. In another Authority extended its training period by one week to prepare example of how characteristics of the paratransit program operators for expanded service. may keep operators loyal to that program when wages are Several of these systems also require additional training for equalized, City Access (Lubbock, TX) operators prefer para- operators who wish to cover specialized runs. Veolia of Dal- transit because it does not operate with split shifts the way las, for example, trains all operators for 3 weeks to cover para- fixed route does. transit runs then requires an additional 2 weeks of training for The following are several examples of the diverse possible each zone an operator might work on the fixed-route service arrangements for workforce integration (others are discussed (as stated previously). Conversely, Triangle Transit trains its as case studies): operators together, with an additional 2 weeks for paratransit operators, who may be pulled to cover fixed-route runs as Among the roughly 300 operators in the Nashville Metro- needed. Respondents frequently noted such shared training politan Transit Authority workforce, 292 perform both benefits the system as a whole. The respondent from Metro paratransit and fixed-route service. Depending on the bid, RTA summarizes this perspective: "Operators are trained operators may cover a fixed-route run or may cover a split- about all aspects of service. That means folks who have come service package that includes both paratransit and fixed- in from fixed route can be sent out to make emergency para- route coverage. Nine operators cover only paratransit runs transit pickups. This works to Metro RTA's advantage." as a result of a "grandfather clause" agreement reached with the union. Case Studies Metro Regional Transit Authority (Metro RTA) in Akron, OH, has 203 fixed-route and paratransit operators. Through The following more detailed case studies describe the expe- four yearly sign-ups, operators may bid for base runs on riences of four systems that instituted wage parity and/or the fixed route and paratransit modes; extraboard service; workforce integration. vacation coverage (where they fill in for operators on vaca- tion); or split-service packages. In addition to the regular Instituting Full Workforce Integration and operators, the agency employs 12 Special Service Operators Wage Parity: Chelan-Douglas Public Transit (SSOs). SSOs drive small buses and are not required to Benefit Area (Link Transit), Wenatchee, WA have a CDL. They cover only paratransit routes, work part- time, and make a fixed wage that is less than the wage of Link Transit began operations in 1991. During the first regular operators (starting wages of $10.68/hour versus 4 years of operations, a local senior services non-profit pro-