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OCR for page 109
109 Requirements to provide total and average operator wages Lessons Learned and fringe, and the assumptions upon which that total cost is based, e.g., number of full-time and part-time operators, The data obtained in this study provided a strong and com- average shift lengths, total service hours by operator type pelling case for the positive effect that certain ADA paratransit and how that was calculated, and total operator pay hours contractor procurement and contract provisions have on oper- by operator type and how that was calculated. ator recruitment and retention of the paratransit contractors. Requirements to achieve certain standards for operator The following are lessons learned: retainage (or turnover) and/or to maintain a sufficient oper- ator work force or surrogate measure, such as achieving Transit agencies that included clear expectations of a stable, a certain standard for pull-out coverage; as part of this experienced operator workforce in their RFPs often did requirement, the specification of bonus payments for achiev- report lower rates of operator turnover. The language in the ing these standards or penalties for not achieving these RFPs did appear to encourage potential bidders to improve standards. compensation and focus more on efforts to maintain a sta- ble operator workforce. In most cases, performance penal- Among the respondents to the national survey, 26 public ties did not have to be imposed because compliance with transit/paratransit agencies indicated that they included such goals and contract provisions was achieved. language in their RFPs and contracts, and 14 of these 26 agen- Operator compensation stands out as the key determining cies indicated that they had had moderate or good success as factor of operator recruitment and retention. Even in areas a result. These 14 systems and the success indicated are shown without a municipal living wage ordinance, it was found that in Table 10-1. The following summarizes those results: contractors who paid more per hour than lower-paying companies tended to see a reduction in turnover. Other Eleven agencies reported moderate or good success with efforts, implemented along with wage increases were also conveying that a stable and experienced work force was reported to achieve lower turnover. expected. Of these, ten stated that this was mentioned in Contractors who were able to evidence in their proposals a the RFP, and seven stated that they included this as an eval- successful track record of operator retention in their pro- uation criterion in rating the proposals. posals claim to encounter minimal challenges in securing Seven agencies indicated moderate or good success with contracts and in implementing new contracts. At the same the inclusion of a living or minimum wage standard. time, those agencies that did not include such expectation Nine agencies indicated moderate or good success with or requirement in their RFPs claim to value this experience incentives and penalties related to maintaining an adequate when selecting a bidder. workforce and/or covering runs. The comparative importance of cost versus service quality varied somewhat amongst transit agencies as an evaluation Follow-up contact was made with these 14 agencies to criterion, though it is important to note that the agencies obtain more detailed information. Follow-up contact focused valuing service quality over cost consistently reported high on the following: satisfaction with their operating contractor(s). For many Determining whether any measurable improvements to procurements, the evaluation process is conducted in two independent phases: first a technical evaluation and then a service could be traced to the procurement/contractual provisions; price evaluation; and in at least one case, the two phases were Obtaining procurement/contract documents to get the undertaken by two different evaluation committees. Decreases in operator turnover rates and increases in ser- exact language used (or point systems used in the case of evaluation criteria); and vice productivity were reported by agencies that selected Discussing their perspectives and experiences with these contractors which evidenced competitive compensation strategies. packages and a commitment to maintaining a well-trained, experienced operator workforce. One agency was able to An attempt was made to also interview one contractor more than double its number of service hours provided as from each system to get a contractor perspective on the pro- a result of the contractors' ability to maintain operators curement process or contract provisions. who were capable of meeting an increased level of service Thirteen of the 14 agencies responded, and detailed infor- demand. mation was gathered from 12 of these systems. The research team was able to obtain a contractor perspective for 11 of the Whether expressed in evaluation criteria or contractual 12 systems contacted. Information from 11 of the systems requirements, it is evident from the research that transit agen- contacted is included in the mini case studies below. cies that recognize the benefits of using contractors that can

OCR for page 109
Table 10-1. TCRP project F-13 survey respondents indicating moderate or good success with operator recruitment/retainage as a result of procurement/contractual provisions. City Transit Agency "Stable, Experienced Workforce" Living or Minimum Incentives and/or Penalties for Maintaining Mentioned in RFP Evaluation Criteria Wage Standard in RFP Adequate Workforce or Covering Runs Columbus, OH COTA Moderate Moderate Good Dallas, TX DART Moderate Good Denver, CO RTD access-a-Ride Good Good Good Everett, WA Community Transit Moderate Kalamazoo, MI Kalamazoo Metro Transit Good Good Los Angeles, CA Access Services Moderate Madison, WI Madison Metro Transit Moderate Good Nashville, TN Nashville MTA Moderate Moderate Orange County, CA OCTA Good Moderate Good Good Lake Worth, FL Palm Tran Good Good Moderate Phoenix, AZ Phoenix Public Transit Moderate Moderate Moderate San Diego, CA San Diego MTS Moderate Moderate Moderate San Mateo County, CA Redi-Wheels Good Good Seattle/King County, WA Access Transportation Moderate Moderate