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111 attract and maintain a stable, experienced operator workforce In DART's solicitation, the two provisions related to the attract contractors who either share this recognition or who workforce were the following: modify their practices to achieve this goal. The following case studies summarize the approaches taken Operators Minimum Wage Rates and Incentive Programs by 11 selected systems that were studied. Outcomes and expe- All persons employed as operators for performance of this con- tract or any subcontract hereunder shall be paid not less than riences, as well as a contractor perspective on the changes, are $10.00 per hour while in training. The minimum wage standard provided. imposed is a minimum and the Contractor is required to employ a systematic evaluation program and benefit package designed to encourage retention of well qualified and good performing oper- Case Studies ators for the duration of the contract. Toward this end, the Con- Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Dallas, TX tractor shall establish progressive wage increases beyond the train- ing level and offer such increases to employees who successfully DART is the regional transit authority serving the Dallas graduate from the training program. Operators and mechanics metropolitan area, including the city of Dallas and 12 sur- shall also be provided a minimum of three (3) sick days as part of the benefit program. Failure to comply with this provision shall rounding cities. DART has approximately 130 bus routes, constitute noncompliance with the terms of this contract. 45 miles of light rail transit (DART Rail), 75 freeway miles of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and an ADA paratran- Schedule of Liquidated Damages for Uncovered Runs sit service. DART and the Fort Worth Transportation Author- Liquidated damages in the amount of $350 per occurrence ity (the T) jointly operate 35 miles of commuter rail transit (the shall be assessed for unavailability of operators or vehicles at Trinity Railway Express or TRE), linking downtown Dallas Contractor scheduled operator report/clock-in time. and Fort Worth with stops in the mid-cities and DFW Inter- national Airport. The Contractor Perspective The Regional Manager for Veolia Transportation and for- Use of Contractors for ADA Paratransit mer General Manager for this contract felt that the minimum DART's ADA paratransit service, called Paratransit, is wage rate/sick day provision has contributed more signifi- organized as follows: DART staffs a call center that includes cantly to operator retainage than the uncovered run provision. the reservations, scheduling and dispatch function for the He reported that competitive wage rates and benefits attract a entire system. DART also provides staff for contract admin- "higher-quality" job applicant which results in less voluntary istration, eligibility certification, and customer service func- attrition, whereas the liquidated damages for uncovered runs tions. Veolia Transportation, under contract to DART, oper- are more to ensure that operators depart on time. ates the service with a fleet of 186 vehicles supplied by DART. The contract payment structure includes a monthly fixed Reported Results amount to cover fixed costs, a variable hourly rate for opera- tions, plus reimbursement for tolls. The Regional manager reported that voluntary operator attrition totals no more than five or less operators per year Procurement/Contractual Provisions since the RFP/contractual provision for minimum wage and sick day benefits was instituted. In the survey, DART reported that it had moderate success with specifying a minimum wage rate in its procurement and contract documents and significant success with liquidated Denver Regional Transportation District damages for uncovered runs. With respect to the minimum (RTD), Denver, CO wage requirement, DART staff stated the following: The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is the regional transportation agency for the Denver metropolitan area. The We make it clear that we expect experienced, trained opera- tors; by setting the bar high, we have a better chance securing RTD has 140 local, express, and regional bus routes and six such a workforce through the contract. As a rule, happy people light rail lines that provide 35 miles of light rail service. The make contented workers. A contented workforce makes good RTD also has three demand-response services: (1) call-n- decisions and they are reliable. Requiring the contractor to pro- Ride, a general public dial-a-ride in several neighborhoods vide a minimum or living wage helps to ensure a more contented that cannot sustain fixed-route bus service; (2) access-a-Ride, workforce. Left to themselves, contractors will try to keep wages as low as possible. This low rate will eventually cause personnel its ADA paratransit services; and (3) access-a-Cab, a supple- to leave. The turnover rate increases and valuable experience and mental (non-ADA) taxi subsidy program that is available to skills are diluted or lost. access-a-Ride customers.