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113 Seattle commuters to work and back. The entire bus fleet is The RFP includes the following language regarding penal- wheelchair accessible, either by low-floor ramped vehicles or ties for poor performance by the Contractor: buses equipped with wheelchair lifts. Dial-a-Ride Transportation (DART) is Community Transit's One hundred dollars ($100.00) for each occasion that the ADA paratransit service. With an existing fleet of 53 vehicles, Contractor does not have the number of vehicles available for revenue service as specified by Community Transit in operating the service operates 7 days a week, covers 1,400 square miles, service. and provides an average of 800 one-way trips per weekday. The Contractor Perspective Use of Contractors for ADA Paratransit The General Manager of Senior Services of Snohomish DART service is operated by Senior Services of Snohomish County stated that the high expectations for experienced County (SSSC), a private non-profit organization, through operators and high wages are "definitely a draw" when recruit- a contract with Community Transit since 1981. Although the ing operators. He explained that before hiring operators, they contractor manages all day-to-day operations, the hardware go through intensive training, and 60% "make it out." The and software, including an automated client file, reservation, agency looks for vehicle operators that have the following: mapping, scheduling, and dispatch system, is provided by "good driving records, good people skills, and want to assist Community Transit. Vehicles are also provided by Commu- people. Those are the ones that stick around a long time." The nity Transit, but maintenance is provided by the contractor. agency reported the turnover rate for operators is about SSSC manages the day-to-day operations of the service. The 2030%, depending on the month. organization's responsibilities include customer eligibility The General Manager reported that Senior Services meets screening, customer service, scheduling, reservations, routing, the goals set forth by Community Transit. The 91% on-time dispatching, supervision, fare collection, and operations. performance standards are always met, and the general man- ager stated that they "never miss a trip." He explained: "We Procurement/Contractual Provisions meet all goals. We don't turn anybody down. We really don't have financial disincentives happen." Although he is aware Community Transit places a high value on service quality that the financial disincentives exist in the contract, the main when selecting contractors, recognizing operator pay as an motivation for Senior Services is to be a good service provider. indicator of that quality. The agency's Contracted Services Coordinator stated the following: Reported Results We make it clear in our RFPs that we expect experienced, Turnover has not been a problem for Community Transit trained operators; by setting the bar high, we have a better chance since they began contracting with Senior Services of Sno- of securing such a workforce through the contract. homish County, the contractor who proposed to provide high operator wage rates and to maximize operator retention While the expectation of paying operators well and valuing to the extent possible. It was noted that Senior Services only employment longevity is not explicitly indicated in the RFPs, loses one or two operators a month out of about 70 operators. it acts as a strong determinant in selecting winning proposals. Community Transit believes that the combination of RFP For example, Community Transit's most recent contractor language requiring a stable, experienced operator workforce was chosen largely because its proposal touted high wages for and the contractor's natural desire to treat operators well and operators and extremely low turnover. provide them with sufficient training has contributed to a Community Transit's RFPs also include a detailed set of serv- paratransit system that provides high quality, on-time ser- ice standards, incentives, and liquidated damages, although vice, and satisfied and experienced operators. Community Transit reported that the incentives do not have a significant impact on service. One of the liquidated dam- ages provisions relates to run coverage. The following is an Access Services, Inc. (ASI), Los Angeles, CA example: Access Services (ASI) is a local public agency organized as a public benefit corporation that operates ADA complemen- Contract incentives and/or penalties related to maintaining an tary paratransit service. ADA paratransit service is provided adequate vehicle operator workforce or covering all runs assigned The Contractor shall provide adequate staffing to ensure that for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority staff or manpower shortages are compensated for with qualified (LACMTA) and 40 other fixed-route transit operators in Los personnel in a manner which does not detract from staffing lev- Angeles County pursuant to the Los Angeles County Coordi- els in other areas of this project. nated Paratransit Plan. In addition to operating the ADA
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114 complementary paratransit service, known as Access Para- proposals, and points are earned on a sliding scale. Criteria transit, ASI acts as the Los Angeles County Consolidated are based on the following: Transportation Service Agency (CTSA). It is governed by a nine-member board appointed by the Los Angeles County · Comparability of pay (to other carriers); municipal fixed-route operators, the Los Angeles County local · Quality of the heath care plan (e.g., the percentage split of fixed-route operators, the City of Los Angeles, the County of premiums between the company and the operator); Los Angeles, the Transportation Corridor Representatives of · Inclusion of medical, dental and vision benefits versus the Los Angeles branch of the League of Cities, the Los Angeles medical only County Commission on Disabilities, and the Coalition of · Family package; Independent Living Centers. · Number of vacation, sick and PTO days; · Educational reimbursement; and · 401K/retirement plan. Use of Contractors for ADA Paratransit Service is provided by six principal contractors in six In its paratransit solicitations, Access Services supplies wage regions as shown in Table 10-2. Requests for service are auto- information by position for the current contractor; this includes matically routed to the appropriate carrier based on the cus- the starting hourly rate, the top hourly rate, and any qualifying tomer's telephone number. notes, such as whether there are annual or merit increases. Each of the contractors provides turn-key services in their The two most relevant provisions in the solicitations are as region. Each provider except for MVT in the Southern region follows: is responsible for taking reservations, verifying customer eli- gibility, scheduling rides onto vehicles, and providing service Expectations for Operator Wages / Retention The selected Proposed shall establish and maintain an using ASI-certified vehicles and operators. GPI accepts all employee pay and benefit structure, which will serve to attract reservations for the West/Central and Southern regions and and retain high-quality employees for all positions required to passes on a portion of the reservations for the Southern region successfully perform the work. Proposer must submit rates and to MVT. Each provider is responsible for all trips originating in graduated rate increases along with timelines for the increases. its region regardless of whether the destination is in the region Proposal Evaluation Criteria or another one within the Los Angeles Basin. Trips between Access Services will substantially downgrade proposals that the Basin, Santa Clarita, and the Antelope Valley require a do not incorporate appropriate wage and benefit packages that transfer. Service is provided using a mix of ASI-owned vehicles, will facilitate successful recruitment and retention of qualified provider-owned vehicles dedicated to Access service, and taxi- employees. Access Services will also downgrade proposals that cabs certified for Access Paratransit service. do not provide for reasonable medical benefits for all full time employees. Proposer should carefully consider adequate and ASI manages the system, providing contractor oversight comparable rates of compensation, public sector and private sec- and monitoring, and also directly provides customer service tor, which exist for similar positions within Los Angeles County. functions, fleet management functions (for its own vehicles), community outreach functions, and all administrative and Proposals are evaluated with both qualitative and quanti- planning functions. tative measures. The quantitative measures are as follows: Procurement/Contractual Provisions Quality of Technical Approach 30% Paratransit Operating Experience 20% Access Services reported in the survey that it had moderate Cost/Price Proposal 20% success with the inclusion of "living wage" and benefit infor- Employee Pay and Benefits 15% mation in the RFP. Evaluation criteria are used to evaluate Qualifications and Availability of Proposed Staff 15% Table 10-2. ASI service regions and contractors. Region Contact Providers San Fernando Valley (Northern) MV Transportation (MVT) Eastern San Gabriel Transit (SGT) West/Central Global Paratransit Inc. (GPI) Southern Global Paratransit Inc., and MV Transportation Santa Clarita Santa Clarita Transit Authority Antelope Valley Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA)