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116 While the CITY pays the lesser of the cost of the ride or $3.00 for Lanes, and paratransit service. OCTA operates approximately each "no show" a passenger has when service is provided by the 80 bus routes, covering every city in Orange County and sev- CONTRACTOR on a per trip basis, this cost must be absorbed eral cities in Los Angeles County. OCTA also operates express by the contractor if they are over twenty minutes late. service to Los Angeles and to San Bernardino and Riverside counties. OCTA's ADA paratransit service is called ACCESS. The Contractor Perspective Most recently, in 2007, OCTA initiated a Vanpool Program to provide assistance to commuters who work in Orange The owner of Transit Solutions commented that the "liv- County and live in neighboring counties. ing wage" outlined in the contract is "great because it gives people a higher starting wage." Transit Solutions also has benefits for employees like health insurance, retirement pack- Use of Contractors for ADA Paratransit ages, and paid holidays, which all help to maintain a steady workforce. In addition to the incentive plan in the contract, Until July 2009, OCTA's fixed-route, express bus, and the owner noted that Transit Solutions has an incentive plan ADA paratransit service were operated by Veolia Transporta- for vehicle operators that: "pays people for safety and atten- tion. After July 2009, Veolia Transportation began running dance . . . all of those things play into recruitment and reten- only the ADA paratransit service, ACCESS, utilizing a fleet of tion." The company uses the financial incentives in the con- 350 vehicles. Veolia provides a turn-key operation, providing tract with Metro Transit in a similar fashion with its other all day-to-day operations and vehicle maintenance on OCTA employees. The owner stated, "Overall, I think the system provided vehicles. OCTA has a managerial role and has close they [Metro Transit] have is reasonable and it works." oversight on all service provided by Veolia. Reported Results Procurement/Contractual Provisions Contractors are almost always within the 94% to 100% on- In the survey, OCTA reported that it had significant suc- time rate. Madison Metro Transit's Paratransit Program Man- cess with specifying a minimum or "living wage" rate in its ager reported that rarely, if ever, is the 10% reduction penalty procurement and contract documents, as well as including enacted. Contractors work hard to meet the 94% compliance language regarding an experienced workforce and incentives rate and have found that the only time they fall short is dur- or penalties in the contract related to maintaining an ade- ing bad weather (in which case the penalty is waived by the quate vehicle operator workforce. OCTA also reported that City). In March 2009, Transit Solutions achieved a 98% on- they include strict and specific evaluation criteria in the RFP. time performance rate. OCTA includes the following language to indicate its expec- It was noted that paying a living wage has definitely helped tations for vehicle operator wages/retention: to retain vehicle operators. The Paratransit Program Manager AUTHORITY recognizes the expense and negative effect of said she believes this higher pay has also contributed to higher employee turnover. Therefore, the CONTRACTOR must demon- quality driving and service. She stated, "Operators stay when strate they have an acceptable recruitment and hiring program there is better pay, and they drive better, too." that is intended to minimize employee turnover and retain a high Vehicle operator turnover at Transit Solutions is extremely quality work force. low. In 11 years of business, over half of Transit Solutions' orig- inal operators remain. The owner attributes this to a combi- Several service performance standards, incentive payments, nation of good wages, benefits, and hands-on management; and penalties are also included, as shown in the Table 10-3. he and his partner are present and available each day, and they make an effort to treat people well and with respect. The Contractor Perspective They even maintain a special account for employee pay advances which are paid back via paycheck deduction at no The Project Director for Veolia reported a low turnover rate interest. The owner stated: "We do things to help our work- of 7%. He reported that there is a dedicated commitment to ers and make it easier and more enjoyable to work here. And training which has paid off, as evidenced by the high retention it really works." rate. He said that with better training the company sees better results. He noted that another reason for the high retention is the benefits package provided to employees, including good Orange County Transportation Authority health care, a living wage, and help with flexibility on travel to (OCTA), Orange County, CA work, which is an issue in and around the Los Angeles area. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) The Project Director reported that the incentives outlined in serves Orange County through bus, commuter rail, Express the scope of work are hard to achieve. He said: "In 36 months,