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OCR for page 120
120 field for new bidders which allows operators to keep up with to meet the high standards for wages. The responsible wage the cost of living and retain employees. New contractors must requirement "helps maintain a level of wages that are competi- maintain existing operators at current seniority levels. tive" and, in turn, helps to prevent a high turnover rate. MTS mandates in its contracts that a certain percentage of The District Manager also commented on the incentives and each invoice is allocated to operators' benefits. For example, for disincentives included in the RFP. "We have met the highest fiscal year 2011, the minimum wage is $10.14/hour for train- level of incentive thresholds for productivity for the past four ing, $10.71/hour after training, and $11.27/hour base wage years," he explains. He said that the incentives and disincen- after a probationary period. The contractor is required to con- tives were set "at a level where the dollar level wasn't significant tribute 5%, or $2.10, from the base wage towards employee enough." He noted that instead of financial motivation, cus- benefits. There is also a requirement that all operators who tomer service and good business practice are instead drivers for work more than 20 hours per week should have full medical service. coverage. The District Manager noted that the responsible wage MTS provides a 10% preference to contractors who are requirement only applies to vehicle operators that are not cov- able to prove in proposals that they are able to retain their ered by a collective bargaining agreement. First Transit oper- operator workforce and who agree to retain their current staff ates under labor contracts now and it is expected that when the upon contract. The evaluation criteria are as follows: company responds to the June 2009 RFP, the responsible wage requirement will not be applicable. Corporate Capacity/Qualifications 10 points of the Firm Corporate Experience 30 points Reported Results Key Personnel 50 points Despite the focus in the procurement on workforce stability, Facility Plan 20 points it was reported that turnover has continued to be a problem over Safety and Training Plan 10 points the past few years running at "upwards of 100%" according to Start-up Plan 20 points the First Transit District manager. With the economic down- Customer Services 20 points turn, the turnover rate has decreased and has been running at Cost and Price 70 points about 40% for the past year. 10% Bidding Preference 23 points MTS also sets performance standards, financial incentives, San Mateo County Transit District and liquid damages. These are shown in the Table 10-4. (SamTrans), San Mateo, CA The San Mateo County Transit District is the administrative The Contractor Perspective body for the principal public transit and transportation pro- The District Manager at First Transit reported that the livable grams in San Mateo County: SamTrans bus service, Redi- wages clause included in the RFP helped to drive the company Wheels paratransit service, Caltrain commuter rail, and the Table 10-4. MTS performance standards, incentives, and liquidated damages. Liquidated Performance Measure Incentive Damages Contractor shall achieve a monthly no- $2,000 per each month Any month in which show rate of under 5% no-show rate is below no-shows are greater 5% than 7.5% may carry a damage of $1,000, and $2,000 in which no- shows are greater than 10% Contractor shall ensure that all trips arrive $5,000 per month may none within the established MTS On-Time be paid Contractor for Performance Window each month that 90% or more of trips arrive in the MTS established On-Time Window Contractor shall ensure that hold times None $5,000 for each month don't exceed an average of two (2) minutes where average hold times exceed two minutes

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121 San Mateo County Transportation Authority. Caltrain and the adequate number of vehicle operators to meet the required Transportation Authority have contracted with the District to level of service as defined in the contract, a $1,500 fine is insti- serve as their managing agency, under the direction of their tuted. The contract also clearly states that no trips shall be appointed boards. The SamTrans fixed-route bus system con- missed or dropped due to unavailability of operators, and the sists of 54 routes (44 operated by the District and 10 contracted contractor is fined $500 for each missed trip. to MV Transportation), which carry nearly 50,000 passengers on an average weekday. The District's paratransit service, Redi- The Contractor Perspective Wheels, transports approximately 1,000 customers every day on 83 buses, vans, and sedans, with some additional taxi ser- The General Manager for MV Transportation reported that vice. RediCoast operates nine vehicles on the coastside and "We have a low turnover rate at Redi-Wheels, mainly because provides about 100 rides each day. we have a very good pay rate and fringe benefits." Employees receive 100% full health benefits, paid by MV Transportation, which equates to about $10 per hour for health benefits on top Use of Contractors for ADA Paratransit of their hourly wage. As a result, the general manager esti- Redi-Wheels, RediCoast, and a portion of fixed-route service mated that the annual turnover rate is about 10% which he felt are contracted to MV Transportation. For Redi-Wheels service, was "incredible in our industry." He also comments on the SamTrans performs ADA eligibility and marketing and owns, current economic climate, which has dramatically changed maintains, and fuels 59 vehicles. MV Transportation manages the operator recruitment: "Before, it was difficult to find opera- remaining day-to-day operations. MV Transportation provides tors in the Bay area because there is so much competition for 15 vehicles, all sedans. MV has about 110 vehicle operators. jobs in other sectors. Now, I'm finding 1020 people a month looking for employment." As for financial incentives outlined in the contract, the gen- Procurement/Contractual Provisions eral manager reported that bonuses and disincentives in the In the survey, SamTrans reported that it had significant suc- contract have worked "substantially." He said that four of the cess with specifying a minimum wage rate and incentives and standards, productivity, on-time performance, accidents/ disincentives relating to an adequate workforce in its procure- safety, and wait time on the phone, have huge bonuses and ment and contracting documents. SamTrans emphasizes the repercussions for MV Transportation if the company does not importance of an experienced workforce in both the pre-bid meet the standards. He reported that these financial repercus- meeting and in the RFP, stating specifically that operators sions influence his business decisions, saying "It is cheaper for must be fairly compensated with competitive wages and ben- me to add a person to the reservations taking function than to efits. While SamTrans legally cannot require a specific pay exceed the standards for wait time on the phone." Currently, scale, the transit district consistently places strong emphasis MV Transportation meets Redi-Wheels' 90% on-time per- on a stable workforce, and staff monitors the contractor to formance standard. The general manager said that the com- ensure a competitive wage is provided. pany has been at this 90% level for a long time, and he is trying The most recent RFP contained a specific section on Para- to figure out how to improve it, but so far has been unsuccess- transit Operator Longevity, which is closely monitored by ful. As for productivity, he reported that the service operated at SamTrans throughout the duration of the contract: about 1.5 to 1.6 trips per revenue-hour. It is of paramount importance to the District and in the best interest of its customers that Paratransit Operators are not only Reported Results properly trained, but gain hands-on experience in their craft. It has been the District's experience that a high turnover rate among The SamTrans Accessibility Coordinator reported the Paratransit Operators reduces overall service quality through lack paratransit contractor experiences extremely low turnover of efficiency and familiarity with the areas in which they operate. rates, especially in comparison to others in the region. She In order to indicate a high level of commitment, a Contractor noted that by paying just $1 to $2 more per hour, operator must encourage and promote longevity of its Paratransit Opera- turnover was reduced significantly, making a clear case that tors. Proposers are required to complete and submit Appendix D, paying a higher wage dramatically reduces turnover. She also "Staffing Plan Summary" and Appendix E, "Wage and Benefits Summary," and disclose a plan to accomplish this end with its noted that she believes the more experienced operators tend Proposal. Proposers should disclose information such as award to be safer and more efficient, which is both a financial and a programs and other incentives offered to their Paratransit. community benefit. It was noted that while the monetary penalties have acted There is also a monetary penalty if the contractor is not as an incentive for on-time performance, they have yet to be able to meet the daily demand or maintain at least a 90% on- leveraged with the current contractor, who has consistently time performance level. If the contractor fails to provide an been able to meet the 90% on-time performance rate.