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OCR for page 122
122 SamTrans also recognizes good performance by individu- local non-profit organization that operates about 30% of the als and reinforces good behavior by making both the transit service. district and contractor employees eligible for the "I Made a Difference" award. The award, generally an honor rather than a monetary award, is usually presented by a supervisor to an Procurement/Contractual Provisions operator while mid-route. The award has created a good In the survey, Metro reported that it had moderate suc- atmosphere and appreciation in the workplace, which was felt cess with including language in the solicitation indicating by managers to contribute to maintaining a stable vehicle that a stable, experienced vehicle operator workforce was operator workforce. expected. Metro Transit also noted a specific points system used in the evaluation of prospective contractor proposals. The following language is included in the 5-year service King County Metro Transit (Metro), provider contracts: Seattle/King County, WA King County Metro Transit (Metro) is a public transit The Contractor shall ensure that sufficient staff are hired and retained to meet this Contract's service requirements. The County agency serving more than 1.7 million residents in King County, reserves the right to reduce the Contractor's monthly invoice Washington. Metro operates a fleet of about 1,300 vehicles, appropriately for any management or supervisory position such including standard and articulated coaches, electric trolleys, as Project, Operations, Information Service or Maintenance dual-powered buses and hybrid diesel-electric buses that serve Manager, left vacant for more than sixty (60) Days. an annual ridership of 100 million in a 2,134 square mile area. The Contractor's provision of qualified, capable and experi- In addition, Metro operates the largest publicly owned vanpool enced personnel is essential to the performance of its contractual obligations herein. As such, failure to provide suitable personnel program in the country, with more than 600 vans providing consistent with the County's contractual expectations as set forth transportation to 5,000 people every day. herein shall be deemed a material breach of contract and subjects Metro also manages Access paratransit service, its ADA the Contract to immediate termination at the County's option. paratransit service. The program provides next-day, shared The Contractor shall ensure that its employees are qualified, rides within three-quarters of a mile on either side of non- capable and suitable to perform the requirements of this Con- tract and the County reserves the right to provide input to the commuter fixed-route bus service during the hours and days Contractor in determining the suitability of any employee to con- of operation those routes are in service. In 2007, Access ser- tinue performing the work pursuant to this Contract. The Con- vice provided over 1.1 million rides with a fleet of 300 vans. tractor shall provide all pertinent employee records regarding incidents/accidents, passenger complaints, etc., to King County as soon as possible upon request. Use of Contractors for ADA Paratransit The County recognizes that the strength of its transportation program is built upon the strength of its operators. Proposers Metro contracts its Access paratransit service call center to are asked to consider how they will hire and retain an excellent First Transit, who manages scheduling, reservations, and dis- workforce. patching. Two other private companies are then under con- tract to Metro to provide vehicle operation and maintenance. Metro assigns points when evaluating RFPs to best analyze The service provider contractors are Veolia Transportation, the proposed services. Typically, vehicle operator recruitment which operates about 70% of the runs, and Solid Ground, a and retention comprise 1820% of the total score. Table 10-5, Table 10-5. King County Metro proposal evaluation criteria and points. Criteria Points Percent of Total Training program 25 2.5% Plan to recruit, train staff and perform the work 50 5.0% Evaluation of proposed team and key persons 45 4.5% Proven ability to collaborate with contractor's staff 20 2.0% Plan to transition staff who are currently employed 75 7.5% with another operator so that service is not disrupted Record keeping and retention plan 25 2.5% Customer service plan 75 7.5% Pricing 200 20.0% Other (specifics in contract) 515 51.5%

OCR for page 122
123 adapted from a recent RFP, shows the evaluation criteria and as several of the contract providers have had union repre- points. sented operators. In addition to increasing wage require- Metro also includes a liquidated damage for runs that are ments in the latest RFP, Metro removed the incentives related dropped due to a lack of vehicles or operators. The relevant to run coverage that were included in past contracts. They section reads as follows: indicated that the incentives in prior contracts related to run coverage didn't seem to affect contractor behavior, so they The Contractor acknowledges that the provision of services replaced them this time around with liquidated damages. pursuant to this Contract entails providing specialized, public It was noted that vehicle operator turnover is a significant transportation services, and that it is essential that safe, reliable, and efficient service is provided at all times. Liquidated damages problem for King County. A commonly cited issue in retain- may be assessed, at the option of the County, in the circum- ing paratransit operators is that they often leave the industry stances detailed in the table set forth below. for higher paying industrial jobs since they are required to also maintain commercial drivers' licenses. Metro is considering Liquidated eliminating the CDL requirement, but still requiring the train- Item Requirement Damage - Cost Route dropped or ing to address the same content as in the CDL training. It was Perform all $1.5 times cost for noted that operator retention has been better at Solid Ground. reassigned due to 1 routes VSHs replacement service Metro indicated that this appeared to be partly due to the unavailable vehicle as assigned per VSH or operator more extensive fringe benefits provided by this contractor. Metro managers noted that they have recently established a new bid model with flexible start times which can vary within Reported Results 12 hours per day. Operators will receive notification the day Metro indicated that it is difficult to determine the impacts prior to service as to when they will begin work the following of these procurement strategies at this point because the con- day. More and more operators have been sent home before a tracts have just been awarded. A previous contract contained shift's end when late cancellations have allowed routes to be only minimum wage standards, which seemed to raise issues closed early and rides to be moved.