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27 200 182 180 160 Hours of Training (Average) 140 127 120 94 97 100 88 80 68 59 60 54 43 40 20 0 Public Agency Operators Private Contractor Operators All Operators Hours of Classroom Training Hours of On-the-Road Training Total Hours of Training Figure 3-4. Average hours of classroom, on-the-road, and total training for ADA paratransit vehicle operators hired by public transit agencies and private contractors. completed the training. A training completion percentage several dollars per hour higher than the national average was then calculated for each. Reported training completion is currently paying. Additionally, a lack of benefits such rates are shown in Figure 3-5 for both public and private enti- as medical insurance has lead to high turnover rates as ties. Note that four systems indicated a 0% training comple- well." tion rate. These were relatively small systems (three public "Low pay and/or training wage." and one private) that had little or no turnover and therefore "More responsibility than salary warrants." few or no trainees. "Work is harder than anticipated." Fifty-nine respondents provided this information--25 "Failure of background checks." public agencies and 34 private contractors. Overall, the 59 "Inability to map route/decipher manifest." respondents indicated that 66% of recruits completed train- "Difficulty working with persons with disabilities." ing and 34% did not. For public entities, the average comple- "Too much stress." tion rate was 77%, and the drop-out rate 23%. For private "Overall job pressure." contractors, an average of 60% of recruits completed training "Conflicting second jobs." while 40% did not. "Failure of Class B license exam." "Problems understanding technology." Reasons for High Training Five of the reasons included in the previous list cite the Drop-Out Rates stresses, responsibilities, and difficulties of the job. Three also Respondents who reported that a relatively high percent- cite low pay and poor fringe benefits, and two of these indicate age of recruits did not complete training (defined in the sur- that the compensation does not match the requirements and vey as more than 33%) were asked to indicate why they felt difficulties of the job. Difficulties with map reading, under- the drop-out rate was high. Twelve respondents offered the standing the required technology, failing Class B exams, and following explanations for the high turnover rates in their conflicting second jobs were cited once each. system. Annual Post-Training "I believe that this job requires more skills than just driv- Turnover Rates ing. Many applicants apply for a driving position and then realize it also requires a high level of customer ser- Respondents that provide ADA paratransit service directly vice, patience, and compassion. Once they realize it is more were also asked to indicate the total number of ADA para- than just driving, they tend to seek other employment. I transit vehicle operators in the workforce and the number feel the pay rates for operators in this capacity should be of post-training vehicle operator terminations in the past