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35 Table 3-9. Percent of vehicle operator contribution to total health care premium, ADA paratransit and fixed-route vehicle operators, public and private entities. Public Transit Agencies Private Providers Paratransit Fixed Route Paratransit Fixed Route Operators Operators Operators Operators 20 Responses 19 Responses 37 Responses 9 Responses Individual Coverage Range 0 - 30% 0 - 30% 0 - 100% 0 - 100% Average 9.7% 9.8% 33% 30% Family Coverage Range 0 - 65% 0 - 30% 0 - 100% 0 - 99% Average 18% 12% 50% 39% accruing immediately. In some cases, it was noted that vaca- receive 4.0 paid holidays per year. Full-time paratransit oper- tion time starts to accrue after a 6-month period of employ- ators receive 6.9 holidays, on average, and full-time fixed- ment. In other cases, it was noted that time does not accrue route operators receive 7.0 paid holidays per year from private until the beginning of the second year of employment. The contractors. "starting" vacation time indicated could therefore be over- Table 3-9 provides information on the contributions re- stated for private companies. In some cases, the days per year quired by vehicle operators toward agency or company health indicated might actually not be available for several months, care plans. As shown, contributions required by private con- or in a few cases, up to one year after the start date. tractors are significantly higher than those required by public The maximum amount of paid vacation time that could be transit agencies. On average, paratransit operators employed earned by part-time operators was better under private con- by public transit agencies contribute about 9.7% of the cost tractors, while maximum paid vacation for full-time opera- of individual health care, while their fixed-route counterparts tors was slightly better under public agencies. Public transit contribute a similar amount (9.8%). Public paratransit oper- agencies indicated that, on average, part-time paratransit ators contribute an average of 18% toward family health care, operators could earn a maximum of 1.4 paid vacation days while their fixed-route counterparts are required to contribute per year, and full-time paratransit operators could earn up to only 12% on average. 15.8 days per year of paid vacation. These same public agen- Paratransit operators employed by private contractors, on cies indicated that part-time fixed-route operators could earn the other hand, are required to pay about 33% of the cost of a maximum of 0.5 days of vacation, on average, and full-time individual health care, and their fixed-route counterparts pay fixed-route operators could earn up to 18.4 paid vacation about 30%. Paratransit operators at private contractors pay an days (about 2.6 days per year higher than paratransit opera- average of 50% toward family health care coverage, and their tors). Private contractors indicated that, on average, part- fixed-route counterparts pay an average of 39% for family time paratransit operators could earn a maximum of 3.1 paid coverage. Given that the typical family health care plan can vacation days per year, and full-time paratransit operators run $1,000 per month or more, this type of coverage would could earn up to 15.2 days per year of paid vacation. These typically not be affordable to most paratransit operators. Even same private contractors indicated that part-time fixed-route the 33% of individual coverage would consume a significant operators could earn a maximum of 0.7 days of vacation, on portion of their monthly take-home pay. average, and full-time fixed-route operators could earn up to 14.4 paid vacation days. Relationship Between Paratransit Relatively good holiday benefits were provided by public and Fixed-Route Workforces agencies to full-time operators, but part-time public operators typically received few paid holiday benefits. On average, full- Where survey respondents indicated that they directly time paratransit operators receive 9.2 days of paid vacation and operated both ADA paratransit service and fixed-route ser- full-time fixed-route operators receive 9.8 paid holidays. Pub- vice in the same area, information about the relationship lic agencies provided part-time paratransit and fixed-route between the two workforces was requested. Specifically, the operators less than one paid holiday per year, on average. survey asked respondents to indicate if one or more of the fol- Private contractors had better holiday benefits for part- lowing situations existed: timers but slightly lower holiday benefits for full-time opera- tors. On average, part-time paratransit operators receive 3.2 · Paratransit and fixed-route operators are paid the same paid holidays per year, and part-time fixed-route operators wage and all operators can work in either type of service.
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36 · Paratransit and fixed-route operators are hired and man- that the workforces are separate and there is no cross-over. aged separately and there is little crossover between the two Three (14%) indicated that operators are hired first for para- groups. transit and can then move to fixed route when openings · Vehicle operators are typically hired first for paratransit become available, but that this relationship did not have a sig- and then can move to fixed-route if there is an opening-- nificant impact on paratransit operator turnover. None of the but this relationship has not resulted in significant turnover 22 public transit agencies selected the response that move- problems for paratransit. ment between the two workforces caused significant para- · Vehicle operators are typically hired first for paratransit transit turnover, although one respondent checked "Other" and then can move to fixed-route if there is an opening-- and added the following comment: and this relationship has resulted in significant turnover As part of our union contract paratransit operators have trans- problems for paratransit. fer rights after two years. We do not hire fixed-route operators off the street therefore paratransit operators must be hired and trained Respondents were also given a "Not Sure" option in each first then existing paratransit operators are transferred into fixed case, as well as an "Other" option with the chance to provide route. This is a continual training cost and recruitment problem. comments on this topic. The responses received are summa- rized in Table 3-10. This comment does suggest movement between para- Twenty-two public transit agencies and 10 private contrac- transit and fixed route that creates turnover problems in tors indicated that they operated both types of service and paratransit for this one respondent. responded to this question. Ten of the 22 public transit agen- The final public transit agency checked "Other" and com- mented: cies that operate both fixed-route and paratransit (45%) indi- cated that the workforces are paid the same wage and can We hire operators and train them for fixed route first. We train move between both types of services. Seven (32%) indicated and fill open runs in Paratransit as they become available. Table 3-10. Relationship between ADA paratransit and fixed-route operator workforces where both types of service are provided by the respondent. Relationship Between Paratransit and Fixed-Route Operators Public Private Total All vehicle operators are at the same Same Pay Scale pay scale and can work on either 10 4 14 fixed route or paratransit. Paratransit and fixed route vehicle No Crossover operators are hired and managed Between 7 4 11 separately. There is little crossover Operators between the two groups. Vehicle operators are typically hired first for paratransit and then can move to fixed route if there is an No Significant opening. Movement between 3 1 4 Turnover paratransit and fixed route HAS NOT created a significant turnover problem for paratransit, though. Vehicle operators are typically hired first for paratransit and then move to Significant fixed route if there is an opening. 0 0 0 Turnover Movement between paratransit and fixed route HAS created a significant turnover issue for paratransit. Not Sure 0 0 0 Other Comment 2 1 3 Provided