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6 operator recruitment and retention as one of the common that identifies, diagrams, and illustrates the various factors and challenges in systems experiencing service quality problems. issues associated with paratransit operator recruitment, reten- Developing a better understanding of vehicle operator recruit- tion, and performance was then prepared. The model also ment and retention issues and identifying proven, workable describes the relationships and interactions between factors. solutions could have a significant impact on paratransit ser- The second phase then focused on specific factors and rela- vice quality across the country. tionships felt to be most significant and developed data that The goal of this research was to: will begin to "fill in" the overall model. For example, detailed research was conducted to identify the following: Provide information and guidance that will assist transit agen- cies and paratransit operators in improving the quality, efficiency, The impacts of various levels of pay and other compensa- and cost-effectiveness of ADA paratransit services by improving vehicle operator recruitment, retention, and performance. tion on vehicle operator turnover, The impacts of tenure and work experience on productiv- The specific objectives of the research were to do the ity and service quality Experiences with integration of fixed-route and para- following: transit workforces and efforts to equalize pay, Innovative approaches to procurement of ADA paratransit Identify the key factors that affect the recruitment of qual- ified vehicle operators. services that are designed to increase workforce stability, The cost of recruitment and training, and Identify the factors that affect vehicle operator turnover Innovative recruitment practices and efforts to reduce and factors that can assist in improving operator retention, job satisfaction, and ultimately operator performance. turnover. Determine how actions and decisions at all program stages-- system design, system policies, contractor procurement, and A better understanding of the factors and inter-relationships daily operations--affect vehicle operator recruitment, reten- that affect vehicle operator recruitment and retention will tion, and performance. help public transit agencies and service providers establish Determine the inter-relationships between factors. more appropriate wage and benefit structures, attract and Develop practical and useful outcome information that will retain qualified and experienced operators, and provide more better link decisions made in system design and operation efficient and cost-effective services. Public transit agencies to operator performance, service quality, and efficiency. will use this information when designing appropriate service Develop an understanding of the factors, relationships, and procurement requirements and in reviewing and selecting outcomes in various settings (small, medium, and large sys- proposals. This, in turn, will enable riders to receive quality tems) as well as in various service designs (in-house, con- service and public transit agencies to provide this service in the tracted, brokered, union/non-union, etc.). most cost-effective way. Produce guidance that will assist small, medium, and large systems to better understand the factors and rela- Organization of the Report tionships that influence operator recruitment, retention, and performance. Chapters 2 through 5 of the report describe research efforts Provide effective and proven examples of programs, actions, to identify the factors that affect vehicle operator recruitment, and industry best practices that can improve operator recruit- retention, and performance. Chapter 2 presents the findings ment, retention, and performance. of the literature search as well as findings from focus group meetings of vehicle operators, supervisors, and ADA para- Since labor issues are different for different types of para- transit managers. Chapter 3 presents the findings of the indus- transit services (e.g., taxis, human services transportation, try survey. A model that depicts the key factors identified is then ADA paratransit, etc.), the research focused specifically on presented in Chapter 4. Some key inter-relationships between ADA complementary paratransit services provided by public factors are also detailed. transit agencies. It did, however, address all types of ADA Chapters 5 through 7 then present research aimed at pro- paratransit service designs, including contracted services, in- viding information for the model and inter-relationships house services, and brokered services. proposed. An analysis of the impacts of various levels of com- Also, given the extensive scope of this issue, the research was pensation on vehicle operator turnover is summarized in conducted in two phases. The first phase involved the identi- Chapter 5. The impacts of training wages, starting wages, max- fication of factors that affect operator recruitment and reten- imum wages, and several types of fringe benefits on reported tion. This was done through a literature search, focus groups, vehicle operator turnover are explored using regression analy- a national survey, and input from an expert panel. A model sis. The relationship between vehicle operator tenure and per-

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7 formance is explored in Chapter 6. The analysis looks at pro- Chapter 9 then explores the potential benefits of fixed- ductivity, on-time performance, and complaint rates for groups route and paratransit workforce integration and vehicle oper- of vehicle operators with various levels of job tenure. The full ator wage parity. The experiences of several selected systems cost of turnover is discussed in Chapter 7. that have achieved wage parity or are working toward it are Chapter 8 presents information collected throughout the presented. study on recruitment and retention practices reported to be Finally, Chapter 10 describes efforts by several public tran- successful. Information used to identify job applicants who are sit systems to develop more stable ADA paratransit vehicle likely to be successful vehicle operators is presented. Examples operator workforces through innovative procurement or of recruitment, pre-screening, and training approaches are also contracting. Examples of ways to address workforce stability provided. Techniques for improving retention, such as recog- in the procurement process are detailed. Contract require- nition and performance bonuses; technologies to assist vehicle ments and associated incentives and disincentives meant to operators with performance of the job; and supportive work impact workforce stability are described in several case studies. environments are also included. Chapter 11 discusses future research needs.