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TRANSIT TCRP REPORT 142 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration Vehicle Operator Recruitment, Retention, and Performance in ADA Complementary Paratransit Operations
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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2010 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* SELECTION COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS Ann August Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority CHAIR: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington MEMBERS VICE CHAIR: Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore John Bartosiewicz McDonald Transit Associates EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Michael Blaylock Jacksonville Transportation Authority MEMBERS Linda J. Bohlinger HNTB Corp. J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Raul Bravo Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg Raul V. Bravo & Associates Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson Gregory Cook Veolia Transportation Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Terry Garcia Crews Norfolk, VA StarTran William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Angela Iannuzziello Eugene A. Conti, Jr., Secretary of Transportation, North Carolina DOT, Raleigh ENTRA Consultants John Inglish Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and Director, Utah Transit Authority Center for Transportation Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Sherry Little Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN Spartan Solutions, LLC Jonathan H. McDonald Paula J. Hammond, Secretary, Washington State DOT, Olympia HNTB Corporation Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Gary W. McNeil Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley GO Transit Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Michael P. Melaniphy Motor Coach Industries Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Bradford Miller Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA Frank Otero Steven T. Scalzo, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA PACO Technologies Keith Parker Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO VIA Metropolitan Transit Beverly A. Scott, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Peter Rogoff Authority, Atlanta, GA FTA David Seltzer, Principal, Mercator Advisors LLC, Philadelphia, PA Jeffrey Rosenberg Amalgamated Transit Union Daniel Sperling, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; Director, Institute of Richard Sarles Transportation Studies; and Interim Director, Energy Efficiency Center, University of California, Davis Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Kirk T. Steudle, Director, Michigan DOT, Lansing Michael Scanlon Douglas W. Stotlar, President and CEO, Con-Way, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI San Mateo County Transit District Marilyn Shazor C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority James Stem EX OFFICIO MEMBERS United Transportation Union Gary Thomas Peter H. Appel, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT Dallas Area Rapid Transit J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Frank Tobey Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA First Transit Matthew O. Tucker George Bugliarello, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York North County Transit District University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC Pam Ward Anne S. Ferro, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Ottumwa Transit Authority LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Alice Wiggins-Tolbert Parsons Brinckerhoff Interior, Washington, DC Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC EX OFFICIO MEMBERS John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation William W. Millar APTA Officials, Washington, DC Robert E. Skinner, Jr. David T. Matsuda, Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT TRB Victor M. Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT John C. Horsley William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC AASHTO Victor Mendez Robert J. Papp (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of FHWA Homeland Security, Washington, DC Cynthia L. Quarterman, Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Louis Sanders U.S.DOT APTA Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT David L. Strickland, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT SECRETARY Christopher W. Jenks Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT TRB Polly Trottenberg, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of June 2010. *Membership as of July 2010.
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 142 Vehicle Operator Recruitment, Retention, and Performance in ADA Complementary Paratransit Operations Russell Thatcher Thomas Procopio Caroline Ferris TRANSYSTEMS CORP. Boston, MA Mary Davis Clementine Morris MCGLOTHIN DAVIS, INC. Denver, CO Will Rodman David Koffman Richard Weiner Lisa Jacobson NELSON\NYGAARD CONSULTING ASSOCIATES, INC. San Francisco, CA Marilyn Golden DISABILITY RIGHTS EDUCATION & DEFENSE FUND (DREDF) Berkeley, CA Subscriber Categories Public Transportation Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2010 www.TRB.org
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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 142 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, Project F-13 and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current ISSN 1073-4872 systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand ISBN 978-0-309-15493-2 service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve Library of Congress Control Number 2010932894 these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to © 2010 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to intro- duce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions COPYRIGHT INFORMATION to meet demands placed on it. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report published or copyrighted material used herein. 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the Administration--now the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and success- any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes from CRP. research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, NOTICE facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research administrative practices. Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- Governing Board of the National Research Council. posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooper- procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. ating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research orga- Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. nization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Council, and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but they are considered essential to the object of the report. may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identi- fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project state- ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- cal guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- Published reports of the nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- are available from: ing material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for Transportation Research Board workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure Business Office that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively and can be ordered through the Internet at address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Printed in the United States of America
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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 142 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Gwen Chisholm Smith, Senior Program Officer Tom KGC Van Boven, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Maria Sabin Crawford, Assistant Editor TCRP PROJECT F-13 PANEL Field of Human Resources Carol Perkins, Central Ohio Transit Authority, Columbus, OH (Chair) Doran J. Barnes, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA Raymond Blethen, Paratransit Management of Lowell, Inc., Lowell, MA Susan Gallagher, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Oakland, CA Thomas M. Greufe, Forsythe Transportation, Phoenix, AZ Nancy Pineles, Maryland Disability Law Center, Baltimore, MD Jeffrey M. Rosenberg, Amalgamated Transit Union, Washington, DC W. Peter Wallace, Charlotte Area Transit Systems, Charlotte, NC Carol Wright, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND Jonathan Klein, FTA Liaison Robert Carlson, Community Transportation Association of America Liaison Lynne Morsen, APTA Liaison Martine A. Micozzi, TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research reported herein was performed under TCRP Project F-13 by a team comprised of employ- ees from TranSystems Corp., Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc., McGlothin Davis, Inc., and the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF). TranSystems Corp. was the prime contractor for this study with the other firms participating as subcontractors. Russell Thatcher of TranSystems Corp. was the Principal Investigator. Others assisting from TranSystems included Thomas Procopio and Caroline Ferris. Will Rodman was the Project Manager for Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc., assisted by David Koffman, Richard Weiner, and Lisa Jacobson. Mary Davis was the Project Manager for McGlothin Davis, Inc., assisted by Clementine Morris. Marilyn Golden was the Project Manager for DREDF. The research team would also like to acknowledge the many transit agency and paratransit contractor staff who provided information and agreed to serve as case studies.
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FOREWORD By Gwen Chisholm Smith Staff Officer Transportation Research Board TCRP Report 142: Vehicle Operator Recruitment, Retention, and Performance in ADA Com- plementary Paratransit Operations provides guidance on the relationships that influence and enhance operator recruitment, retention, and performance in ADA complementary para- transit services. This report includes examples of programs, efforts, and industry best prac- tices and provides suggestions and methods for improving operator recruitment, retention, and performance. The information in the report is formulated to help public transit agencies improve productivity, manage costs, and offer passengers improved ADA paratransit service quality. The report covers ADA complementary paratransit services that are contracted out, provided in-house, or operated through a brokerage. This report will be helpful to public transit agencies and paratransit service providers. Vehicle operator performance is a critical factor in service quality and efficiency in all types of public transportation services. This is particularly true in ADA complementary paratransit operations where operators provide considerable assistance to riders with a variety of disabilities and must have a good working knowledge of the entire service area in which they are operating. ADA paratransit service quality is dependent on operators understanding individual rider needs and providing appropriate assistance. Operators must be able to interpret and carry out complex shared-ride runs, navigate between pick-up and drop-off locations, competently use appropriate technology, locate correct boarding locations at complex pick-up points, and board/disembark riders safely and efficiently. Maintaining a qualified and well-trained operator workforce is critical to providing a safe and effective ADA paratransit operation. Paratransit performance can be adversely affected when service providers must constantly recruit and train new operators because of high turnover. Research was needed to identify key factors that affect operator recruit- ment, retention, and performance in all types of ADA paratransit service delivery. This research would help public transit agencies and paratransit service providers enhance the quality of service for riders and provide more efficient and cost-effective paratransit services. To assist in the development of TCRP Report 142, the research team conducted a survey to identify the factors and issues considered most important to operator recruitment, retention, and performance. The survey participants were from small, medium, and large public transit agencies that administer or operate paratransit services and contractors who operate various paratransit delivery models, such as directly operated services and bro- kered services. Based on the information gathered from the survey results, the researchers
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identified the key factors that impact operator recruitment, retention, and performance. The researchers further explored the interrelationships between the key factors and operator recruitment, retention, and performance. The report presents several approaches being used to improve recruitment and retention, and the report addresses wage parity between paratransit and fixed route operators.
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CONTENTS 1 Summary 5 Chapter 1 Background 5 Study Issues, Goals, and Methodology 6 Organization of the Report 8 Chapter 2 Understanding Vehicle Operator Recruitment and Retention Issues 8 Literature Review 8 An Overview of Paratransit Vehicle Operator Issues 9 FTA ADA Paratransit Compliance Reviews 10 Demographic Factors Affecting Availability of Qualified Workers 11 Impact of Management Characteristics and Practices 12 Shortage of Vehicle Operators in Other Sectors: Fixed-Route Transit, School Bus, and Trucking 13 Successful Approaches to Recruiting and Retaining Transit Vehicle Operators 14 Workforce Planning: A Tool for Facilitating Vehicle Operator Availability 15 Successful Approaches Cited in Other Transportation Sectors 18 Focus Group Findings 18 Attractiveness of the Operator Position 19 Why Some Do Not Apply 19 How Providers Attract Applicants 20 Why Operators Leave 20 Factors Adversely Affecting Operator Satisfaction and Performance 21 Improvement of Job Satisfaction and Performance 21 Quality of Processes for Resolving Operator Issues 21 Implications of Findings 23 Chapter 3 National Survey Results 23 Development of the Survey 23 Distribution of the Survey 23 Responses 24 Perceived Impacts of Operator Recruitment and Retention (Public Entities) 24 Workforce Status 25 Pre-Qualification Requirements 26 Hours of Training 26 Training Completion Rates 27 Reasons for High Training Drop-Out Rates 27 Annual Post-Training Turnover Rates 28 Work Assignments 28 Use of Split Shifts 30 Pay Rates
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31 Use of Pay Differentials 31 Impact of Wages on Turnover 32 Union Representation and Impacts on Wages 33 Types of Fringe Benefits Provided 34 Level of Fringe Benefits Provided 35 Relationship Between Paratransit and Fixed-Route Workforces 37 Equalizing Pay Between Modes 37 Factors That Impact Vehicle Operator Recruitment 39 Efforts Made to Improve Recruitment 41 Factors That Impact Vehicle Operator Retention 42 Efforts Made to Improve Retention 45 Innovative Procurement Strategies 49 Chapter 4 Model of Factors That Affect Vehicle Operator Recruitment, Retention, and Performance 49 The "Performance Pyramid" 49 Attracting and Selecting "The Right" Employees 49 Developing an Employee Profile and Pre-Qualifications 50 Competitive Wages 51 Benefits 51 Work Shifts 51 Recruitment Efforts 52 Agency/Company Image 52 Providing Effective Training and Tools 53 Training 54 Tools 54 Providing Support and a Positive Work Environment 54 Workable Schedules 55 Dispatch Support 55 Management Support 56 An Effective Grievance Process 56 Recognition 56 Work Environment 56 Underlying Causal Factors That Impact Vehicle Operator Recruitment and Retention 57 Important Inter-Relationships 57 Compensation, Turnover, Productivity and Total Cost 58 Compensation and Recruitment and Training Costs 59 Chapter 5 The Relationship Between Compensation and Turnover 59 Purpose of the Analysis and Data Sources 60 Exploratory Analysis 60 Regression Analysis 61 Graphical Analysis and Discussion 61 Starting Wage, Provider Type, and Turnover 62 Health Care Coverage, Provider Type, and Turnover 63 Summary of Findings 65 Chapter 6 Tenure and Performance 65 Impacts of Tenure on Productivity 65 Methodology
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66 Productivity Results--DART, Dallas, TX 68 Productivity Results--LYNX, Orlando, FL 69 Impacts of Tenure on On-Time Performance 69 Methodology 70 On-Time Performance Results--DART, Dallas, TX 70 On-Time Performance Results--LYNX, Orlando, FL 71 Impacts of Tenure on Complaints 71 Methodology 71 Complaint Rate Results--DART, Dallas, TX 72 Complaint Rate Results--LYNX, Orlando, FL 72 Summary of Findings 74 Chapter 7 The Cost of Turnover 74 Methodology 75 Case Study Summaries 75 Charlotte Area Transit System Special Transportation Service 77 MV Transportation, Denver, CO 78 Veolia Transportation, Baltimore, MD 79 Summary of Findings 79 Observations 80 The Other Costs of Turnover 81 Chapter 8 Examples of Reported Practices and Tools 81 Attracting and Selecting "The Right" Employees 81 Characteristics of Successful ADA Paratransit Operators 83 Developing a Job Description 83 Effective Recruiting Approaches 87 Comprehensive Pre-Employment Screening 88 Realistic Job Previews 90 Compensation 92 Tools and Training for Paratransit Operators 92 New Employee Orientation 92 Job-Specific Training for New Operators 92 Training in Advanced Technologies 93 Reinforcing Safety as a Value 93 Recertification 93 Providing a Supportive Work Environment 96 Employee Communication 96 Best Practice: Early and Ongoing Input and Involvement 97 Best Practice: Mentoring 99 Chapter 9 Benefits and Issues Related to Workforce Integration and Wage Parity 100 Methodology 100 Reasons for Workforce Integration and Wage Parity 100 Costs and Benefits of Workforce Integration and Wage Parity 103 Union Issues 103 Varieties of Integration 104 Training 104 Case Studies 104 Instituting Full Workforce Integration and Wage Parity: Chelan-Douglas Public Transit Benefit Area (Link Transit), Wenatchee, WA
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105 Integration of an Alternative to Paratransit: The City of Annapolis Department of Transportation (Annapolis Transit), Annapolis, MD 106 Partially Integrating the Workforce and Equalizing Wages: San Joaquin Regional Transit (San Joaquin RTD), Stockton, CA 106 The Dynamics of Recently Instituting Wage Parity: Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Salt Lake City, UT 108 Chapter 10 Case Studies of Procurement and Contracting Best Practices 108 Approach and Methodology 109 Lessons Learned 111 Case Studies 111 Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Dallas, TX 111 Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), Denver, CO 112 Community Transit, Everett, WA 113 Access Services, Inc. (ASI), Los Angeles, CA 115 Madison Metro Transit, Madison, WI 116 Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Orange County, CA 117 Palm Tran CONNECTION, Lake Worth, FL 118 City of Phoenix Public Transit Department, Phoenix, AZ 119 San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, San Diego, CA 120 San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans), San Mateo, CA 122 King County Metro Transit (Metro), Seattle/King County, WA 124 Chapter 11 Future Research Needs 126 References 128 Bibliography 129 Appendixes