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32 safe driving, supplemented by the agency's incentive reward, Organizational Approach to Safety which features special recognition levels. MVTA's operations motto is "safety is number one." The orga- · Three years--belt buckle nization has focused on building camaraderie among operators · Five years--plaque to promote an improved safety culture. A mission statement · Ten years--watch incorporates the promotion of a safe and secure environment · Fifteen years--jacket or plaque for public transit riders, workers, and the public at large. · Twenty years--ring · Twenty-five years--jacket or plaque MVTA has a designated safety officer that oversees the · Thirty years--mantel clock safety program and a safety committee consisting of the · Thirty-five years--brass-etched book plaque with the safety officer, lead trainer, transit supervisors, and managers driver's image and recognition statement that addresses all safety-related incidents. · Forty to forty-five years--VCR, camcorder, etc. The safety committee handles discipline and follow-up; the KC Metro recognizes its operators quarterly, and a list of contractor is subject to fines on a monthly basis for unsafe acts, awardees is displayed at the agency's main base. The agency's and receives incentives when performance exceeds standards. general manager personally presents safety rewards to those Those standards have recently been expanded to include operators who receive 40-plus-year rewards. fleet maintenance in addition to late and missed trips. Current safety standings for contractors with regard to target standards are posted on bulletin boards at the garages and discussed at Summary driver meetings. KC Metro's safety goal is the elimination of all accidents and Recent advances in safety performance began with an analy- injuries. KC Metro expects all of its employees to conduct sis of accidents that revealed that the majority of safety-related themselves appropriately and be guided by the criteria and incidents occurred within three months following new operator standards set forth in their policy statement. Employees are training. The agency established a goal of a 20% reduction in encouraged to work in harmony and actively support the safety those accidents within two years. policy with the goal of making KC Metro the safest public transportation organization in the country. Among the safety improvement strategies implemented at MVTA was an extension of the training period from 62 to KC Metro has been very satisfied with the incorporation of 70 hours, depending on prior experience, to 96 hours regard- the National Safety Council's reward program and plans to use less of prior experience. Other strategies included an enhanced it for many years. The reward program, in tandem with active behind-the-wheel period, the inclusion of a five-day "cadet- safety awareness teams, regular base safety officer's meetings, ting" period, final certification by the lead trainer, appointment and a dedicated safety program help KC Metro meet its orga- of a safety officer to oversee the safety program, and the cre- nization's mission to eliminate the suffering and cost of avoid- ation of a safety committee to review incidents and take cor- able personal injury and vehicle accidents, and to provide safe rective action. The new-hire criteria for operators were also working conditions for all employees and volunteers. made more stringent with regard to prior moving violations and accidents. Operators who have more than one prevent- able accident or moving violation in a 12-month period are Minnesota Valley removed from service. Transit Authority, Twin Cities Area, Minnesota In addition to contract penalties and incentives that are applied collectively to operators, individual awards and rec- Agency Description ognitions are presented to operators who consistently display safe behavior. MVTA was founded in 1990 as a Joint Powers Authority of the cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Rosemount, Even though miles driven and number of trips increased and Savage, Minnesota (the southern suburban Twin Cities from 2007 to 2009, these enhancements, particularly the area). Providing more than 2 million passenger trips a year, penalty/incentive component for performance, have helped MVTA utilizes 118 buses that operate from two garages. reduce safety-related incidents by 30% since implementation. An eight-member board of directors from five cities and two counties oversees an executive director who is sup- ported by 11 staff members. These staff members oversee a Agency Disciplinary Practices private contractor that provides both fixed-route and ADA paratransit service. The contract with the service provider MVTA's progressive discipline program is handled by a safety contains detailed performance expectations that were devel- committee. Progressive discipline steps include verbal warn- oped and continually modified before each contract rebid. ings, written warnings, suspension, and termination.