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38 Employees can also earn up to $250 per year for their health the trainer" philosophy, which supplies a group of qualified train- reimbursement accounts by participating in health risk apprais- ers from the agencies to assist with the local training sessions. als, annual fitness appraisal, disease management programs and healthy behavior programs. WRTA requires new bus operators to have some prior experience in public transportation and what it considers a good attitude before being hired. All new bus operators are Summary given 16 hours of classroom training; all drivers periodically attend WYTRANS bus operator classes. UTA's goal in implementing its reward and incentive pro- gram was to "change the organization's culture." It is UTA's belief that a paradigm shift was necessary to improve morale Agency Disciplinary Practices and safety. By recognizing good performance, and provid- ing tools for healthy living, UTA encourages employees to WRTA utilizes a progressive discipline process. All accidents benefit the organization, themselves, and the community. are examined by a peer review committee. For accidents UTA believes that healthy, happy employees are absent less determined to be avoidable, the first accident results in a dis- frequently and have better work attitudes. ciplinary reprimand, the second in a one-year suspension, and a third accident within a 12-month period results in discharge. UTA's philosophy toward employee motivation has report- edly succeeded. The agency reports very low turnover rates Following each avoidable accident, WRTA assigns a super- and indicates that the majority of their employees only leave visor to ride with the culpable bus operator upon his/her return the organization when they retire. to provide advice and retraining. Wind River Transportation Agency Incentive/Rewards Program Authority, Riverton, Wyoming WRTA recognizes bus operators with good safety records in Agency Description a variety of relatively low-cost programs. For drivers reach- ing special "plateaus," such as five years accident-free driv- WRTA, Fremont County's public transit system, offers a ing, WRTA provides sandwiches. variety of services in and around Fremont County and central Wyoming. This includes fixed bus routes, paratransit services, WRTA also recognizes other employee achievements not airport shuttles, and special group excursions. WRTA's fixed directly related to safety. An example would be the annual routes offer morning and afternoon bus service for commuting "Clean Bus Award" that earns the winning driver a dinner cer- to jobs, schools, and Central Wyoming College. tificate at a local restaurant. WRTA operates 14 transit vehicles and provides an aver- age of 9,000 passenger trips per month. The system provides Summary service coverage to approximately 70% of the 9,157-square- mile Fremont County. WRTA is a county government agency. WRTA puts a strong focus on safety, employee training, excel- lent service, and being an asset to the community. WRTA sets high employee standards and provides its employees with the Organizational Approach to Safety needed resources. WRTA emphasizes bus operator training and safety. As a As a small transit agency, WRTA is an active member in small transit agency, WRTA relies on Wyoming Public Transit WYTRANS and uses the state transit association to provide Authority (referred to as WYTRANS) resources to assist these professional and up-to-date training and professional devel- programs. opment classes and sessions. WYTRANS is a private, nonprofit organization consisting of more than 50 public transit and social service agencies from Summary every county in Wyoming that provide public transportation services. WYTRANS provides manager and driver training for The following provides some of the highlights from the case transit agencies, using funds provided by the Wyoming DOT. examples by subject area. WYTRANS offers top-notch, national training programs and certifications in Transportation Safety Institute's Para- transit Operator Trainer Training Program, at very nominal Organization and Safety costs to WYTRANS members. WYTRANS also provides training materials and information on drug and alcohol testing Recently, DART implemented a series of initiatives to services and FTA requirements. WYTRANS employs a "train engage front-line employees that:

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39 Sought to improve communication with and between Organizational Policies Related to Safety Discipline operators and their supervisors with safety meetings Implemented performance incentive programs at both All of the case example agencies used some form of individual and team levels progressive discipline to address safety-related perfor- Focused on an improved hazard identification mance deficiencies and to correct behaviors that have process. led to unsafe acts. As detailed previously in the report, progressive disci- DART conducts regular mandatory one-hour safety pline specifies a series of consequences, increasing in meetings with operators. severity over time, which encourages an employee to FAST designated a dedicated safety and training coor- modify any negative behavior, including misconduct, dinator in 2008 to improve focus on safety, including poor performance, violations of company policy, absen- monthly safety training meetings. teeism, and tardiness. FAST encourages all employees to provide their input In addition to imposing disciplinary consequences on safety issues, problems, and concerns. after accidents, most transit agencies also require the GO Transit uses internal mission statements that spec- involved driver to receive some form of re-training. ify "charters with passengers," including safety. KC Metro uses a point system that assigns values to GO Transit's safety plan was developed with input from the severity of the accident and then sets a threshold of all levels of employees. points that can be accumulated over a 48-month roll- GO Transit has a systematic three-year reoccurring bus ing period. Bus operators who thereafter have no acci- operator training program. dents receive a credit of three points for each year of GO Transit focuses on changing behaviors and devel- accident-free driving. oping a level of continuity. River Cities Public Transit implemented a cash penalty KC Metro focuses on three S's--safety, service, and for any bus operator charged with a preventable acci- security. dent. The penalties are $250 per preventable accident KC Metro has dedicated base safety officers at all of its if the bus operator promptly reports the event and $500 operating bases. if the event is not promptly reported to management. KC Metro established a safety awareness team consist- ing of an appointed group of bus operators. Safety Incentives and Awards MVTA has focused on building an improved safety cul- ture around its operations motto of "safety is number one." Through DART's Employee Performance Incentive MVTA has a designated safety officer who oversees the Program, operating divisions compete to achieve goals safety program and manages the safety committee. for on-time performance; fewer late pull-outs, unsched- MVTA focuses on new bus operators in their first three uled absences, and complaints; increased ridership; bet- months of employment and has recently expanded the ter cost-per-mile an hour rates; and fewer accidents per length of its bus operator training program. 100,000 miles. The winning division receives recogni- River Cities Public Transit, a small rural transit agency, tion, including a catered lunch, each quarter. places a priority on safety, with a strong bus operator Additionally, DART recognizes individual drivers training program. who can qualify for bonuses if they do not have any River Cities Public Transit uses a consultant to identify safety infractions, preventable accidents, or corrective/ safety issues and develop a safety program. disciplinary actions during the quarter. SouthWest Transit has a strong commitment toward GO Transit recently implemented incentive type safety safe and reliable service, with monthly measures and program elements including competition between the review of five metrics: divisions and increased discussion and awareness of Chargeable accident rates safety issues. Rewards are administered five times per Employee injuries year in conjunction with regular operational "markup" On-time performance or "picks." Vehicle break-downs KC Metro has been using the National Safety Coun- Customer satisfaction. cil's reward/incentive program for more than 40 years. SouthWest Transit holds monthly driver safety meet- Transit operators receive a recognition award for each ings and monthly safety solution team meetings. successful year of safe driving, supplemented by the UTA assigns organization and safety requirements to its agency's incentive reward, which features special five operating units. Each conducts bi-monthly safety recognition levels. Operators are recognized quarterly committee meetings. and a list of awardees is displayed at the agency's WRTA, a small rural transit agency, places a strong main base. emphasis on safety and employee training and relies on MVTA reviews incidents in three categories on a the state transit association to assist in their safety and monthly basis: driver complaints (including safety- training program. related incidents), missed trips, and fleet maintenance.

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40 Incentives are given for "acceptable" and "superior" rat- UTA maintains an extensive health and wellness pro- ings and penalties are imposed for "unacceptable" ser- gram called Participation Activity Commitment Evalu- vice. This program was developed in 2003 with operator ation that is free to employees. input. WRTA provides recognition for bus operators with good MVTA presents safety awards to operators who consis- safety records through a variety of relatively low-cost tently display safe behavior. Two operators from this programs. It provides sandwiches for bus operators reach- pool are selected as "Operators of the Year" and are ing special "plateaus," such as five years of accident-free honored at an awards ceremony and banquet. driving. SouthWest Transit has two safety/performance incentive Although data and documentation on the effectiveness programs that operate in tandem. The BEST program of incentive and reward plans are limited, three of the focuses on the concept that employees will help meet the case examples provided these positive results: agency's mission of safety by succeeding together. The As a result of its initiatives, DART reported a reduc- BEST program offers employees a financial bonus from tion in vehicle collisions of nearly 10%, in passenger fixed and variable pools. accidents of nearly 16%, and a significant improve- BEST was updated in 2011 to include provisions for ment in passenger perception of safety. consistent yearly recognition. Operators who consis- Recent changes to GO Transit's organizational approach tently meet the requirements of the driver incentive to safety appear to have contributed to a nearly 12% plan receive a "Gold Driver" designation. The Gold decrease in the number of all types of collisions per mil- Driver designation allows them the opportunity to dis- lion kilometers travelled. play a special name plate on the bus. SouthWest Transit reported that even though The Ogden business unit at UTA has seven incentive miles driven and number of trips increased from reward programs: Rising Star, Perfect Attendance, On 2007 to 2009, safe behavior policy, particularly the Spot, Peer to Peer (P2P), Golden Snitch Award, the penalty/incentive contingent for performance, Road Call Achievement Recognition and Reward and has helped reduce safety-related incidents by 30% the Complaint Reduction Program. since implementation.