Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
59 Introduction This chapter describes the approach to planning transit service. Many topics covered in this chapter apply to developing new service or enhancing existing service. Types of Transit Service The chapter opens with information about the following ten types of transit service: 1. Fixed-route service 2. Demand-response service 3. Flexible routingâcheckpoint/point-deviation and route-deviation services 4. Service routes 5. Vanpool service 6. Commuter service 7. Volunteer drivers 8. Rideshare programs 9. General public transit service 10. Specialized transportation service As shown in Figure 7.1, more than half of the tribes interviewed in the research for this guide- book operate a combination of transit services. These types of service are used to meet a wide range of transportation needs, including access to employment, medical facilities, education opportunities, and recreation sites. Fixed-Route Service This type of service fits the popular description of a transit system, with transit vehicles oper- ating on designated routes and following set schedules. Typically, specific bus stops are identified for the locations where passengers will be picked up and dropped off, and routes are laid out in either a radial or grid pattern. Fixed-route service is particularly convenient for passengers without disabilities. Research has shown that fixed-route passengers are willing to walk up to Â¼ mile to reach the bus stop. Therefore, a fixed-route service pattern may be efficiently laid out with routes having Â½-mile spacing. However, individuals with mobility impairments may have difficulty in accessing the fixed-route system. C h a p t e r 7 Transit Service Planning
60 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook The advantages of fixed-route service are that it can be provided at a relatively low cost on a per-passenger-trip basis, schedule reliability is high because buses do not deviate from their routes, service does not require advance reservations, and service is easy to understand. Fixed-route transit service is seldom attractive to people with automobiles in smaller com- munities and rural areas. A private automobile offers flexibility compared to the rigid schedule of a fixed-route system. The need to walk even a few hundred feet to a bus stop and wait for the vehicle and the comparatively slow travel time make the option of a private automobile an easy choice. Where there are significant congestion issues or limited parking availability, however, fixed-route transit service becomes a more attractive alternative. The relatively low cost of transit as compared to the cost of owning and operating a private automobile also can be attractive, especially to young working couples who may be able to use the bus rather than own two vehicles. Fixed-route operations lack the flexibility to meet the needs of many passengers with spe- cial requirements. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that communities with fixed-route transit service also provide complementary paratransit service that operates, at a minimum, in a Â¾-mile radius of each fixed route. Paratransit service typically costs much more to operate than fixed-route service because of the serviceâs characteristics. Fixed routes are estab- lished to meet the highest demand travel patterns, while paratransit service must serve many origins and destinations in a dispersed pattern. Demand-Response Service Demand-response transit service, often called âDial-a-Ride,â is characterized as door-to-door transit service scheduled by a dispatcher. With demand-response service, advance reservations typ- ically are required, although some immediate requests may be filled if time permits and if the ser- vice is particularly needed. Examples of successful demand-response services include the following: â¢ Blackfeet Transitâs general public transit service in Montana â¢ Tribal Transit, operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma â¢ DHRD Transit, operated by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana â¢ Cowlitz Tribal Transit Service in Washington State â¢ Oneida Public Transit in Wisconsin â¢ Snoqualmie Valley Transportation (SVT) in Washington State Demand-response transit developed in the early 1970s as an alternate form of public trans- portation for the general public. The original concept proved more expensive than envisioned and did not attract the ridership that had been forecast. As a result, demand-response transit has been used almost exclusively in this country for passengers who are elderly or who have disabili- ties. However, many communities are now beginning to recognize the advantages of demand- Figure 7.1. Types of transit services provided. Turtle Mountain Tribal Transit provides a single fixed-route service to Rolla, Belcourt, Rolette, Dunseith, St. John, and Bottineau. DHRD Transit, operated by the Salish and Kootenai Tribes, provides a demand-response service between commuter peak hours. This demand-response service is based on calls that are received 24 hours in advance and is provided with four buses, eight minivans, and six cars. Burns Paiute Transit provides a fixed-route service six days a week. This service links the Burns Paiute Reservation to the cities of Burns and Hines.
transit Service planning 61 response service for low-density areas with low levels of transit demand. Improved technology has led to improvements in dispatching and scheduling, which has increased the efficiency of demand-response service and now allows for real-time dispatching. Flexible Routing Flexible routing allows for route-deviation or point-deviation/checkpoint service. With flex- ible routes, dispatching and scheduling must be done carefully to ensure that vehicles are avail- able to serve the designated stops at the scheduled times. To provide a reasonable amount of flexibility, a lenient definition of on-time performance is typically used, with a 10- to 15-minute window at each designated stop. Route-Deviation With route-deviation service, transit vehicles follow a specific route but can leave the route to serve demand-response origins and destinations. Vehicles are required to return to the designated route within 1 block of the point of deviation to ensure that all intersections along the route are served. The passengers on the bus may have a longer travel time than for fixed-route service and service reliability is lower. However, the ADA-mandated complementary paratransit service is not necessary because the bus can deviate from the route to pick up passengers with disabilities. Checkpoint/Point-Deviation Service Under checkpoint service, transit vehicles make periodic scheduled stops at major activity centers. Specific routes are not established between checkpoints, however, so the vehicles are able to provide demand-response service that alleviates the need for ADA-mandated comple- mentary paratransit service. Riders are picked up, typically at a reduced fare, at the checkpoints and are taken either to another checkpoint or to a demand-response-specific destination. Ser- vice between the checkpoints does not require advance reservations. However, service from any other location on a demand-response basis requires an advance reservation so that the vehicles can be scheduled for pick-up and drop-off. Checkpoint service offers an advantage over route- deviation because there is no specified route for the vehicles to use. Checkpoint service requires only that the vehicle arrive at the next checkpoint within the designated time window. Service Routes One concept being implemented in some communities as an alternative to fixed-route or demand-response service is the service route. A service route is essentially a fixed route spe- cifically designed to serve elderly people and people with disabilities. Typically, a service route winds through residential neighborhoods with high concentrations of these populations in a pattern that passes within 1 or 2 blocks of all houses. The service route also directly serves major destinations, such as senior centers, commercial areas, and medical centers. Service route trans- portation provides a higher in-vehicle travel time and a longer wait for the bus than is normally acceptable to the general public. Vanpool Service Vanpools typically provide more point-to-point services. Vanpool service gathers riders within a community and then travels directly to a major employment center. Normally, a tran- sit agency owns and maintains the vehicles. Individuals using the vanpool share the travel cost and may even share driving responsibilities. The schedule and route of vanpool service depends on the individuals participating in the vanpool. Vanpool service is limited to individuals within the program and typically offers limited service for medical or shopping trips. Vanpool service Fort Peck Transit provides general public trans- portation within the reservation, but typically serves the communities along U.S. Highway 2. Two deviated fixed routes provide service from Frazer and Fort Kippâ communities located at the farthest points of the reservationâto Poplar, which is centrally located and is also the tribal headquarters. Many tribes provide transportation for seniors and people with dis- abilities using service routes. The Grand Ronde Community of Oregon Elder Program uses one 14-passenger bus to pro- vide service to and from congregate meal sites.
62 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook is primarily for employment trips for individuals without disabilities because liability issues arise when individuals with disabilities ride using vanpool service. Commuter Service Commuter service bus routes are primarily designed for employment purposes. In urban areas, this type of service is commonly called express or limited express service. In rural areas, the commuter service links communities with each other. This service is not as flexible as vanpool service and tends to cost more given the hiring of qualified drivers, capital expenses, and bus operations costs. Volunteer Drivers Some organizations or agencies provide passenger transportation services to seniors or per- sons with special transportation needs by developing and maintaining a volunteer driver pro- gram. Some funding agencies allow quantified values for volunteer drivers to be used as sources for local matching. The value of volunteer drivers can be calculated by multiplying the driving hours by a reasonable estimated wage for your area. Rideshare Programs Rideshare programs match people who have similar work and home locations. A rideshare program can have many benefits. Employees commuting between the various residential areas and major employment centers gain access to people who may be interested in carpooling or creating a vanpool. A rideshare program is most effective when employees of proximate employ- ers also live near one another or along the same commute route. The matching service is most effective when combined with other programs, such as carpool incentives, vanpools, parking management, and guaranteed rides home. The following are two resources for ridesharing available on the World Wide Web: â¢ www.eRideShare.com â¢ http://alternetrides.com/Home_Rides.asp Both Internet sites offer free services for commuters or travelers going the same way. The Internet sites offer travelers a way of posting both wanted and available rides based on locations across the United States. Users can search for available carpools in their area or offer others the option to carpool to and from desired locations. The services also list numerous cross-country rides and post queries from persons who are in need of a ride. General Public Transit Service General public transit service is available for anyone to use. This type of transit service can either be tribal public transit (a public transit program provided, supported, or operated by the tribe) or non-tribal public transit (a public transit program that is not directly operated or funded by the tribe). Specialized Transportation Service Specialized transportation services typically are designed for certain market segments, such as seniors or persons with disabilities, or for meeting specific transportation needs in relation to medical, education, or social service programs. Chapter 3 presents more information and examples of various types of specialized transportation programs.
transit Service planning 63 Performance Standards In planning tribal transit services, it is important to establish goals accompanied by specific objectives and corresponding performance standards. Resources to operate a transit service are limited and should be dedicated to the greatest needs and the most cost-effective service. Allo- cation of scarce resources must be based on the specific objectives and performance measures. Goals, objectives, and performance measures are discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. Funding agencies may include specific performance standards as part of their grant programs. For example, some states require local transit systems to meet minimum farebox recovery ratios for different types of service. Transit planners and grant writers must be aware of any perfor- mance standards established by the funding agency before applying for the grant. The planning and grant applications must take into account whether the transit system can be expected to meet the required performance standard. If a required performance standard is not met, the tribe may lose funding from that particular source. Some funding programs may not set a minimum performance standard, but instead use per- formance measures as part of a competitive grant award process. Colorado uses several perfor- mance measures to award portions of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5310 and Section 5311 programs. Federal emphasis on using performance measures in the grant award process makes it likely that more states will incorporate specific performance measures into their processes. Tribes should determine if performance measures will be used for any grants that may be requested and, if so, how competitive they may be based on those performance measures. As new services or service changes are implemented, they should be monitored to determine if the performance measures are being met. TCRP Report 136: Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response Transportation: Measuring, Assess- ing, and Improving Performance describes many factors that influence the productivity of rural demand-response transit service. Transit managers and policy makers control some factors, while other factors are beyond the control of the local transit agency. Transit managers can evaluate their services using their selected performance measures and adjust the services by addressing factors that are within their control. Challenges for Tribal Transit Systems Tribes face many challenges in providing tribal transit services. Among the most common challenges faced by tribal transit programs are low-density and dispersed populations, large ser- vice areas, long travel distances, geographical constraints, and varying perceptions about what groups can and should be served. These challenges may directly affect the feasibility of specific types of service. As an example, fixed-route service seldom works well in low-density areas. Low-Density Population Many reservations have low-density populations. Low population density means low pas- senger productivity. This results from the long distances between passengers who need rides. Large Service Areas Some tribes have large areas to serve. In addition, most of these areas have low population densities. This combination of factors makes it difficult to provide services efficiently and also results in low passenger productivity.
64 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook The Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma has a 13-county service area. According to Angie Gilliam, Transportation Director of Chickasaw Nation, âChickasaw Nation Transportation Services has one of the biggest service areas in the state of Oklahoma. A 13-county service area in Oklahoma means serving a very rural area, large square miles, and long travel times which makes providing transit service a challenge.â The transit service tries its best to conserve gas by grouping at least two or three trips. These trips are so spread out that it takes a full day to serve them. Choctaw Transit also serves a large geographic area, covering 11,000 square miles over a 10Â½-county area in southeast Oklahoma (Choctaw, Bryan, McCurtain, Pushmataha, Pittsburg, Atoka, Laflore, Hughes, Coal, Latimer, and Haskell). Johnny James, Director of Choctaw Tran- sit, says, Most of these areas are rural and many of our clients live on dirt roads. In addition to the huge service area, we operate many long-distance trips to Oklahoma City, Dallas, Tulsa, and Fort Smith in Arkansas. Since the local hospital does not have services for dialysis, chemotherapy, and radiation, we take those long-distance trips outside the Nation boundaries. Long Travel Distances Low population densities, large service areas, and the physical isolation of most reservations mean that tribal transit services have to travel long distances before passengers can access basic services, such as employment, medical appointments, grocery shopping, and education. Navajo Transit travels long distances to serve passengers. Lee Bigwater, department manager of Navajo Transit, gives an example of the long-distance trips that the transit service operates. âA trip from Tuba City to Window Rock that goes through the Hopi Reservation is a four-hour drive that a lot of people use.â He adds that winter weather can add to the challenges of traveling these long distances. Dispersed Destinations Transit works well with higher densities, well-developed pedestrian infrastructure, and con- centrated destinations. Given the large service areas and physical isolation of many reservations, destinations and urban areas that people want to access for services and amenities often are dispersed. These factors can make transit planning and operations difficult on reservations. Standing Rock Public Transportation (SR Transportation, also called Standing Rock Public Transit) faces challenges in serving its passengers because of the tribeâs location in such a rural setting and the dispersion of communitiesâsome as many 60 to 70 miles apart. According to SR Transportation Director Pamela Ternes, SR Transportation needs more demand-response service, but it is difficult to provide service when the population is so spread outâsome as far as 60 to 70 miles apart. We used to have clients sitting and wait- ing after their medical appointments for extended periods of time before the bus/van could get back to pick them up. This has improved lately due to partnerships with other agencies. The advisory committee with agency/program representatives has been helpful in coordinating routes for their clients/customers. Geographical Constraints Some tribes find that geographical constraints interfere with the efficiency of transit services. Red Lake Transit operates around a large lake. Mike Ness, director of Red Lake Transit, says, âIt is 11 miles by straight-line distance, but is 35 miles by land due to the location of the lake. There are clients with homes all along the highway and lake.â In addition, client addresses are not identified by street names or numbers, which means the transit service must rely on spoken directions, adding to the challenges for tribal transit services.
transit Service planning 65 Cherokee Transit has difficulty providing service due to the rural nature of the reservation it serves, which is further exacerbated by the terrain. Kathy Littlejohn, transit manager of Cherokee Transit, says, The furthest point out in the reservation is 18 miles, but it takes more than an hour to travel that distance due to 30 miles-per-hour speed limit and steep and winding roads without guard rails. With the demand-response nature of the service, the vehicles will travel on main roads, then wind around the communities in order to get to one person. Thus, the transit service struggles with geographic constraints that make it less efficient. Ethnic and Racial Composition of Ridership Many tribal transit services face perception issues that the services provided are only for tribal members when, in fact, the services are open to the general public. In such cases, tribal transit services have to work on marketing and advertising that the services provided are open to the general public. Some tribes face challenges from within the tribe to serve only tribal members. Because the tribes provide the local match for government grants, they are reluctant to open transit services to the general public. The reluctance on the part of the tribe to work with non-tribes also arises due to past injustices. Many tribes consider starting transit services for tribal members only, but change their deci- sion based on the needs, benefits, and efficiencies in serving the general public. In the initial stages of planning their Road to Work program, the tribal elders of the Chickasaw Nation decided that they would rather operate a system solely for tribal members that would provide service to jobs at tribal-owned and tribal-operated businesses. After looking at the large areas with low popula- tion densities served by the Chickasaw Nation Transportation Services, as well as the benefits of serving the general public, the Chickasaw Nation started the Road to Work program in 2008 as a general public transit service with priority given to Native Americans. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) live on the Flathead Reservation, which has approximately 30,000 residents. Approximately 7,500 of these residents are Native Ameri- cans (25 percent of the total population), which means the reservation has a predominantly white population. The CSKT Department of Human Resource Development (DHRD) began in 2002 with the tribe receiving funds for displaced woodworkers. DHRD clients (tribal members) were transported to the DHRD office in Pablo, MT, and to places of employment that DHRD arranged for these tribal members. Once the grant ran out, the DHRD program received many calls to provide transportation. The transit service realized that the need for transportation was much greater in scope than serving the DHRD office and tribal members. In 2005, DHRD Tran- sit became a formal transit program serving both tribal members and the general public. Selecting the Appropriate Service Type Selecting the appropriate type of service is an important step in developing a new service or enhancing existing services. Many successful tribal transit programs incorporate a variety of service types in their systems. Fixed-route service operating in corridors with higher demand may be supplemented by demand-response service in areas of lower demand and to meet the requirements for ADA complementary paratransit service. In selecting the appropriate type of service, planners consider numerous factors, including the following: â¢ Demand and productivity: An estimate of demand should indicate the potential ridership for each type of service. Fixed-route service should be considered only if the productivity
66 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook is expected to be 10 passengers per hour or more. Demand-response service typically can achieve a level of about five passengers per hour. Between these two levels, hybrid types of service, such as route-deviation or checkpoint service, should be considered. â¢ ADA complementary paratransit service: If fixed-route transit is operated, the transit agency must provide complementary paratransit service. For small systems, this requirement can effectively double the cost of providing service. For larger systems, the complementary transit service may be as much as one-quarter of the total operating budget. â¢ Service area characteristics: Low-density areas usually are served better by something other than fixed-route service. Many urban areas with extensive fixed-route service have started providing other services in lower-density suburban areas because one vehicle is able to cover a much larger area. â¢ Passenger needs: Different types of passengers have different needs. Commuters need to arrive at their place of employment on time and want to leave as soon as they finish work. They want to minimize travel times. Older passengers may be willing to ride for longer peri- ods, but need to arrive on time for appointments. Patients leaving dialysis treatment typically need the minimum amount of travel time possible. The specific needs of the people to be served must be considered in selecting the type of service to best meet those needs. â¢ Operating costs: For commuters, carpool and vanpool services may offer a much lower cost given the volunteer drivers. â¢ Capital costs: Capital costs of vehicles and equipment must be considered. For example, operation of a demand-response service or a hybrid service that involves real-time dispatching will require dispatching software to assist the schedulers and dispatchers. â¢ Volunteer drivers: Some communities have a high level of volunteerism. Volunteers may be available to drive for longer-distance individual medical trips or other trips that are expensive to serve. This is not the case in all communities, however, and appears to be rare in tribal com- munities based on responses from tribal transit programs. Different types of service may be appropriate in different portions of the service area or at different times. For example, it may be appropriate to run a fixed-route schedule during peak times to serve commuters and college students, then transition to a flexible-route or demand-response service during periods of lower demand in order to provide medical and shopping trips. The planning process considers several service options to determine the best type of service for different areas, different times, and specific population segments. Resources available for service planning include TCRP Report 140: A Guide for Planning and Operating Flexible Public Trans- portation Services and TCRP Report 135: Controlling System Costs: Basic and Advanced Scheduling Manuals and Contemporary Issues in Transit Scheduling. Coordination of Transportation Programs Coordination of transportation programs has been called the best way to stretch scarce resources and improve mobility for everyone. Coordination is a technique for better resource management in which improved organization strategies are applied to achieve greater cost-effectiveness in service delivery. Coordination is about shared power, which means shared responsibility, shared management, and shared funding. Coordination of transportation services is best seen as a process in which two or more organi- zations interact to jointly accomplish their transportation objectives. Like many other political processes, coordination involves power and control over resources, which means it can be sub- ject to the usual political problems and pressures, such as competing personalities and changing environments.
transit Service planning 67 Coordination can improve transportation system performance by eliminating duplicate efforts and increasing the efficiency of transportation operations. Coordinating transportation often means doing better with existing resources. It requires working together with people from different agencies and backgrounds. The fundamental goal of coordinating transportation systems is to increase the number of people served and the number of rides provided with existing resources. Coordination achieves these goals through better resource management. Although many benefits result from coor- dination of services, these benefits are not always understood. Resources, such as the material developed for the North Country Public Transportation Participation Pilot Project, are available to help develop an understanding of those benefits. Coordination of transportation systems has been promoted since the late 1960s; however, only recently has a real push for coordination been emphasized at the federal level. More and more, communities are recognizing the scarcity of resources (fuel, vehicles, drivers, and fund- ing) and that cost-effective, efficient delivery of transportation services is essential if local com- munities are to ensure continued access to vital human services, employment, and recreation resources and to meet other opportunities and needs. Successful tribal transit programs have found that coordination of the various transportation programs within the tribe and coordination with non-tribal transit systems yield similar benefits in increasing the mobility of residents, and that successful coordination efforts require a firm understanding of local needs and resources. Levels of Coordination Varying levels of coordination can be applied across a broad spectrum of operating scenar- ios. Coordination of transportation services has been interpreted as everything from telephone conversations to transfers of vehicle ownership. Very low levels of coordination might involve sharing rides on vehicles operated by different agencies, whereas very high levels of coordination might involve shared ownership of vehicles, shared responsibilities for maintenance, a brokerage established for all transportation agencies, and other agreements. It is important that the tribeâs transit advisory committee and stakeholders understand that coordination of services gener- ally takes some time and effort on the part of the local human service agencies and providers, especially given that several different government and tribal affiliations typically are involved. Four distinct phases or levels of coordination have been identified with regard to shared use and efficient operation of equipment and facilities: communication, cooperation, coordination, and consolidation. These levels are defined as follows: â¢ Communication involves recognition and understanding of a problem and discussion of pos- sible solutions. Effective communication improves the working relationships among various organizations that influence transportation developments within their particular jurisdiction. â¢ Cooperation involves individuals actively working together in some loose association in a cooperative way. The individuals or individual agencies retain their separate identities. â¢ Coordination involves bringing together independent agencies to act together in a concerted way to provide for the smooth interaction of separate units of a transportation system. In coordination, the primary concern is in regard to common funds, equipment, facilities, or operations. Members or agencies preserve their separate identities. â¢ Consolidation involves joining or merging agencies for mutual advantage. In the case of transportation services, consolidation is used in reference to a fully integrated transporta- tion system in which the individual entities have been combined or consolidated into one integrated public transportation system. For the purpose of transportation, individual agency identity is no longer maintained.
68 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook Common Coordination Strategies This section describes a variety of coordination strategies. Joint Procurement Joint procurement (or bulk purchasing) is a cost-effective strategy for increasing purchas- ing power. Joint maintenance and fuel purchases are being used more widely across the coun- try, in part to offset rising costs of parts and fuel. Shared maintenance can be arranged easily between agencies in a given locale. Insurance pooling is likely the most difficult joint procure- ment possibility. Shared Vehicle Storage and Maintenance Facilities Facility costs may be reduced when agencies work together to develop and share a facility for vehicle storage and maintenance. Shared storage can aid in reducing engine wear during cold weather startup, especially if it enables vehicles to be stored inside. If a provider conducts its own maintenance on vehicles, it can likely share maintenance costs with another local provider. Joint Grant Applications Transit and human service providers in a region can work together to coordinate grant sub- missions. Grants should be coordinated so that duplication of requests is minimized. This will look more favorable to FTA and other grant reviewers. Joint Training Programs Joint training programs covering everything from preventive maintenance to safe wheelchair tie-down procedures can lead to more highly skilled employees. Joint training also can reduce training costs for agencies that pool the use of in-house trainers with specialized expertise. For example, one agency can provide passenger assistance training, another agency can specialize in preventive maintenance training, and so forth. Agencies also can purchase special training from reputable organizations and invite other agenciesâ employees to attend, with the training costs shared among the agencies. Sharing Expertise Agencies can share expertise in such areas as grant writing, computer technology, and general assistance in operation of transportation services (such as tips for dispatching or accounting pro- cedures). Sharing expertise may be as general as providing a list of personnel across the region who have some expertise in a particular field that may benefit another agency. A âyellow pagesâ of subject-matter experts made available to each agency may be helpful in operating transporta- tion service. Coalitions A coalition is a group of agencies and organizations that have committed to coordinating transportation and have access to funding. Effective coalitions will include local stakeholders, providers, decision makers, business leaders, councils of government, users, and other parties as appropriate. A coalition may be informal or formal, but an effective group will be recognized by the communityâs decision makers and will have some standing within the community. Coali- tions can be established for a specific purpose, such as to obtain specific funding, or for broad- based purposes, such as to educate local communities about transportation needs. Coordinating Council Similar to a coalition, a coordinating council is made up of a collection of agencies and part- ners that share a common goal: coordinating transportation resources. This group differs from
transit Service planning 69 a coalition in that it primarily brings together agencies that have a need for service with other groups, such as local municipalities, and is specifically formed to accomplish a strategic goal, such as to implement a new service. The coordinating council acts in a similar way as a trans- portation advisory committee in a regional area. Joint Planning and Decision Making Joint planning and decision making involves agencies working cooperatively with other, similar agencies or with a local provider to make known the needs of their clients and become involved in the local planning of services. Vehicle Sharing Vehicle sharing requires that agencies own and operate vehicles. Memoranda of understand- ing or joint agreements are needed for this strategy to work properly. The agencies that operate vehicles are able to share those vehicles with other agencies in a variety of circumstances, such as when an agency vehicle has a mechanical breakdown, when capacity for a specific trip is at its maximum, or when a vehicle is used by another agency to meet peak demands. Contracts for Service An agency can contract with another agency or entity to provide needed trips. Contracts for ser- vice may be executed occasionally, on an as-needed basis, or as a regular part of scheduled service. Provide Vehicles An agency can provide a used vehicleâone that is either being replaced or retiredâto another agency. This can be done either through a transfer of title, a donation for a small price (in the case of a retired vehicle), or by sale to a local agency in desperate need of a replacement vehicle. One-Call Center A shared informational telephone line provides potential users with the most convenient access to information on all transportation services in the region. Centralized Functions (Reservations, Scheduling, Dispatching) A single office can oversee vehicle dispatching and schedule reservations for all participating transportation agencies in a geographic area. Brokerage A brokerage can enable all participating transportation providers to closely coordinate their services while retaining their own services and identities. A brokerage can be developed sepa- rately or as part of an existing agency, perhaps growing from a shared informational phone line as described above. The difference is that, with the brokerage arrangement, the broker schedules each trip on the most efficient vehicle regardless of provider. The brokerage maintains service contracts with each of the providers, pays the transportation provider for the trip, and bills the sponsoring agency for the service. The primary function of the brokerage is to operate the central reservation and dispatch cen- ter for all of the services. Potential riders call one phone number to make a reservation or receive information about any transit or paratransit service in the area. The effectiveness of a brokerage depends on the participating agencies providing the broker with up-to-date service information. Appropriate software for reservations and scheduling will be required to direct callers to the most appropriate service and provide agencies with the most efficient routes of travel. Reservation and scheduling software performance can be enhanced by the installation of mobile data terminals (MDTs) and automatic vehicle location systems
70 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook (AVLs). These pieces of hardware enable drivers and dispatchers to easily communicate essential information. For smaller rural systems, MDTs and AVLs are not required but could enhance the capabilities of the operation. Creating a brokerage or coordinating under a lead agency is easier if an agency with the neces- sary experience and existing infrastructure can assume the role of lead agency or broker. The lead agency gains the responsibilities of managing reservations, dispatching vehicles, and reporting the activities of the brokerage service to member agencies and various federal, state, and local agencies. The creation of the brokerage relationship also requires the lead agency to contract with all member agencies to explicitly state what services will be provided at what cost. The primary costs associated with creating a coordinated public transportation system under a lead agency or brokerage relate to the software, hardware, and staff requirements of imple- menting the reservation and dispatch center. A geographic information system (GIS)âbased reservation and dispatch software system can be a considerable investment. Although significant costs are associated with setting up a brokerage, numerous benefits come with such a technologically advanced coordination effort. A central reservation system that relies on reservation and dispatch software increases efficiency by spreading trips throughout the sys- tem and helping each agency optimize its routes. Riders find the system easier to use and more responsive to their needs. Where demand for transportation services exceeds current capacity, gains in efficiency typi- cally enable the system to meet more of the demand. Accommodating greater demand limits the degree to which efficiency gains may be used to reduce the number of vehicles operating in the region; however, increasing ridership may result in a lower cost per trip and reduce the distances traveled per trip. Sharing reservation and dispatch services also has the potential to reduce the per-agency cost of managing their services by eliminating duplication of administrative services. However, implementation of this level of organization requires a commitment of extensive time and con- siderable local resources from the participating agencies. Agreements among the member agencies require careful consideration to assure each agency that its clients and township or municipal residents will receive equal and fair treatment for scheduling of trips. Many transportation providers have specific client transportation needs and some services may be provided only to eligible patrons. The largest barrier to overcome under a brokerage model of coordination is local boundaries. Often when discussing coordination of trips, the term âturf warsâ emerges. This is common in many areas across the United States, and until turf and boundary issues are resolved, this model of service is likely to fail. For a variety of reasons, often related to funding constraints, âCommu- nity Xâ may provide transportation services only within that community. Under the brokerage model, Community X must be willing to pool its funds for a larger system that provides trips to other agencies, populations, or areas. A third approach to establishing a brokerage is for a lead agency to establish a contract with the brokerage and for the brokerage to then establish all of the contracts with the operators. Using this approach, the lead agency has a single contract with the brokerage plus funding agree- ments with the sponsoring agencies. Mobility Management Mobility management is an approach to planning, managing, and delivering coordinated transportation services to a variety of customers that include older adults, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes. The approach focuses on building coordination among public
transit Service planning 71 transportation providers, other transportation providers, and those agencies whose clients have transportation needs. Mobility management is defined as âshort-range planning and manage- ment activities and projects for improving coordination among public transportation and other transportation service providers.â The concept includes personnel and related technology for mobility management. According to United We Ride, steps to establishing a mobility management system include creating an inventory of existing transportation resources, identifying community needs, devel- oping strategies to meet those needs, coordinating financial and other resources, improving coordination through transportation brokerage systems, training staff and volunteers, and promoting the use of innovative technologies and services to improve customer service and coordination. Under SAFETEA-LU, mobility management is an eligible capital expense under FTA Program Sections 5310, 5311, 5316, and 5317. This means FTA will fund up to 80 percent of expenses related to mobility management. FTA also permits an agency to use non-Department of Trans- portation (non-DOT) funds to meet match requirements. Facilities Planning for adequate facilities helps ensure success. Many small rural and tribal transit sys- tems begin using some available vacant space to house the facility. The space may have been vacant because it was substandard, or it may be otherwise unsuitable for the purpose. Although use of inadequate space may be acceptable at the outset if doing so is necessary to start the transit program, planning should provide for development of adequate space. Actual space requirements will be determined by the size of the program, the number and type of vehicles, and the number of employees. Effective facilities planning allows adequate space for each of the functions to be housed within the facility. Typical functional requirements for vari- ous facilities are shown on plan documents. Often the administrative facility is combined with the operations and maintenance facility, but this is not necessary. Indoor vehicle parking is a consideration in northern climates because of harsh winter weather conditions. Adequate vehicle storage will decrease vehicle maintenance problems and improve vehicle longevity. Hazards and Security Identifying the Need for a Hazard and Security Plan Transportation providers serving tribal communities face a number of security challenges. Resources are limited, staff is small, and, typically, major security events are not the norm. For these reasons, security planningâespecially for catastrophic eventsâoften is set aside. Security issues may be seen as a remote possibility that would divert precious resources from the prevail- ing day-to-day need to provide transportation services. Still, transit providers need a Hazard and Security Plan (HSP) that anticipates security events both severe (e.g., a bomb threat) and routine (e.g., disturbances onboard vehicles), particularly for FTA-funded programs. Fortunately, many of the basic planning features are the same for both types of events: training new employees about what to look for in a range of situations, providing simple, step-by-step policies, making it clear to employees when to involve organiza- tions outside the transit agency, and stressing communications with the dispatcher at all times. Administrative Facility Requirements: â¢ Manager and admin- istrative offices â¢ Dispatching and scheduling â¢ Document storage â¢ Conference room â¢ Computer and server space Maintenance and Operations Facility Requirements: â¢ Vehicle storage â¢ Vehicle wash bay â¢ Vehicle maintenance bays â¢ Parts storage â¢ Battery storage â¢ Tire shop â¢ Tire storage â¢ Driver break room â¢ Training room â¢ Maintenance office â¢ Cash handling area
72 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook The HSP is designed to address both routine and severe security events. The policies docu- mented in the plan will have cross-applicability and will enable the organization to respond to and mitigate other events, such as safety incidents and natural disasters. The plan addresses how the agency will respond to and recover from minor or major disruptions as well as damage to physical equipment. Serious events may include breakdown of vehicles; communications interruptions; inability to locate staff; destruction of records, equipment, and supplies; inability of staff (who may themselves be victims) to cope with loss; and confusion among personnel. Routine events may include staff injuries (e.g., from workplace violence) or damage to security equipment (e.g., fences or alarms). Much of the material in this section has been taken from TCRP Report 86: Public Transporta- tion Security, Volume 10: Hazard and Security Plan Workshop: Instructor Guide, which can be referenced for more detail. The planning approach and the final HSP will emphasize these five fundamentals: 1. Clear agency policies: People know what to expect. 2. Training new employees in basic policies and procedures: This training can be done in con- junction with other efforts. 3. Communication within the agency: When faced with a hazard or security situation, employ- ees should know both what to do and when to communicate situations to others within the agency and request guidance. 4. Communications with outside organizations: Law enforcement, fire, first responders, and emergency organizations in the same area have likely developed communications plans and can assist the transit system in developing approaches to communicate with other outside agencies. 5. Practicing: Whether addressing day-to-day operations (e.g., security issues that might be identified in the daily vehicle inspection sheet) or less-frequent situations (e.g., emergency evacuation drills), practicing appropriate responses is an important part of a security plan. Process for Developing the HSP The HSP includes documents, responsibilities, training assignments, and related materials. The name âHazard and Security Planâ stresses the documentâs applicability to a wide variety of hazards, including security events, using an âall-hazardsâ framework. An HSP will help a tribal transit system prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from several types of events. Addressing the following tasks helps ensure that the transit system is prepared in each of these areas. â¢ Prepare â Identify participants âª Identify transit system participants by developing contact lists, emergency numbers, emergency protocols, agency assets. âª Prepare and coordinate participants using security surveys, employee and management training in security. âª Contact outside participants, such as tribal entities, county emergency coordinator, local fire, police, emergency medical services, volunteer organizations, other transit agencies. âª Develop mutual aid agreements. â Establish communications guidelines and tools âª Develop master emergency lists. âª Develop mobilization tools. âª Provide emergency contact lists. âª Plan for tracking employees, passengers, vehicles, and supplies. âª Develop written communication plans.
transit Service planning 73 â¢ Prevent â Technology to Protect System âª Provide equipment as appropriate to protect the agency, such as radio, dispatch, alarms, fences, locks, cameras, AVL. âª Design systems to be interoperable and reliable with appropriate backup. âª Understand how the equipment will function in the event of a disaster. â Increase training and awareness âª Implement procedures to safeguard agency employees, passengers, vehicles, facilities, and other assets. âª Develop policies to increase awareness and understanding of these procedures. âª Train employees to know and follow these policies. âª Establish a communications network linked to the county and local plan. â¢ Respond â Identify assets âª Working with insurance agency, develop an inventory of physical transit assets that need to be protected. âª Identify non-physical assets that must be maintained during an emergency, recognizing that transit provides a lifeline to the community. âª Develop a list of resources, such as vehicles, communications equipment, or personnel that the transit agency can make available in the event of an emergency. â Respond to events âª Develop tools for response to security events and emergencies. âª Develop a chain of command for emergencies, including a succession plan for transfer of leadership responsibilities in the event someone is unavailable or incapacitated. âª Develop backup procedures for vital agency assets and information. âª Develop public information procedures. âª Coordinate with county emergency coordinator. â¢ Recover â Assess âª Develop procedures to assess impacts to agency resources. âª Develop tools for documenting the expenses incurred while dealing with an event. âª Develop tools for recording resource needs identified as a result of the incident. âª Implement procedures for reviewing preparation plans for improvement following the event. â Future planning âª Identify agency needs to adjust long-term goals. âª Identify agency needs to adjust finances and budgets. âª Identify agency needs to build in redundancies. âª Identify agency needs to increase documentation. âª Implement lessons learned with shared processes with the county emergency coordina- tor or agency emergency response personnel. Building the HSP Figure 7.2 graphically depicts a process to develop the HSP. The tables on the following pages give examples of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities. Prevention Activities Prevention activities are the actions taken by your tribal transit service to try to ensure that hazard or security incidents do not occur. Examples of prevention activities are drivers and
74 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook mechanics performing vehicle checks to detect suspicious packages, thereby preventing an inci- dent involving a dangerous substance, and securing vehicle keys to prevent theft of vehicles. Table 7.1 lists hazard prevention activities that may be included in the HSP. Mitigation Activities Mitigation activities are actions taken to reduce the probability and severity of damage, asset loss, or human consequences like injuries or fatalities. Sometimes consequences must be con- tained; mitigation activities also address this need. For example, the transit agency may designate a staff member to check weather conditions to ensure that it is safe to send vehicles out on routes. Although it is impossible to prevent hazardous weather, proper action can limit the conse- quences weather hazards may impose on vehicles, passengers, and employees. The designated staff member may be authorized to make decisions about what routes are safe to run or how long various services will safely run âbehind schedule,â thereby mitigating the risks and effects of hazardous weather conditions. In a different scenario, robberies or break-ins may occur at any office. Establishing a strict policy that governs how to deal with perpetrators and guidelines that limit the amount of cash kept on the premises are two actions that mitigate potential financial losses and bodily harm. Table 7.2 provides further examples of mitigation activities. Figure 7.2. Hazard and security plan development. Source: TCRP Report 86: Public Transportation Security, Volume 10: Hazard and Security Plan Workshop: Instructor Guide, Appendix B, Slide B-44. Hazard and Security Plan Development
transit Service planning 75 Preparation Approaches and Necessary Materials Over time, some security-related incidents will occur, but the transit agency can be ready with preparedness activities that anticipate and minimize the impacts of such incidents. Proper planning equips employees to better manage these incidents. Emergencies and security events often occur and unfold quickly. To ensure that responses are effective, it is essential that employ- ees and outside agencies not be compelled to improvise their reactions. Careful planning must Source: TCRP Report 86: Public Transportation Security, Volume 10: Hazard and Security Plan Workshop: Instructor Guide. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2005, Appendix F, p. 22. . Table 7.1. Prevention activities.
76 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook occur ahead of time. This planning entails establishing lines of authority and responsibilities for security and emergency actions, arranging for the resources to support them, and periodically conducting drills or practice sessions along with training events. The HSP should designate facilities, equipment, and other resources that will support the execution of assigned duties in the event of an incident, and provide for ongoing maintenance and testing of resources as well as staff training. Preparedness activities are different from mitigation activities. Mitigation activities focus on preventing the worst consequences of hazards when they occur. Preparedness activities are plan- ning measures that organizations can take to ready themselves and to ensure that reactions to events are efficient and effective. Table 7.3 provides examples of preparedness activities that might be included in the HSP. Table 7.2. Mitigation activities. Source: TCRP Report 86, Volume 10: Hazard and Security Plan Workshop: Instructor Guide. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2005, Appendix F, p. 34.
transit Service planning 77 Table 7.3. Preparedness activities. Source: TCRP Report 86, Volume 10: Hazard and Security Plan Workshop: Instructor Guide. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2005, Appendix F, pp. 41-2.
78 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook Table 7.4. Response activities. Source: TCRP Report 86, Volume 10: Hazard and Security Plan Workshop: Instructor Guide. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2005, Appendix F, pp. 52-3. Response Activities Response activities involve actions specified to be taken in the event of emergencies or haz- ards. Using proper procedures and following established policies will help protect employees, passengers, and others, while safeguarding property. Response policies and procedures provide the transit system with tools to manage incidents. Table 7.4 lists actions that could be part of the response activities outlined in the HSP. Note that Table 7.4 has no column for âfrequency.â Unlike the other measures, response activities are not undertaken on a regular basis. Rather, they are triggered in response to a specific emergency or security incident.
transit Service planning 79 Maintenance and Safety Plan Standards for Maintenance and Safety An excellent guide to planning for vehicle maintenance has been published by the Texas Department of Transportation (Texas DOT). This section of the guidebook includes material excerpted and adapted from pages in the Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, available at http://www.dot.state.tx.us/PTN/documents/mgmtguide.pdf. A written maintenance plan should include specific goals and objectives and a means of achieving them. The overall goal is to keep vehicles out of the shop and in service. At minimum, the goals and objectives of the maintenance program should address the fol- lowing elements: â¢ Flexibility for changes in route, schedule, environment, new technology, and other impacts â¢ Chassis, body, and component manufacturersâ recommended maintenance practices â¢ Systematic inspections, services, and repairs performed under local environmental, state, federal, and other regulations that apply â¢ Defect reporting â¢ A fleet life plan â¢ The proper level of fiscal control â¢ The proper management of parts, equipment, facilities, fleet, and personnel â¢ A warranty recovery plan Management, driver trainers, drivers, fuelers, and mechanics all have important roles in the preventive maintenance of a tribal transit fleet. Management: Management must be sure that all staff is properly trained in preventive main- tenance. The manager must know all parts of the preventive maintenance program, supervise its implementation, and evaluate its effectiveness through audits and fiscal control. Driver trainers: Trainers must ensure that all drivers understand and can perform their role in preventive maintenance. Drivers: The driver is the only person who sees, hears, and feels the vehicle every day it is driven. Besides being vigilant and reporting observations, the driver must know the proper start- ing, accelerating, shifting, and braking procedures to extend the life of the equipment. Fuelers: Fuelers must make sure that all fluid levels are checked each time the vehicle is fueled. No vehicle should be sent into service low on oil, antifreeze, automatic transmission, or power steer- ing fluid. Unsealed batteries and windshield washer fluid must also be checked and filled. Fuelers must be trained to spot cracked or broken belts, loose or broken brackets, or other worn parts. They should be alert for unusual noises, bad tires, noisy or poor brakes, and clutch adjustments. Mechanics: Mechanics are the most accountable employees in executing preventive mainte- nance. Because of the variety of vehicles, mechanics must be specifically trained for each type of vehicle they might maintain. Upon completing the preventive maintenance, the mechanic signs the preventive maintenance sheet accounting for the work that has been done. Preventive Maintenance and Inspections Policy should require preventive maintenance inspections and services to follow the mini- mums required by manufacturers, suppliers, or builders. If preventive maintenance services are not done according to the guidelines of the manufacturer, supplier, or builder, a transit agency may jeopardize any claim to a warranty.
80 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook Preventive maintenance inspections and services should be performed and documented according to a schedule. All documentation for a specific vehicle should be kept through the life of the vehicle. Whenever a mechanic or tow truck is dispatched to a vehicle in service, the road call also should be documented in a road call report (Figure 7.3). The road call report can be completed by the dispatcher or the maintenance technician; assigning one person to this responsibility can avoid duplication of paperwork. Road calls may be classified as chargeable Source: Texas DOT. Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, 2003, page 29. Figure 7.3. Sample road call report.
transit Service planning 81 (a maintenance item) or non-chargeable (a warranty item), and may be categorized by driver, fault, vehicle, and mechanic. The purpose of monitoring road call reports is to identify failure trends and evaluate the transit agencyâs overall maintenance performance. A summary report can be generated that includes a listing of all vehicles that experienced service interruptions within a given time period (Figure 7.4). The summary report can help management focus training in areas that need it most or determine problems that need to be resolved. Scheduled preventive maintenance inspections provide maintenance personnel an opportu- nity to detect and repair vehicle damage or wear before major repairs are necessary. Preventive maintenance inspections often make use of a checklist (see Figure 7.5). Each operation requires a check and a signature for completion. Frequently, the inspection checklist follows a separate procedures manual. The completed checklist documents the following information: â¢ Each item to be checked â¢ All procedures and repairs performed â¢ Routine application of fluids â¢ Inspection interval (daily or weekly) The inspection procedures manual describes the inspection procedures for each item on the checklist; specifies a pass/fail standard for each item; and details actions to correct each problem. Emergency and Safety Equipment Personnel Safety The health and well-being of every employee is of vital importance. Active participation by each employee is mandatory in establishing a safe work environment. The transit company should take steps regularly to keep the employees aware of required safety and health procedures, and set expectations for employee compliance with the prescribed guidelines and procedures. Personnel Protective Equipment Safety policy should state that employees are required to wear all protective equipment at the proper times and in the proper environments. Employees should be informed that failure to wear the required protective equipment is cause for disciplinary action. Some protective equip- ment may be required to be provided by the employer; other equipment may be the responsi- bility of the employee. The transit companyâs safety policy should specify who is responsible for obtaining or providing the equipment, and employee training should cover procedures for obtaining, storing, and using all personnel protective equipment. Personnel protective equip- ment may include the following items: â¢ Eye protection: Eye protection (e.g., goggles, masks, or hoods) should be worn at all times when under a vehicle and when using grinders, buffers, cutting equipment, lathes, and other related tools. â¢ Hearing protection: Hearing protectors (e.g., earplugs, ear muffs) must be made available to all employees exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater at no cost to the employees. Hearing protectors shall be replaced as necessary. Employees shall be given the opportunity to select their hearing protectors from a variety of suitable protectors provided by the employer. â¢ Hand protection: Appropriate gloves should be worn to protect employees while handling chemicals, using razor blades, and when welding or cutting. The gloves should extend over the forearms to protect against sparks or chemical splashes. â¢ Welding Hood: A welding hood should be worn at all times when welding. Welding goggles should be worn when using cutting torches.
Source: Texas DOT. Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, 2003, page 30. Figure 7.4. Sample road call summary report.
Source: Texas DOT. Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, 2003, page 32. Reproduced with permission from Florida DOT. Figure 7.5. Sample preventive maintenance checklist.
84 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook â¢ Footwear: Soft-soled shoes should be prohibited in all vehicle maintenance areas. Shoes with steel or reinforced toes and nonskid soles are highly recommended. â¢ Respirators: The transit company should furnish respirators and require that all mechanics wear them when exposed to lead, volatile organic compounds, or any airborne hazardous material listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A respirator or dust mask approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or the Occu- pational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must be worn while sanding or grinding any painted or primed surfaces. Respirators should be worn by anyone exposed by the activity, regardless of the personâs distance from the point where the contamination is generated. Res- pirators should be inspected prior to use for proper exhaust and inhalation valves, cartridge pre-filter, headband adjustment, and overall condition. â¢ Carbon monoxide detectors: Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and toxic gas produced as a by-product of combustion, including that in vehicle engines. CO accumulation is aggravated if the amount of fresh air flowing into the shop is limited. CO exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea in employees. Employers should install a carbon monoxide detector that conforms to minimum sensitivity and alarm characteristics as defined by Underwriters Laboratory in UL 2034. Conduct Transit company policies and procedures also should specify conduct that promotes safety in the workplace. Items that might be covered with regard to conduct include the following: â¢ Horseplay: Horseplay is prohibited. Serious accidents and injuries can occur as a result of practical jokes and thoughtless pranks played on unsuspecting workers. â¢ Lifting technique: Use proper lifting techniques at all times when lifting objects. Bend the knees to use leg power and get into a proper position before lifting. Ask for assistance from fellow workers when dealing with heavy loads. It also is important to avoid twisting and awkward/jerky movements during a lift or while carrying an object. â¢ Push/pull/torque: To prevent injuries, employees should be reminded to use caution not to overexert when pushing, pulling, or using a torque wrench, and to watch the hand clearance closely. â¢ Tool use and technique: The safety plan should specifically encourage any employee who is unsure about the proper use of a tool or the proper technique to ask for assistance before continuing. Facility Safety The maintenance facility needs to be kept safe also. Safety is the most important concern in managing a maintenance facility. It is the responsibility of management to require and ensure that safe practices are in place at all times, and to conduct regular and documented safety meet- ings. All safety posters and reminders should be posted in the shop. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and regulations provide excellent guidance on facility maintenance practices. People working in the maintenance facility should receive training and regular reminders about the following topics: â¢ Fire safety â¢ Location of shop power disconnect â¢ First aid â¢ Shop layout and exit routes â¢ Hazard communication as described in the companyâs HSP Facilities should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis, just as vehicles and other equipment are. Figure 7.6 presents an inspection form to use for facility maintenance.
transit Service planning 85 Source: Texas DOT. Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, 2003, page 42. Figure 7.6. Sample facility inspection form.
86 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook ADA-Accessibility Equipment Accessible vehicles and equipment are necessary for the fleet. Equipment may include â¢ lifts, ramps, and other means of access to vehicles; â¢ securement devices, such as clamps or tie-downs; â¢ elevators; and â¢ signage, stop annunciators, or systems to aid communication with persons who have impaired vision or hearing. Routine inspection, testing, and maintenance of accessibility equipment on vehicles and in facilities are important tasks. Damaged or inoperable accessibility features must be repaired promptly. When an accessibility feature is out of order, the transit agency must take reasonable steps to accommodate persons with disabilities who would otherwise use the feature. Contracted Versus In-House Maintenance Transit agencies frequently choose to have some or all of their maintenance work performed under a contract. This section describes some of the issues related to contracting for mainte- nance. For tribal transit programs, contracting for maintenance may not be a viable option. A qualified organization must be available to perform the maintenance work, and finding such a qualified organization may be difficult in more remote locations. Maintenance may be per- formed by a tribal fleet maintenance department. In this case, many of the issues described in this section should also be considered. Standards for Subcontractors When equipment is maintained by a service contractor, the transit agency should require the contractor to submit a written maintenance plan that can be monitored. Contract language should include requirements for maintenance, an annual physical inventory, a warranty recov- ery program, and other control measures. At minimum, a maintenance contract with a service contractor should address the following requirements: â¢ A written preventive maintenance program developed and implemented with an appropriate preventive maintenance philosophy â¢ Adequate flexibility in the preventive maintenance program to respond to changes in route, schedule, environment, and other impacts â¢ All vehicles to be maintained according to chassis, body, and component manufacturersâ recommended practices â¢ Systematic inspections, services, and repairs as required by local, state, and other regulations â¢ Assurance that all vehicles will provide a high threshold of safety and reliability for the passengers â¢ Vehicles to be kept clean and inviting to passengers â¢ Spare vehicles to be available as part of regular preventive maintenance â¢ Operation at the proper level of fiscal control â¢ Open lines of communication and discussion of fleet issues The transit agency should expect the maintenance subcontractor to use due diligence when performing or reporting cost center elements. Contracts and service and maintenance reports from contractors should be kept on file at the transit agencyâs office. The transit agency should conduct periodic inspections and audits of the maintenance subcontractor. Grant funding may prescribe or require such audits. Corrective actions should be required for all deficiencies and defects identified during the inspections and audits. Whether to perform maintenance tasks in-house or use a contractor depends on many fac- tors, beginning with what maintenance resources, parts, equipment, facilities, and personnel the transit system possesses. It is common for transit systems in rural areas to contract maintenance
transit Service planning 87 Government Contract Maintenance Pros: Cons: Generally lower charges for maintenance work Facility may be more modern than a private repair shop May have a body shop Potential to use federal funds to upgrade facility to perform bus maintenance work and hire a mechanic dedicated to the bus ï¬eet No guarantee for services performed, which may increase costs if corrective work is needed May place lower priority on repairing transit buses as compared to snow plows, road maintenance equipment, and police cars Contract Service Pros: Cons: Guaranteed work; if itâs not done right, the contractor pays to get it right Negotiable âï¬eet ratesâ may lower repair costs Negotiable repair time guarantees may prioritize service to transit ï¬eet Reduced labor costs for transit agency (mechanic not employed by the agency) Transit agency pays only for maintenance work per- formed Private company may be willing to act as a certiï¬ed repair service facility for vehicle warranty work Costs may be higher than with county shop Qualiï¬ed mechanics for the speciï¬c vehicles may be unavailable locally Requires someone to set up and monitor the contract Table 7.5. Advantages and disadvantages of contracting maintenance. work out to a county facility. Although this option may not be possible for a tribal transit pro- gram, similar issues apply to contracts with other governmental entities, including tribal or local governments. Table 7.5 weighs the advantages and disadvantages of contracting maintenance to a county or private contractor. The Role of the Driver in Maintenance and Safety Although mechanics may be most accountable for vehicle maintenance, drivers are perhaps the most aware of equipment failures and problems with their vehicles. Systems need to be in place so that drivers can routinely and easily report problems to mechanics in written form. Pre-trip inspection forms are effective communication devices between drivers and mechanics. Figure 7.7 shows three examples of pre-trip inspection forms. Figure 7.8 gives an example of a weekly vehicle maintenance and inspection report.
88 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook Source: Adapted from Texas DOT. Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, 2003, page 32, Appendices F and G, pp. 34-5. . . . Figure 7.7. Sample pre-trip inspection forms.
transit Service planning 89 Source: Adapted from Texas DOT. Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, 2003, Appendices F and G, pp. 34-5. Figure 7.7. (Continued).
90 Developing, enhancing, and Sustaining tribal transit Services: a Guidebook Source: Texas DOT. Texas Maintenance Management and Safety Guide, 2003, p 37. Figure 7.8. Sample weekly vehicle maintenance and inspection report.
transit Service planning 91 Insurance and Licensing Tribal transit programs should carry insurance, including liability insurance, for vehicles and employees. Specific insurance requirements may be defined by the tribe, by states if the transit program operates off the reservation, and by grant programs. Tribal transit programs typically obtain insurance through the tribal government. Vehicles typically are licensed in the state in which the tribe is located. Operating permits may be required if the tribe operates off the reservation or in multiple states. For example, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, whose Road Runner Transit began in 1999 by providing services in Colorado, applied for and received a permit to operate interstate passenger service to expand and operate passenger service into New Mexico. The issue of operating permits may relate to tribal sovereignty, so the tribal attorney should be consulted when considering which licenses or permits may be required or should be obtained. For More Information Texas Department of Transportation, Public Transportation Division. Texas Maintenance Man- agement and Safety Guide, 2003. http://www.dot.state.tx.us/PTN/documents/mgmtguide.pdf. Ellis, E. and B. McCollom. TCRP Report 136: Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response Transportation: Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2009. http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/162701.aspx. Potts, J. F., et al. TCRP Report 140: A Guide for Planning and Operating Flexible Public Transpor- tation Services. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2010. http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/163788.aspx. Boyle, D., et al. TCRP Report 135: Controlling System Costs: Basic and Advanced Scheduling Manuals and Contemporary Issues in Transit Scheduling. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, 2009. http://www.trb.org/Main/Public/Blurbs/161864.aspx. AECOM Consult, Inc., Maier Consulting, Inc., and Peter Schauer Associates. TCRP Report 86, Volume 10: Hazard and Safety Plan Workshop Instructor Guide. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2006. http://www.trb.org/Main/Public/ Blurbs/152464.aspx. Stoddard, A. T. North Country Public Transportation Participation Pilot Project, Report FTA- NH-26-1001-2009.1. Federal Transit Administration, Washington, D.C., 2009.