atu recommendation - Amalgamated Transit Union

Report
Atlanta’s Paratransit
Services:
MARTA, Workers, & Passengers United for
True Mobility
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732
November 2014
Overview on MARTA’s Mobility
Services
 Ridership grew 14.6% between FY10 and FY14. National trend as
population ages.
 Key to cost savings & service improvements:
 Reduce deadheading
 Shorten trip lengths
 Zones
 ** Need to dissect entire operation, identify problems & solutions
in a collaborative review process involving management, labor, and
Mobility passengers. Quarterly reviews and joint committees
needed in all areas.
2
Outsourcing of Mobility not in
Passengers’ Best Interest
3
Outsourcing of Mobility
 Tried and failed miserably in Atlanta in 1990s
4
Absenteeism
 MARTA’s sole focus
 Training
 Tracking
 Course correction
5
Mobility Services at MARTA: Room
for Improvement
 Why does MARTA’s Mobility rate so poorly in service
effectiveness?
MARTA has done an internal analysis of its Mobility
Services (paratransit), comparing its paratransit
services to 22 “peer” agencies across the U.S.
6
Mobility Services at MARTA: Room
for Improvement
Metric
MARTA
Group Avg.
MARTA Rank
Pct Deadhead (Miles)
19.9
15.7
20/23
Pct Deadhead (Hours)
19
14.3
20/23
Passengers/Revenue
Mile
1.2
1.3
Tied 9th/23
Average Trip Length
13.5
10
23/23
Cost/Revenue Mile
$3.36
$4.66
6/23
Cost/Revenue Hour
$60.03
$67.96
9/23
Cost/Unlinked Trip
$37.77
$36.49
12/23
Trips/Revenue Hour
1.6
1.9
Tied 16th/23
Source: MARTA, Comprehensive Operations Analysis, Mobility Update (Board Workshop), July 2014
7
Room for Improvement
 MARTA’s Mobility service ranks 20th out of 23rd in
deadhead miles and hours
 MARTA ranks 23 out of 23 in terms of trip length
 WHY?
8
Demand Response Passenger Trips
Industry goal is three trips per hour
Southeast U.S. -- ALL directly operated (Public)
City
Unlinked Passenger
Trips per Vehicle
Revenue Hour
Unlinked Passenger
Trips per Vehicle
Revenue Mile
Knoxville
3.73
0.38
Memphis
2.35
0.14
Nashville
2.25
0.13
Montgomery 1.76
0.12
Birmingham
1.69
0.11
Tampa
1.64
0.10
Atlanta
1.59
0.09
Source: National Transit Database
9
Fewer Trips per Hour Drives up
Costs
Demand response operating expense per unlinked
passenger trip at MARTA: $37.77
National Average (Public) - $31.74
10
Issue #1 – Deadhead Miles
 Deadhead – “The movement of a transit vehicle
without passengers aboard; often to and from a
garage or to and from one route to another” (APTA)
 MARTA’s own study reveals that it ranks 20th out of
23rd in the percentage of deadhead miles and
deadhead hours.
11
Deadhead Miles
 No zone system
 MARTA is one of the few major transit systems in the nation that
does not use a zone system
 Amazing considering service area (sprawl).
 MARTA’s own “Comprehensive Operations Analysis” (July 2014)
proposes zone revenue structure. Up to six zones being
considered.
12
Zone System
 Long overdue
 ATU has recommended this for years. Ignored.
13
Combatting the Deadheading Issue
 Many cities use zone strategy which forbids
ridesharing and increases the empty trip miles driven.
 Better strategy is flexible. Allow for pickups on way
back from trip.
14
Experiments in Innovative Zoning
Drastic drop in total miles due to reduction in empty trip
miles (TRB Study)
 23% drop in empty trip miles in Houston
 17% drop in empty miles in Los Angeles
 21% drop in empty trip miles in Boston
Service quality improved
15
Deadheading
Flexible zone strategies can result in
 fewer vehicles (up to 6.6%)
 less total mileage (up to 9% reduction)
 higher values of passenger trips per revenue hour (up
to 7.8%)
Result: Reduced operations costs
16
Deadheading
Reviewing Automatically Generated Schedules
ATU RECOMMENDATION: Conduct a careful review of schedules
the afternoon/evening before the day of service, and review runs several
days in advance as they are being built by the automated scheduling
system. Schedulers may find a better assignment for certain trips, even
before they are full, that will minimize deadheading or keep vehicles in
areas at times when other demand is expected. By constantly reviewing
the runs as they are created, schedulers can help the automated system
make better decisions on subsequent trip assignments.
17
Issue #2: Average Trip Length
MARTA’s internal study:
 Average trip length for Mobility passengers ranked
23rd out of 23rd when compared to 22 peer agencies.
 The length of these trips holds down the number of
passengers per hour.
18
Trip Length
ATU RECOMMENDATION: MARTA should use
satellite locations in the North, South, East, and West
corridors to cut down on trip time.
19
Trip Length
 ATU RECOMMENDATION: Ride lengths should be monitored regularly to
identify scheduled trips that last longer than the system standard.
 It may be feasible to ensure that ride lengths do not exceed 1.5 times the same
trip on a fixed route, including wait times and transfers. Tabulate trips by
duration (number and percentage less than 60 minutes; number and percentage
61–90 minutes; number and percentage more than 90 minutes). Periodically
compare these times to fixed-route travel times for reasonableness.
 Scheduling is key
 MARTA: Circuitous routes.
20
Trip Length Best Practices
 Regularly review the on-board time of the riders picked up first (or dropped
off last) to keep travel times within acceptable limits.
 Identify runs that “double back.” Vehicle may be scheduled to pass close by
a rider’s destination on the way to another pick-up/drop off and the rider
must “double back” to finally complete the trip. Even if the total travel
time is not excessive, this approach may anger riders who cannot
understand why they are kept on board. Consider more direct routing.
Some state-of-the-art scheduling systems also have parameters that can be
set to minimize this from happening. MARTA’s software is eight years
old.
21
Other Issues
FTA Audit: December 2013
Findings:
 MARTA must establish & publish a telephone hold time
standard for the Mobility Estimated Time of Arrival
(ETA).
 Weekend & holiday hours for making reservations do not
meet DOT’s ADA requirements.
 MARTA must revise its policy on tracking denials.
22
FTA findings: December 2013
 MARTA must establish & publish an on time
standard for scheduled appointment times.
 MARTA must establish & publish a standard for
comparable trip lengths.
 MARTA must revise its definition of missed trips &
establish a goal of “0” for missed trips.
23
FTA findings: December 2013
 MARTA: “Has addressed each finding and is
confident that future reviews will not reveal the same
findings.”
 ATU: Problems will persist, endangering federal
funds, unless overarching issues are addressed.
24
Eligibility Determination
ATU RECOMMENDATION: A more accurate and
efficient determination of applicant eligibility can be
accomplished through in-person interviews, functional
assessments and public outreach programs.
Some people better served by existing, fixed-route systems.
25
Eligibility Determination
In-Person Interview
ATU RECOMMENDATION: Maintain a policy to
contact every applicant by phone to discuss the information
included in their paper applications. Ask all applicants to
participate in in-person interviews to discuss travel needs
and issues.
26
Recertification
ATU RECOMMENDATION: Undertake recertification
of all paratransit passengers on regular basis. Fine tune
application and certification process, incorporate any
changes in policies and practices, and update client lists to
account for changes in status, relocations, and deaths.
Common practice is every three years.
27
Coordinating Eligibility Determination
and Travel Training Efforts
 BEST PRACTICES: SORTA (Cincinnati) employs two full-time,
trained travel trainers who split time between conducting eligibility
interviews and assessments and providing one-on-one travel training.
Spends $84,000 annually, saves about $250,000–$300,000.
 Seattle: Spends $161,580 on travel training, saves $417,000 in
paratransit costs by successfully transitioning individuals to the fixedroute system.
 Broward County: Saves $2,300 per year for each person who is
successfully travel trained.
28
Model Travel Training Program
 Minnesota
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6TywfjG1xY
29
Travel Training
ATU RECOMMENDATIONS: Establish a travel host program —
Work with local non-profit job training and placement agencies that
provide aid to people with disabilities to create a program. Travel hosts
can provide assistance to a daily list of riders with special needs.
Representatives meet these riders as they arrive and help them get to the
next bus to complete their trips.
Establish a bus buddy program — Local agencies can provide travel
companions for seniors or other eligible clients. This program links
volunteers who are familiar with the fixed-route service with others who
want to travel on the buses. The volunteers serve as companions to assist
these riders as well as to teach them how to use the service.
30
Managing Subscription Services
Standing orders at Mobility are likely more than 50% of the total number
of trips provided.
Riders regularly cancel or fail to show for scheduled rides. Subscription
trip times are not effectively negotiated and don’t fit well with other
demand. Leads to inefficient runs.
ATU RECOMMENDATION: Consider requiring new subscription
riders to call in their requested trips for the first few weeks to ensure that
the standing order will actually occur as planned. Once the pattern is
established, then the actual standing order or subscription trip can be
established.
31
Frequent Cancellations or No-Shows
ATU RECOMMENDATION: Review on a regular basis
how subscription trips are assigned each day. Consider
reducing advance-reservation period; introducing immediateresponse requests and policy for customer abuse. Consider
development of appropriate policies for addressing late
cancellations and/or no-shows. Consider changing definition
of late cancellations.
32
Monitoring & Management
On-Time Performance
Examples of MARTA practices that cause late trips:
Poor reservations and scheduling practices that result in manifests containing incorrect addresses,
times, or other information.
Tight scheduling parameters or overbooking runs that result in manifests that are not reasonable.
Inadequate vehicle or driver backup that causes late or missed pullouts.
Poor dispatching practices that are not effective in adjusting runs when in-service problems arise.
ATU RECOMMENDATION: A standard for on-time performance between 90% and 95% is
not unreasonable.
33
Monitoring & Management
Trip denials
ATU RECOMMENDATIONS:
1.
Analyze denial patterns. Examine denials by number of days in advance that trip
requests are placed by time of day, day of the week, and for trip requests from riders
who are ambulatory versus those who are non-ambulatory. This type of analysis
helps determine high-capacity times as well as needed changes to fleet composition.
2.
Make sure reservationists properly code denials to avoid undercounting or
incorrectly categorizing denials. Only one denial should be attributed to any one
trip. If both legs of a roundtrip are refused, two denials should be recorded,
regardless of whether or not one of the legs of the trip satisfied the rider’s needs.
34
Cluster Riders
MARTA needs to focus demand on certain times and
locations to create more efficient paratransit service.
ATU RECOMMENDATION:
Operate shopper shuttle service, providing regular
transportation from riders’ homes to selected large grocery
stores at set times.
35
Reservation Process
ATU RECOMMENDATION: To cut down on no-shows,
use automated phone system for reminder or verification
calls to the patron on the day and/or the day prior to travel.
36
Reservations
Mistakes = ripple effect throughout the entire process.
ATU RECOMMENDATION: If a caller wants to be picked up
at a specific time, the reservationist should still ask whether there
is a set time that the person needs to arrive. Failing to request or
record appointment/desired arrival times may unintentionally be
providing poor on-time service if passengers are consistently late
arriving at their destinations.
37
Reservations
 ATU RECOMMENDATION: Training needed for
reservationists. Too many people on staff do not know the
streets in the Atlanta region. Results in major delays.
38
Reservations
 Coverage issue. Passengers leave messages on answering
machine after hours to cancel. Messages often not picked
up. Drivers show up for no reason.
 ATU RECOMMENDATION: Need 24/7 coverage.
No more messages. Need labor/management/passenger
committee to review manifests.
39
“Street Smart” Committee
 ATU RECOMMENDATION: Joint committee of
Mobility drivers, schedulers, and passengers to review
manifests and provide feedback on routes.
40
Scheduling
Developed via computer
ATU RECOMMENDATIONS: Must be reviewed by
employees to verify the process. MARTA needs procedure
for reporting and documenting incidents, such as immediate
reports to the dispatchers and accurate record keeping on
trip manifests. Monitor and proactively respond to patrons
who exhibit no-show patterns.
41
Vehicles
Major cause of delays at Mobility: broken down vehicles.
The 3800 and 3900 fleets well beyond useful life (200,000 –
300,000 miles).
ATU RECOMMENDATION: Replacement vehicles
needed. Shortage = delays.
42
Vehicles
 Safety and maintenance issues
 Private sector not the way to go
A private company’s dedication
to quality vehicles (Pensacola,
FL)
Raises workers comp issues
43
Vehicles
 Fleet too small
 Vehicle turnaround issue
44
Vehicle Shortage
 Passengers held hostage at doctor (finish early). Need to
accommodate people. Requests for early pick up not
consistent (passenger driven). More vehicles would help.
45
Software
 Software is eight years old, ancient by today’s standards.
 Causes scheduling and dispatch issues because MDT
screens freeze up and fail.
 Triple booking - Mobility regularly sends vehicles to same
location at same time.
ATU RECOMMENDATION: New software needed.
46
Vehicles and Software
 Up front cost to replace. Savings on back end.
47
Public Information
ATU RECOMMENDATIONS: Market the Mobility program with colorcoordinated brochures that highlight all facets of programs and services.
Newsletter providing information about scheduling changes or concerns, trip
routes, extended services and hours of operation. Community meetings to
draw interest and address common complaints, or garner praise.
A detailed service brochure with a “preapplication” can be effective in
educating local communities. Conduct seminars for local agencies to educate
them about ADA paratransit eligibility criteria.
48
Coordination with Fixed Route
ATU RECOMMENDATION: Important to have
seamless coordination with the fixed route part of the
system. Successful transit systems have paratransit and fixed
route management literally at desks across from each other.
MARTA looks at these modes as entirely separate -- the
wrong approach. Fixed route can complement the
paratransit routes.
49
Examples Of Coordination
A Mobility customer has trouble getting their wheelchair
onto a paratransit vehicle. If a fixed route bus is nearby, they
can handle the issue.
Flex routes: During off peak times, fixed route buses
can deviate from their routes to pick up people with
disabilities at their curbs. No special service is needed,
saving lots of money.
50
Off Hours
ATU RECOMMENDATIONS:
Examine off hours. While service during peak hours may cost $37
per hour, these costs could reach much higher during the wee
hours of the morning. Target changes for work between 11:00
p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Determine appropriate workforce size for nights and weekends.
Part timers? Traditionally, mechanics, dispatchers, and operators
are needed at all times. However, during the off hours, it is
possible to perhaps have no dispatchers, or to have maintenance
on call.
51
Conclusions




Mobility needs fixing.
Many issues.
Outsourcing is wrong answer.
Address the overarching issues and others will
take care of themselves.
52

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