ADA paratransit demand continues to grow while resources are dwindling. Transit agencies continue to explore models to more effectively meet growing demand. Paratransit service in the United States is often provided through contractors with most large systems using multiple contractors. The objective of this synthesis is to document, for a comprehensive set of service models, the way various elements of the service and contracts are structured to enhance the likelihood of achieving certain results related to cost efficiency, service quality, or the balance of the two that will persist through the entire contract term. The synthesis will provide examples from the industry of what is currently being done.
Analysis is needed now more than ever with (1) the advent of new “hybrid” service models (e.g. brokerage service, TNCs, etc.) for ADA (and coordinated) paratransit that have developed; (2) new technologies and the growing use of non-dedicated service providers; (3) the unintended increase in paratransit cost due to the design of RFPs and contracts, including price structure and method of reimbursement; and (4) the challenge in balancing the needs of all stakeholders in development of the scope. The synthesis will be useful to transit agencies as they evaluate their current and future paratransit service.
This synthesis will include a literature review, practice overview of existing service delivery models, and survey of transit agencies (geographically diverse, different service delivery models, large vs. small, one vs. multiple) with ADA paratransit services. A minimum of five case examples of different transit systems and different service delivery models will be presented, at least one from each of the categories below. The case studies as a set need to reflect the various service models used for ADA (and coordinated) paratransit systems.
Service Delivery Models
o All operations in-house
o Turnkey (all services contracted, to include eligibility, call center, and vehicle operations), using one, two, or more dedicated service contractors with zoned or unzoned service assignments;
o Centralized call center contracted, independent of the service contractors;
o Non-dedicated service providers used for ADA paratransit service;
o Management contract
• Combination of in-house and outsourced
o In-house call center and outsourced service delivery
o Some in-house and some outsourced service delivery
o Some operations provided by non-dedicated (taxi, TNC, e.g.)
Information to be gathered includes the following (not an inclusive list):
• Elements of analysis
o Intended and unintended outcomes
o Advantages and disadvantages
o Balance of cost efficiency and service quality
• Agency Configuration:
o Governance structure
o Funding stream
o Service Area
o How monitored, what monitored’
o Data capabilities
o Who has access, how frequently accessed
o Who pays for it, who maintains/upgrades
o Who procures it?
• Procurement framework:
o RFP structure
o Term, pricing structure, capital
o Type of procurement (RFP, RFQ, IFB, IDIQ, Partnership, etc.)
o Price/value realism
o Evaluation type (best value, lowest cost, technically acceptable, etc.)
• Contract/operating agreement structure:
o Use of assets (who owns, maintains, replaces)
o Number and function of staff dedicated to management of the contract
o What functional areas are contracted out vs. in-house?
o Performance incentives and disincentives
o Start up and closing issues.
• Labor issues:
o Collective bargaining agreements or requirements relating to wages, benefits, or seniority
o Work requirements (shifts, hours, etc.);
o Third party inspection (i.e, safety, security, maintenance, overall compliance)
o How to verify self-reporting data? Who owns?
o Frequency and type of communications with contractor
o How is the service performance measured and evaluated?
o Who has responsibility collecting data and how often is it reported?
TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice, Issue 31, 1998, Paratransit Contracting and Service Delivery Methods
TCRP Report, Issue 121, 2007, Toolkit for Integrating Non-Dedicated Vehicles in Paratransit Service
TCRP Report Issue 144, 2011, Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation
FTA Report No. 0081. 2014, Accessible Transit Services for All
National Transit Database (NTD)
Mobility Management and Coordination of Services Literature (TCRP#?)
TCRP Synthesis on Taxis
First Panel: October 6, 2016, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 27, 2016, 2:00 p.m., EST
Second Panel: June 2, 2017,Washington, DC
Carrie Butler, Lextran
Deva Deka, Ph.D, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center
Tiffani Fink, Paratransit, Inc.
Susan Florentino, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District
Tracy Harrington, Milwaukee County Transit System
Sabrina Herrera, Transdev
Christian T. Kent, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Susan Clark, Federal Transit Administration
Stephen J. Andrle, Transportation Research Board