We spoke to attendees of BusCon to find out what their greatest challenges were and how they are working to solve them. Here are their responses:
“Access has many challenges trying to fill the needs of paratransit in Los Angeles, and we have some of the most talented operations specialists working on putting the best service we can on the streets. My focus in the organization has always been to find or develop the vehicles that can deliver paratransit service to Los Angeles County, which also lowers the environmental footprint of our agency.
Currently, there is nothing available in alternative fuels for any vehicles under 10,000 GVW that meet ADA standards for our type of service. Access has been working with a couple different vehicle suppliers to help in the development of alternative-fueled vehicles for light-duty service.”
Rick Streiff, Manager
El Monte, Calif.
“AAA Medivan, sub company to Van Horn Vacations, struggles with hiring qualified shuttle drivers. When working with government contracts, the requirements are so precise and strict. The push is to get the buses out on time and safely. When posting want ads starting at $10 per hour, you tend to receive applicants that have a history. Those with criminal backgrounds are automatically not allowed to apply. When bids are won on lowest and best prices, an owner’s hands are tied because of the low wages that you offer to workers. How can you hire the best qualified drivers when you are only allowed to pay them $3 over minimum wage?
There are actually some really good people out here that are labeled ‘second-chance individuals,’ who are hungry for opportunities to ‘prove’ themselves, but they are not allowed in the company door.”
Soraya Van Horn, CEO
“Our top challenge is understanding the needs of our customers. Radical advances in technology and the sharing economy are dramatically changing the transportation industry. We are actively looking into several innovative areas to create new customer experiences. Developing something new isn’t easy, but we feel innovation will lead to the highest customer satisfaction levels.”
Jay Jovick, Co-Founder
Time Machine Travel
“Hiring of chauffeur’s/ bus captains to drive for our company [is our greatest challenge]. The way we are trying to solve this issue, and get good quality people to join our team, is by offering a referral fee to our chauffeurs for bringing in a good, qualified candidate to the team and targeting the job market on Facebook and other sites like Jobs for Veterans.”
Chuck Vaughn, Operations Manager
R & R Limousine/Cosmopolitan Coach Co.