Transit Contractors Bring Efficiencies, Share Success Stories

Posted on June 26, 2013 by Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor - Also by this author

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MV Transportation – Paratransit innovations
One innovation MV Transportation is bringing to the table for Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is integrating taxi service just as it has done for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, saving wait time on buses without additional stops for riders that don’t require a large bus and hydraulic lift.

MV just finished work on OCTA paratransit, which went into effect on July 1, and Van Nuys, Calif.-based Access Services Northern Region paratransit, serving all of Los Angeles County, Carter Pate, CEO, MV Transportation, says.

Meanwhile, Access Services oversees a curb-to-curb ADA paratransit service, with 43 Los Angeles County fixed-route member agencies. MV has been the provider since 1999. Access re-upped with the contractor for five years with five one-year renewal options. Under the terms of the contract, MV will continue to manage operations, vehicle maintenance, customer service, scheduling and dispatch, and expects to provide approximately 575,000 trips per year.

The paratransit service will be provided with a fleet of approximately 180 Access and MV-supplied vehicles, as well as a smaller fleet of taxicabs during peak hours furnished and operated by MV’s taxi partner. MV will employ approximately 400 operators and staff to run the paratransit service.

The Access contract is a good example of teamwork, and probably, one of MV’s most “cutting-edge new services,” due to the taxi service and technological and facility upgrades, according to Pate.

MV has already begun implementing Access’ new dispatch system, StrataGen, and plans to make more improvements to the existing phone system, radio devices and facility.

“We got a lot of compliments from StrataGen for the implementation,” Pate says. “We upgraded the system radios [and] facilities; [and] made a large investment in employees, morale, community involvement, food drives and passenger outreach.”

The contractor was also able to reduce accident frequency and the number of complaints the service received.

National Express Transit Corp. streamlined services for N.C.’s Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation by using two facilities instead of one to reduce deadhead.
National Express Transit Corp. streamlined services for N.C.’s Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation by using two facilities instead of one to reduce deadhead.
National Express Transit Corp. – Commuter services
National Express Transit Corp. is helping transit systems ease the commute for riders with two contracts that began operating on July 1.

The contractor is in the middle of start-ups for transit operations at Solano County, Calif.’s, Solano County Transit (SolTrans) and Greensboro, N.C.’s Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART), Brian Sullivan, chief marketing officer, National Express, says.

The SolTrans contract, for a commuter shuttle primarily carrying choice riders, is particularly exciting because it is the contractor’s first public transit contract in California, Sullivan says. Additionally, SolTrans is a fairly new agency, having consolidated the services of two cities — Vallejo and Benicia — a couple years ago, under one county-run transit authority.

National Express is working with SolTrans to increase ridership and interest in the system.

“We hope to be right there alongside them as their partner, providing quality, safe service and making it as easy and convenient for passengers to take Soltrans,” Sullivan says. “We hope to continue to support their direction growing ridership and enhancing their image.”

The contract includes local and express fixed-route commuter shuttles, paratransit service with 64 vehicles, customer service and pass sales, vehicle maintenance, facility maintenance at two transit centers, a park-and-ride lot, and approximately 450 bus stops. National Express will also administer an employee bonus fund to provide performance-based rewards and incentives and an employee wellness fund, to develop health and fitness programs.

March 2013 marked the first year that the Transit Services Corp. division of National Express has operated in the U.S.

For PART, National Express leveraged the locations of two facilities, as opposed to using a more standard, single facility, to minimize deadhead. The contractor has been operating the service since December 2012.
The situation is unique, Sullivan says, because of the Piedmont cities triad and the demand to commute between them instead of between a city center and its suburbs.

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