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State of the Practice: Existing Public Vanpool Programs - Research Part 1: by Shana Johnson - Foursquare
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State of the Practice: Existing Public Vanpool Programs - Research Part 1: by Shana Johnson - Foursquare


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Vanpool Boot Camp: Marching Orders - November 7, 2011 - Part 2 …

Vanpool Boot Camp: Marching Orders - November 7, 2011 - Part 2

What’s going on in the world of vanpool research? Best practices around the country and MWCOG Vanpool Survey

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  • Vanpools in the bus tier – earn lots of $ for the miles due to low operating costs.
  • Today we’re going to talk about some, but not all of these issues. Full report will be available to the public when released by clients. At the start of the process the NTD rules for vanpools required public monetary sponsorship, but the rules no longer expressly require this. Many aspects impacting this study changed (New NTD rules, 2010 Census, transit benefit changes), and we still do not know what reauthorization will look like.
  • Three of these programs are in Washington Station as in the 1980s the state decided all transit agencies should do vanpools as public transportation. San Francisco was also interviewed b/c they have a large number of owner-operators, but they do not have a public program.
  • Transcript

    • 1. State of the Practice: Existing Public Vanpool Programs Vanpool Boot Camp ACT Chesapeake Chapter and Mobility Lab November 7, 2011 Operating and Administrative Characteristics
    • 2. Research Background
      • Analysis of potential for a regional, publicly supported vanpool program
      • Study through DRPT for GWRC, NVTC, and PRTC
        • Final results being presented to appropriate boards and commissions
      • One component of the project consisted of a state of the practice review
    • 3. State of the Vanpool Industry
      • 68 vanpool programs report to NTD (2010)
      • Vanpool industry emerged in response to the 1970s energy crisis.
        • Many private sector firms started vanpool programs for their employees.
        • Public involvement in vanpools began mostly in the 1980s.
      • Why is the public sector involved in vanpooling?
        • Vanpool programs that report to National Transit Database earn additional Urbanized Area Formula Program (5307) for their regions (for large UZAs).
        • Fare “buy down” incentives for riders have led to dramatic vanpool program growth.
        • Provides transit in areas where traditional transit (i.e., commuter bus, commuter rail) are limited or absent.
        • Leverages investments in HOV facilities.
    • 4. How is our region different?
      • Vanpooling grew without any centralized program
        • Federal workers, HOV lanes
      • No primary provider – many large and small operators
      • More decentralized organization than in other regions
        • Regional agencies and local governments are all involved
    • 5. Multi-Region Vanpool Incentive Program: Questions for Peers
      • How do other regions operate vanpool programs? What are some vanpool program best practices that are applicable in Northern Virginia?
      • What program rules are required?
      • How do we market and brand a Multi-Region Vanpool Program?
      • What incentives are needed to induce rider participation?
      • What incentives are needed to induce vanpool operator participation?
      • What technologies exist to facilitate NTD data reporting?
      • What are the potential risks? How can participating agencies be fully indemnified?
      • How should a Multi-Region Vanpool Incentive Program be structured?
    • 6. Vanpool Programs Interviewed Agency City State Number of Vans King County Seattle WA 826 Pace Arlington Heights IL 677 San Diego Council of Governments San Diego CA 566 Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Houston TX 545 Utah Transit Authority Salt Lake City UT 452 Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Los Angeles CA 327 Snohomish County Everett WA 313 Valley Metro Phoenix AZ 310 Greater Hartford Ridesharing Corp. Windsor CT 302 Pierce County Tacoma WA 270 Total for Ten Systems     4,588 Total/Percent of 57 Reporting Systems     7,772 / 59%
    • 7. Directly Operated vs. Purchased Transportation
        • No Direct Rider Subsidy, Lower Fares vs. Direct Rider Subsidy and no Fare Control
        • Number of FTEs required to operate a program
        • Program functions
        • Level of involvement in day-to-day vanpool management
        • Required program funding
      Pierce Transit Vanpool, Seattle, WA
    • 8. Basic Background Information Agency Program Type/Owner Year Program Started Number of Staff King County, Seattle WA Directly Operated 1970s 38 FTEs Pace, Arlington Heights IL Directly Operated 1991 10 FTEs The Rideshare Company, Connecticut Non-profit 1987 4 Senior Mgmt, 4 Customer Svc, 4 Finance, 6 Business Development, & 5 Operations MTA, Houston TX Purchased Transportation Private vanpools started in 1970s, public involvement began in 1980s. 1 public FTE, 9 FTEs at the master contractor, several others part-time . Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City UT Directly Operated Private firm in the 1980s; UTA acquired in 1990. 9 FTEs. MTA, Los Angeles CA Purchased Transportation 2007 2.5 FTE, another 2 LA MTA employees used as needed. Snohomish County – Community Transit, Everett WA Directly Operated 1986 5 FTE. Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ Directly Operated Approximately 1990 1 FTE, others at contractor. 511 RideMatch Services, San Francisco CA Vanpools entirely private sector, but SF MTA has a contractor run the ride match program. 1978 2 FTEs who work for MTC and 15 FTEs who are contracted to operate the ride match program. Pierce County, Tacoma WA Directly Operated 1986 11 FTEs, including 2 program managers.
    • 9. Program Characteristics Agency Average Roundtrip Average Vanpool Fare Incentives or Subsidy Offered King County, Seattle WA N/A Fares vary, but a 15-passenger van with 12 passengers and 40 mile round trip is approx. $60. Unknown. Pace, Arlington Heights IL 80 miles Average fare per rider is $130. Guaranteed ride home, 300 personal miles per month for the driver, free fare for drivers, discounted fare for backup drivers. The Rideshare Company, Connecticut 35 miles Minivans have an average fare of $177 and full size vans have an average fare of $139. Drivers of large vans are not charged a fare, and participants may receive up to four emergency rides home per year. Cash reward for recruiting new, full-time riders and cash incentive for reporting data on time. Reduced monthly fare when taking vacation or extended leave. MTA, Houston TX 55 miles Unknown. Flat subsidy of $35 per qualified rider, average van subsidy of $350. Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City UT 77 miles Fare varies based on the size of van and number of riders. Drivers receive 50 personal miles per month. MTA, Los Angeles CA 95 miles Unknown. Subsidizes 50% of van costs up to $400. Most vans receive the full $400. Snohomish County – Community Transit, Everett WA 58 miles Average vanpool fare is $60 to $65. Free fare for drivers (not all vans), all drivers are allowed 160 personal miles per month. Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ 64 miles Average vanpool fare is $87.15. Free fare and 300 personal miles per month for drivers. Reimbursement for two taxi rides home per year for emergencies. 511 RideMatch Services, San Francisco CA 60 miles Unknown. Van startup/Van save assistance ($100 per lost seat for three months). Pierce County, Tacoma WA 65 miles Average Fare is $80 to $85. Free fare and up to 1,800 personal miles per year for drivers.
    • 10. Funding and Use of 5307
      • Directly Operated Programs
        • Operating Expenses: Fares cover 100% of operating costs in all programs interviewed.
        • Capital Expenses: 5307, CMAQ (expansion), Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC).
        • Administrative Expenses: 5307, CMAQ (marketing), some programs use farebox revenue.
      • Purchased Transportation Programs
        • Startup subsidy funding, marketing, and administration funding for purchased transportation programs (Houston, Los Angeles), including: CMAQ (marketing), JARC, 5307, local sales tax dedicated to transit (Houston, pre-1996).
        • 5307 Use: Programs can be supported entirely with the additional 5307 increment.
          • Houston uses 5307 increment earned to support rail expansion.
          • Los Angeles uses 5307 to provide the rider subsidies, among other non-vanpool related uses.
    • 11. Program Rules/ADA Compliance
      • Program Rules
        • ADA requirements (Agency provides vehicle in purchased transportation programs).
        • Open to the public
        • Primarily focus on how payments are made, when and how to report data, and the requirements to become a vanpool.
      • Limited requirements for program drivers
        • 8 agencies interviewed required only driving record checks
        • 2 agencies interviewed required driver physicals
        • 1 agency interviewed also required a criminal background check and driver training course
      • Credit checks are often required for vanpool bookkeepers
      • Limited program rule enforcement required
    • 12. Indemnification and Insurance
        • Vanpool Participant Agreement – Indemnifies Agency
        • Many of the directly operated programs insured through state or agency transit insurance, although some maintain a cash reserve
        • Minimum level of insurance required for purchased transportation or contracted programs ranges from $500,000 to $1 million per accident
      MTA, Los Angeles, CA Participation Agreement
    • 13. NTD Data Collection
      • Various Methods
        • Sample Survey (FTA Approved)
        • In-Vehicle Daily Paper (Convert to Web-based input form, Excel or Fax for Submission)
        • Mobile technology based
      • Significant Staff Time Requirement
        • Groups not reporting on time
        • Reporting errors
        • Compiling and inputting data
      Orange County Transportation Authority, Web-based NTD Reporting Module
    • 14. Marketing and Branding Strategies
      • Branding
        • Vehicle wraps
      • Marketing
        • Word-of-mouth (most common)
        • Collaboration with TMAs and TDM agencies
        • Direct employer outreach
        • Newsletters
      Metro Vanpool (Los Angeles), Pierce Transit Vanpool, and Houston STAR Vanpool vehicle wraps/marketing images.
    • 15. Overall Findings
      • Ownership and operation varied
        • Public programs required more staff but retain more control
      • Rules were left up to individual vanpools
        • Other than requirement to make the vanpool public and adhere to ADA
      • Marketing relies on word of mouth
        • Only half had marketing budgets
      • Subsidies were ubiquitous
      • NTD data collection is difficult with a paper-based system
      • Minimal participation by owner operators
    • 16. Questions?
      • Shana Johnson
      • [email_address]
      • (301) 774-4566 x402
      • Lora Byala
      • [email_address]
      • (301) 774-4566 x401