Maintaining and Improving Rural Transit Supply in an Era of Cost-Cutting

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Maintaining and Improving Rural Transit Supply in an Era of Cost-Cutting …

Maintaining and Improving Rural Transit Supply in an Era of Cost-Cutting

Presented by: Matthew W. Daus, Esq., Distinguished Lecturer, City College, University of New York, University
Transportation Research Center, Region II
James Cooper, PhD, Head of the Taxi Studies Group, Edinburgh Napier University

In this session, Mr. Daus and Dr. Cooper will address research completed on the supply of transit services, including paratransit use in mainstream transport provision in rural communities. Evidence will be presented from US and European locations, including the application of a shared
transit scheme using a wide range of optimized supply including Demand Responsive Transportation (DRT) and taxi operations. The presentation will also address how the research has demonstrated that bringing bookings and trips together allows authorities and suppliers to reduce costs, effectively maintaining a service with reduced costs, and/or enhancing services.

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  • 1. Maintaining and improving rural transit supply in an era of cost cutting. PARATAXIS - Intermodal solutions for rural communities and beyond
    • Matthew W. Daus, Esq.
    • Dr. James M Cooper, PhD MSc MCIT
  • 2. Rural Problems New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Lack of sufficient access in rural communities.
    • Social, disability and age based exclusion.
    • Public transit provided at a very high cost per capita.
    • Predominance of private cars and necessity to purchase a personal motor vehicle (PMV).
    • Existing services (Access-A-Ride, Dial-a-ride etc) :
      • Van and bus based services;
      • Inherently inefficient (flawed by design);
      • Costly (contributing to public transit fiscal problems);
      • Continue to leave areas without transportation.
  • 3. About the authors Dr. James M. Cooper, Head of Taxi Studies, Edinburgh Napier University, UK New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011) Current research looking at the effectiveness of rural public transport including taxis in general and specialist service, on behalf of the UK government Technology Strategy Board. Advisor to the Department for Transport, UK; Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland; and National Transport Agency, Republic of Ireland. Director, Accessible Transport Forum, Scotland. Previous Advisor and board member to the DRT transport committee, for the Scottish Government. Founding Member and Director Taxi Research Network. Chair of the Taxi Group, joint committee, Transportation Research Board, Washington DC.
  • 4. About the Taxi Research Network New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Network of regulators, trade and academia to advance research and recognition of the taxi transportation mode.
    • Executive Committee :
      • Dr. James Cooper , Edinburgh Napier University, UK
      • Dr. Ray Mundy , University of Missouri
      • Professor Matthew Daus , City University of New York
      • Wim Faber , Brussels, Belgium
    • Goal : To catalogue, organize and analyze existing research, as well as direct and develop new research initiatives working with individuals, organizations and institutions, and to publish important works in transportation journals.
    • Taxi Research Network recently obtained Transportation Research Board approval for first Taxi Group, Joint Committee
  • 5. About the authors Matthew W. Daus, Esq. New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Distinguished Lecturer with the City University of New York (“CUNY’s”)
    • - Transportation Research Center (“UTRC Region 2 –NY, NJ & Puerto Rico”)
      • Lectures graduate students courses in sustainable transportation, transportation policy, and for-hire ground transportation policy courses at City College’s Grove School of Engineering.
    • Former Commissioner/Chair of NY City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC)
      • CEO of agency with 450+ employees, $29 million budget, & revenue of $43-$110+ million;
      • 6 ground transportation industries, with multi-billion $ revenues, and over 150,000 licensees;
      • Largest and most active regulator in world, transporting ½ billion passengers annually;
      • Longest serving agency head (8+ years) serving both Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg;
      • Over 13 years of transportation, management & legal experience, including serving as TLC General Counsel.
    • President, International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR)
    • Counsel at Windels Marx – Chair of Transportation Practice Group www.windelsmarx.com
      • Leads legal and consulting practice for 125+ attorney full-service law firm based in Manhattan and New Jersey;
      • Member of the Corporate/Securities, Litigation/Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Benefits & Employment Practice Groups.
  • 6. Paratransit: Differing Interpretations - USA New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
      • Interpretation, Origins & Legal Evolution in the USA
      • Services intended to provide accessible transport for individuals with disabilities
        • Rehabilitation Act Section 504 (1973)
          • Led to door-to-door system for elderly and handicapped
          • Discrimination unless federally funded mass rail systems not retrofitted for wheelchair access over 2 decades
        • Lawsuit: American Public Transit Association vs. US DOT
          • APTA won, and only most important subway stations need be retrofitted
        • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
          • Requires equivalent service between disabled and non-disabled
          • Taxicabs exempt from mandatory service under the ADA
          • US DOT “Equivalent Service” standards: if taxicab service provided voluntary, must be equal, e.g., response time, cost, vehicle, etc…
  • 7. Paratransit: Differing Interpretations - USA New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Today – Types of Paratransit Services in U.S.
      • Vans and sedans subsidized for use by mass transit agencies (in both urban and rural areas)
      • (e.g., NYC’s Access-A-Ride; NJ Access Link)
      • Private non-emergency medical use subsidized by government human resource agencies
      • (e.g., Medicare reimbursement)
      • - Rural areas : various government funding provides service at local level via non-profits & private operators
  • 8. Why aren't taxis used more often? Paratransit, USA New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Mindset
      • Origins of government transportation policymaking.
      • 1893: Logan Walter Page, First Director of Federal Bureau of Public Roads – required engineers to run State highway department in order to receive Federal funding.
      • Studies & research for last century focused on public roads, transportation infrastructure & mass transit – not “private” taxis
    • Mistakes
      • Square peg in round hole: building a mass transit (bus-like) system service designed to accommodate many when there is a demand-responsive need for just a few
      • Inefficient demand-responsive non-fixed route van service = huge subsidies
    • Taxi Service More Expensive
      • Taxis overlooked because private (mindset) and premium service
      • Subsidies could have more efficiently been provided to the industry
  • 9. Why aren't taxis used more often? Paratransit, UK New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Definitions of public transport; separate consideration of taxi supply compared to other transport modes, reducing the incidence of common supply
    • View of ownership and protectionism on the part of the fleet owner the responsible authority particularly in the case of non-emergency passenger transport
    • Inconsistent and incompatible software, Cleric, Mobisoft, Trapeze etc.
    • Lack of willingness on part of councils
    • Lack of willingness on part of operators
    • Lack of knowledge of potential market
  • 10. Paratransit: Differing Interpretations - UK New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
      • Interpretation, Origins & Legal Evolution in the UK
    • A generic term identifying public transport (transit) services provided from vehicles outwith traditional forms of transport, typically bus or rail, including specialist accessible vehicles, plus Demand Responsive Transport (DRT), Community Transport (CT) and Taxis.
        • Town Police Clauses Act 1847
        • Transport Act 1985
          • Defines sections for new transport modes, DRT / CT
          • Deregulates Local stage bus services, creates private competitive market for buses in England
          • Allows Taxis to operate as limited bus services
        • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
          • Determines right to equal treatment
          • defines minimum vehicle standards for bus and rail, but NOT for taxis.
  • 11. Paratransit: Differing Interpretations - UK New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
      • Paratransit services today
        • General transport
        • DRT and CT, operating where full commercial transit not provided. May receive capital support, typically bus purchase costs. DRT has infilled in rural communities, but may equally supply to specialist needs. May also include supported dial-a-ride services and Taxibus.
        • Health Care Transport
        • Split between statutory emergency, ambulance service; statutory non-emergency mix of ambulance service and CT; includes hospital cars
        • Special Educational Needs
        • Transport to distant schools for individuals with specialist needs. statutory service, mix of Contract Bus and Taxi
        • Schools Transport
        • Transport to schools over 3miles distant. Statutory service, mix of contract bus, own account bus and taxi
        • Social Transport
        • Transport for social support. Statutory service, mainly taxi, but may include own account bus
  • 12. New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
  • 13. Scope Wider issues to consider: Sustainability New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
      • Personal Motor Vehicles (PMVs) in rural areas contribute to carbon footprint
      • Bus “Environmental Break-Even” point at 8 passengers
    • ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
      • Public budgets for transport disintegrating, non-statutory services being cut
      • Duplication on existing routes
      • Potential for route combinations, route feeders and planned shared transport
  • 14. Scope Wider issues to consider: Safety New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Demographic shift, growth of senior and disabled population.
    • Urban areas supporting specialist transit, not affordable in rural communities
    • Rural community accessible and traditional service cuts.
    • Impacts on driver behaviour, auto-reliance, lack of alternatives.
  • 15. Scope Wider issues to consider: Cost New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Overbilling, potential for fraudulent claims
    • Lack of knowledge, data, understanding, controls
    • Waste of public funds: unnecessary expenditure, misallocation, collection costs
    • Non-statutory payment, US: Medicaid & Medicare reimbursement, UK Voluntary and 3 rd sectors
    • Disproportionate Government Spending Ratio for Rural Communities
      • E.g., in U.S., 25% of population reside in rural areas, but only 6% of federal transit funding is allocated to rural areas
  • 16. Potential for development Rural transport enhancement to achieve service enhancements New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • USING TAXIS IN GENERAL TRANSPORT
    • Taxi based DRT used, but not common
    • Community transport seen as a step toward the goal of inclusion
    • Legal frameworks may reduce the ability of a supplier to provide a service, and will act as a deterrent to councils wishing to use such services
    • Lack of knowledge on the part of the passenger, and lack of understanding of the taxi industry on the part of the authority
  • 17. Potential for development Rural transport enhancement to achieve service enhancements New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • USING TAXIS IN DISABLED TRANSPORT
    • Available fleet, non-exclusive vehicles, able to mix operation types
    • Skills and experience in addressing multiple origin destination routes within existing systems
    • Some taxi vehicles able to carry wheelchairs, whilst sedans (saloon taxis) may be more appropriate to semi ambulant passenger trips
  • 18. Potential for development Rural transport to achieve cost savings New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Cost benefit - savings
    • Enhanced service and efficiency
    • Environmental benefits
    • Safety benefits
  • 19. Changing definitions PARATAXIS New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
      • Traditional definitions of public transport and transit, including the differences in the understandings of "Paratransit" place limits on the extent to which the use of vehicles in an inclusive transport market may be achieved.
      • "Parataxi" term to describe planned and shared “point-to-point” travel for use in rural areas for individual and small group transit
      • Addresses issues of availability seen in other forms of Demand Responsive Transportation (DRT)
      • Potentially requires less government subsidies to increase both efficiency and individual accessibility / inclusion
  • 20. Evidence of impacts - environment New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Reduced empty running for dual use taxicabs
    • Replacement of PMVs and “big bus” with parataxis with lower environmental benefit threshold
    • Carbon footprint reduction
    • Use clean-air vehicles as para-taxis, including hybrid taxis (West Lothian), and fully electric vehicles.
  • 21. Evidence of impacts - costs New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • U.K. Paratransit / Mixed Transit Costs
      • Funding from mixed and limited resources
      • Compared to urban transport, rural services cost more where provided, lower occupancy rates, larger distances.
      • Limited supplier competition
      • Bus based disabled paratransit c. £20 / passenger journey (Scotland 2006)
      • Taxi based paratransit c. £12 / passenger journey
      • Taxi based mixed sharing c. £4 / passenger journey
    • U.S. Paratransit Costs
      • Rural areas = more Federal assistance than urban areas
      • NYC Access-A-Ride
        • MTA est. 2011 Budget = $384 million
        • Government cost per ride = $50-60 USD; rider = $2.25
      • NYC taxicabs: average fare = $11.71; avg. paratransit taxi fare = $15
      • Most paratransit program costs are operating and eligibility expenditures
  • 22. Evidence of impacts – rural areas New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Salem County, New Jersey, US – rural example
    • Salem County
      • Southwest NJ (30 miles south of Philadelphia; 60 miles SW of Trenton)
      • 15 municipalities (11 townships, 3 boroughs & 1 city)
    • Salem County Paratransit Services (2 sources):
      • Salem County Office on Aging
        • 3 deviated or flexible-fixed bus routes
        • Agency fleet of 22 vehicles (15 vans + 7 buses)
        • Free transportation for seniors, veterans and disabled
        • 29,000 passengers and 275,000 trips (FY 2008-2009)
        • Operating costs around $700,000 for 2 year period
        • Funding = combination of FTA 5311 program; NJ Casino Fund; Salem County; et al.
      • NJ Transit Access Link
        • Shared ride curb-to-curb van service (prescheduled + eligibility requirements)
        • Passengers pay same fare as other NJ Transit users
        • Approximately 600 trips originated in Salem County in FY 2009
  • 23. Evidence of impacts – rural areas New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Salem County – rural example
      • Funding
        • Federal Transit Act, Section 5310 (FTA funding)
          • Matching funds for state purchase of vehicles to lease to private, non-profit agencies for specialized transport for seniors/disabled
          • $3.8 million allocation (20% match by NJ Transit) to pay up to 80% of vehicle’s cost
        • Federal Transit Act, Section 5311 FTA Funding (Rural Transit Assistance Program)
          • Capital/Admin/Operating assistance for public transit services in small urban & rural areas of NJ (training & technical assistance by NJ Transit to small operators)
          • FY 2009-2010 program = $2.75 million in Federal funds
          • NJ Transit provides 1/2 match (=$1.2 million) with balance provided by local operators
        • Senior Citizen & Disabled Resident Program (FY 2009 = $33 million)
          • Funded by Casino Revenue Tax Fund
          • 85% distributed to NJ’s 21 Counties (transport 1.8 million seniors & disabled annually)
          • Remaining 15% to NJ Transit
      • Vehicles
        • Less than 100 vehicles serving disabled population in Salem region
        • Taxi ride average price = $2 per mile with $20 minimum
  • 24. Evidence of impacts – urban areas New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • NYC TLC & MTA Pilot Program
      • Debit cards (subscription service)
      • Reduces fraud
      • Enhances convenience
      • Reduces costs overall
      • Reduces stranded trip costs
      • NYC TLC Central Dispatch Pilot Program
      • Increased efficiency (GPS)
      • Centralized dispatch system (311, etc…)
  • 25. Parataxis – “A Vision” New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Reduce private paratransit and Access-A-Ride costs by eliminating/phasing out vans as appropriate to demonstrated need
    • Deploy taxicabs or licensed for-hire sedans to provide Parataxi service (including ratio of wheelchair accessible taxicabs)
    • Uniform government subsidies (all non-emergency transport and public transportation will be prioritized for the disabled)
    • Rural communities and non-disabled passengers can also benefit from increased transport services
    • All vehicles must be clean air, equipped with accident data recorders and GPS, with credit/debit card capabilities and privately run and subsidized
  • 26. Implementation - Ideas New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • United States
    • One agency coordinates all subsidies & operations (TBD by States)
    • Government combines all human services and public transportation funding and related programs (e.g. New Freedom) for disabled and seniors to administer para-taxi programs
    • Private operators will either bid to provide service and/or receive subsidies to offset increased taxi costs (e.g., vehicle ramp retrofitting + insurance)
    • Rural areas will receive more dual-use taxi service
    • United Kingdom
    • Agency or commercial coordination, supported nationally, regionally or locally
    • Requirement for coordinated planning compatible across existing systems
    • Benefit enhanced by mixed use where appropriate, and understanding where it is not.
  • 27. I International Association of Transportation Regulators New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • Membership:
      • Government regulators of taxicabs and for-hire vehicles, and the industries that support them
    • Mission:
      • To educate government regulators, the public and the business community about effective transportation regulation
      • To promote environmentally sound, efficient, exemplary and safe for-hire ground transportation service
  • 28. In International Association of Transportation Regulators New York Public Transit Association, Buffalo, NY (June 2011)
    • IATR 2011 Conference
    • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Training and Hospitality-The Keys to Taxi Success
    • Dates: September 11 – 14, 2011
    • Location: Sheraton Centre Toronto
          • 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON
    • Register at www.iatr.org
    • Online Registration began January 3,2011
    • Early Bird Registration Deadline is Friday, August 5, 2011