Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices. Topic SG-14. Paratransit Service Delivery Models and Contractor Procurement

Approximately 80% of medium to large paratransit systems in the United States (US) use contractors for service delivery and often for call center or turnkey functions. Moreover, most large systems use multiple contractors. The procurement process affects the success of all of these contractual relationships, including Request for Proposals (RFPs) and contract terms such as the payment structure, performance based incentives and penalties, the ability to shift work between contractors and/or to non-dedicated service providers, and the contract term. These must be crafted to reflect the particular service model employed, any planned changes to the service model, and/or changes to policies that are being introduced to address identified shortcomings. The objective of this synthesis is to document, for a comprehensive set of service models, the way various elements of the RFP and contract 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, including specific wording, of what is currently being done. The synthesis will be useful to paratransit mangers and transit agency procurement officers. It is needed now more than ever with (1) the advent of new “hybrid” service models for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (and coordinated) paratransit that have developed; (2) new technologies and the growing use of non-dedicated service providers; (3) the inadvertent – and in some cases unrecognized and unattributed – increase in paratransit cost due to the mis-design of RFPs and contracts; and (4) the tendency to reimburse the contractor on an overall rate rather than splitting the price structure among the major fixed and variable resource and activity cost drivers thereby increasing accountability and reducing risk of financial loss, identifies which costs are fixed and which are variable Specific tasks to be performed include: 1. Literature review - to identify current practices in procurement and contracting. 2. Survey of transit agencies - to identify additional current practices in procurement and contracting, especially those that pertain to different service models. 3. Prepare case studies of current practices in contract procurement and contracting that reflect the wide range of paratransit service models, focusing specifically on how those best practices achieved cost avoidance or the desired balance of cost efficiency and service quality. Any challenges the contracting entity was trying to solve, including the intended and unintended outcomes, should be highlighted. The geographic diversity of these case studies is less important; rather, the case studies as a set need to reflect the various service models used for ADA (and coordinated) paratransit systems, including (a) procuring one vs. two vs. multiple dedicated service contractors, with and without call center functions, and with zoned and unzoned service assignments; (b) procuring a centralized call and control center manager independent of the service contractors; (c) procuring non-dedicated service providers used for ADA paratransit service; (d) procuring non-dedicated service providers for non-ADA subsidy programs and (e) allocating costs to allow varying subsidy programs to rideshare clients or sequence the time that vehicles are used.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic SG-14

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Start Date: 20160527
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40902

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01601667
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic SG-14
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 4 2016 1:00AM