While performance analysis and evaluation are common elements in most projects conducted by Transportation Alternatives, TA directed a number of efforts focusing specifically on these disciplines. These projects include:
TA conducted performance audits of the Glendale Dial-A-Ride, Carson Dial-A-Ride, TELACU subscription service to clients of the East Los Angeles Retarded Citizens Association (ELARCA), and the Pomona Valley Get About paratransit system. All four analyses focused on both financial and operational performance and resulted in the significant restructuring of all four systems.
Examination of Existing Systems and Services
TA’s first consulting effort involved the examination of 30 special paratransit systems in 18 U.S. cities — including USDOT’s first comprehensive analysis of the operating factors which govern paratransit system efficiency. Since TA’s completion of that exercise, the Company has examined dozens of transit and paratransit systems throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties, including a number of systems in the five L.A. County communities for which TA prepared formal transportation plans (see Transportation Planning, Analysis and Studies). In addition, TA examined literally dozens of fixed route bus lines of the LACMTA, LADOT, Long Beach Transit, Gardena Municipal Bus Lines, Torrance Transit, Long Beach Transit, Antelope Valley Transit and Santa Clarita Transit in its preparation of proposals for a number of fixed route and paratransit projects on which its operating clients bid.
In addition, TA conducted an extensive analysis of both the Blue and Green Lines of the LACMTA Metrorail system, including the examination of on-and-off and on-board profiles of existing bus routes serving every station along each line throughout the day, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The performance of these rail and bus lines, by line segment and time-of-day, were used in the configuration of alternative fixed route, paratransit, route deviation and feeder services proposed as alternatives or supplements to existing services. And TA conducted a detailed examination of bus and rail services operating within and adjacent to the City of Carson for its two design efforts (a decade apart) of the Carson Circuit Transit System.
Since its relocation to New York City, TA examined the performance and service quality of a 75-vehicle school bus service to the New Britain Connecticut School District provided by regional school bus and motorcoach operator DATTCO, resulting in a series of recommendations for restructuring the entire system. And for Cambridge-based MultiSystems (currently TransSystems), TA examined the consolidation of transportation services in 12 rural counties in the Florida panhandle as part of a TCRP project aimed at exploring the feasibility of integrating pupil transportation and transit services.
TA conducted Los Angeles County’s first two privatization studies, for the South Bay and Pomona Valleys, respectively. In both cases, the studies determined that equivalent or better services (using the same routes and frequencies) could be provided by private contractors for roughly one fourth the subsidy funds currently supporting the publicly-funded systems. The second of these studies led, indirectly, to the formation of the San Gabriel Transit Zone and Foothill Transit, the County’s first lead agencies created specifically to contract transit service to private companies. The first of these studies eventually led to the then Southern California Rapid Transit District’s (since consolidated into the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority) contracting out of 37 routes to private-sector service providers.
TA conducted five studies which examined the comparative performance of separate and fragmented transportation systems compared to that achievable through various forms of coordination or consolidation, including two studies for the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Cooperative Research Program (See Coordination and Consolidation).
Transit Performance Analysis
Prior to his formation of Transportation Alternatives, TA President Ned Einstein designed and served as the Project Manager for the USDOT/UMTA’s (currently the FTA) National Conference on Transit Performance (Norfolk, VA, September, 1977) and edited the Conference Proceedings.