SAN GABRIEL TRANSIT
San Gabriel Transit
San Gabriel Transit (SGT) serves the eastern region of the Access Services’ paratransit system and has been using 5M since 2007. At approximately 394 square miles and encompassing eastern Los Angeles County, the service area is the largest Access region by area. In 2016, SGT served over 915,000 trips, second most of any Access contractor. Fifty-three percent of these trips were served by taxi subcontractors.
SGT’s employee-operated fleet consists of over 200 agency- and contractor-owned vehicles. Through taxi subcontractors, SGT uses an additional 400 independent contractor resources—all certified to service ADA trips. SGT has a second, separate contract with Access Services to schedule and transport riders for eligibility trips throughout Los Angeles County, served mostly by dedicated vehicles operated separately from SGT’s ADA paratransit service.
Access Services (Access) is the designated agency in Los Angeles County for coordinating and providing ADA complementary paratransit services on behalf of 45 member municipalities and public transit agencies. Originally created in 1994 as a private, non-profit company, it is now a public agency.
Access Paratransit has the second largest ADA paratransit ridership in the US. Over four million ADA paratransit trips are served annually, with an average of between 11,000 and 12,000 passenger trips per weekday, over a vast service area of 1,325 square miles. Because the ADA paratransit area is so large, it has been divided up into six regions, four in the LA Basin. The service fleet consists of 848 dedicated vehicles plus approximately 1,300 “ADA-paratransit-certified” taxicabs operated in semi-dedicated and non-dedicated fashion.
Since 2007, California Transit, Inc. (CTI) has served Access Services’ west central region, an area totaling 119 square miles. The area includes downtown Los Angeles, several central Los Angeles neighborhoods, and neighborhoods and municipalities in the Westside. In 2016, CTI served over 502,000 trips, ranking fourth among the Access paratransit contractors. CTI’s taxi subcontractors served approximately 44 percent of these trips.
CTI’s operations and dispatch facility are located near downtown Los Angeles. Their fleet consists of 113 Access-owned vehicles and five vehicles owned by CTI. Like SGT, CTI uses multiple taxi contractors, collectively supplying 81 certified taxis.
While all of 5M’s capabilities and functions are used by two of its service provider contractors (SGT and CTI), Access Services uses 5M to consolidate reporting for all of its contractors. This involves collecting information from other software packages (Trapeze and ADEPT) and infusing the trip data into 5M’s battery of reports, which enable trend analyses for specified performance metrics for the system as a whole, as well as by provider, by vehicle, and by driver. Access Services picked TSS Paratransit for consolidated reporting because 5M’s battery of standard reports are vast, detailed, easily configurable, and provide the information Access Services’ staff needs.
Operations Monitoring Console
5M also provides Access Services with an operations monitoring console (OMC) for monitoring daily performance; for example, the OMC allows Access Services staff to view live statistics for on-time performance, numbers of completed and pending trips, cancellations and no-shows for the providers using 5M. With this information, Access Services’ staff does not have to wait until the next day for daily reports; instead, it can use the live information to work with providers to solve problems—in real time.
Shared Resources Reduce Hold Times
Serving adjacent regions, SGT and CTI operate a unified call center, where reservations, scheduling, and customers’ same-day issue functions are handled by a common staff using the 5M software. Although each contract hires their own CSRs, employees from one contract are available to assist the other contract when needed. With information supplied by 5M, managers move reservationists between lines for each region in order to reduce hold times.
No Pre-Scheduling Reduces Hold Times and Training Needs
Our 5M software allows SGT and CTI reservation agents to offer two pick-up times before or after the requested pick-up time, increasing the probability of the rider receiving a usable time. Trips are not inserted in a run at the time of booking, alleviating the need to pre-schedule the trip onto a specific run, minimizing call—and hold—times. Since reservation agents do not need to be routers, less expertise and training of reservation agents is required.
Address Verification Increases Service Productivity
5M includes several address verification features beyond the standard reservation procedure. SGT/CTI reservation agents use 5M’s on-screen map to confirm nearby cross streets with the customer and query pickup notes. Preferred Access pick-up locations and GIS coordinates are easily identified on the map, minimizing operational snafus and increasing productivity.
Lightning-Fast Scheduling Increases Staff and Service Productivity
The combined SGT/CTI scheduling function takes advantage of 5M’s unique batch scheduling algorithms. This process simultaneously schedules trips onto dedicated runs and full-day runs for taxi drivers and creates clusters in different timespans for taxi drivers who log in on the fly. The entire batch process takes less than one minute to schedule over 5,500 trips with very few trips left unscheduled or unassigned.
Mixed-Fleet Approach Reduces Unit Costs
Supported by 5M, both SGT and CTI use an efficient and cost-effective mixed-fleet approach. Our software simultaneously creates runs for employee drivers, taxi drivers who request runs in advance, and taxi drivers who log into the system on the fly.
Trip Exchanges between Providers Increases Productivity
5M’s joint scheduling function enables SGT to use CTI vehicles (and vice versa) to improve efficiency of the combined fleets. SGT and CTI’s respective sets of dispatchers employ this trip exchange strategy in real time, resulting in reduced deadhead miles, increased productivity, and reduced costs.
Superior Dispatch Capabilities Allow a Higher Vehicle-to-Dispatcher Ratio, Decreasing Labor Costs
With 5M, SGT and CTI dispatchers identify absent or late drivers and reassign their first trips to other van runs or to taxis. Dispatchers do not have to monitor the driver roster; the system proactively alerts dispatchers if a driver has not logged in on time, has not pulled out of the yard on time, or if an employee driver has not returned to the yard by the expected time. Our software alerts dispatchers to where their attention is needed and suggests runs to fit unassigned trips, allowing dispatcher-to-vehicle ratios that exceed the normal range.