Coordination and Consolidation

Transportation Alternatives has been involved in the coordination, consolidation and integration of various transportation modes virtually since the firm’s inception in 1980. TA President Ned Einstein has directed or participated on seven coordination projects, designed several multi-modal paratransit and bus systems, and consolidated his own 70-vehicle paratransit fleet to provide paratransit and non-emergency medical service with essentially the same fleet. Mr. Einstein has also has authored a number of important policy documents related to this aspect of transportation. At the planning and system design level, most of the systems created by TA have included both multiple user groups and the integration of service types (e.g., local/feeder-collector fixed route bus-to-rail) into an intermodal structure. Examples of TA’s work in this area are presented in the four sections below:

  • Coordination, Consolidation and Integration of Systems and Services
  • Organizations Concerned with Modal Integration
  • Articles and Policy Documents
  • Integration of Vehicle Characteristics

Coordination, Consolidation and Integration of Systems and Services

TA conducted several feasibility studies related to the coordination and/or consolidation of special paratransit services for elderly and disabled individuals, including a study involving social service agency paratransit operations in Orange County, CA, and municipal and social service agency operations in Los Angeles County’s “West Side” (See Transportation Planning, Analysis and Studies). TA also effected the actual integration of more than 30 fragmented services for programs serving clients of the North Los Angeles County Regional Center into a single 70-vehicle operation in two service areas, and then further created a non-emergency medical system which he consolidated with the same fleet. He also effected similar consolidation in other areas of Los Angeles County during TA’s tenure there, including the ELARCA system in East Los Angeles, and the Pomona Valley “Get About”. Transportation Alternatives directed or participated in five coordination/consolidation studies, including two for the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). The second of these products developed the specifications for an integrated school/transit bus, while the first study examined institutional and other constraints to the consolidation of pupil transportation and transit service.

Virtually every general public transportation system designed by TA was developed to effect an integration of different service objectives, and designed to not only serve multiple user groups, but to transform the often-institutional conflicts among these modes to take advantage of the strengths of combining them. TA’s initial design of the Carson Circuit Transit System — one of the nation’s first timed-transfer pulse systems, and the nation’s only transit system designed for its unique, major ridership group — schoolchildren — involved the integration of a local circulator system with a feeder/distributor system designed to interface with the dozen regional fixed route bus services operating within or adjacent to the City, and when redesigned by TA a decade later, to also integrate with Los Angeles County’s Blue Line of the County’s mixed heavy- and light-rail system (see Map and Schedule Design).

TA also designed a route deviation feeder service to the Lakewood Green Line Metrorail station, integrating various fixed route transit and demand-responsive paratransit service characteristics.

Organizations Concerned with Modal Integration

TA has been actively involved in both national and international organizations dedicated to the integration of transportation modes and services. TA President Ned Einstein was a member of the Transit Use Committee (1995) and Non-Schoolbus Systems Committee (2000) of the National Congress on School Transportation, Committees aimed at improving the safety of transit services and other modes use by schoolchildren for whom traditional pupil transportation services were not available. In this capacity, he co-authored the policy document calling for a constructive dialog between the pupil transportation and transit communities, unanimously adopted by the 50-member National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation. Mr. Einstein was also a charter member of A.I.S.T., the Quebec City-based International Association for the Safe Transportation of Children (and remains a member), and the first, and perhaps only, American member of Paris-based ANATEEP — the European Union’s policy-making organization concerned with the transportation of schoolchildren. TA President Ned Einstein was selected as a speaker at A.I.S.T.’s First International Conference in 1995 (see Memberships and Affiliations).

He remains a member of the American Public Transportation Association’s Access Committee (devoted to the provision of improved multi-modal service to clients eligible for them under the Americans with Disabilities Act).

Articles and Policy Documents

In his capacity as a member of the Transit Use Committee of the National Congress on School Transportation, TA President Mr. Einstein co-authored (with former California Supervisor of Pupil Transportation Ron Kinney) the original policy document adopted unanimously by the 50-member National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) calling for safety improvements in transit services to accommodate schoolchildren. “Proposed” Partnership between School Bus and Public Transit Service,” in School Transportation News, 2000.

In response to worldwide interest in the unique safety features of U.S.-manufactured school buses and, in particular, the U.S. and European controversy raging over the feasibility of installing seatbelts in buses used by schoolchildren, TA President Ned Einstein prepared a paper for A.I.S.T. on U.S. vehicle manufacturing standards and the feasibility of installing seatbelts in U.S.-manufactured school buses — which are currently requirements for all school buses in six states. Mr. Einstein has a well-documented history of opposing the installation of lap-only belts on large vehicles — a position held almost universally by members of the U.S. pupil transportation community.

Prior to his formation of Transportation Alternatives, TA President Ned Einstein’s summary of the National Survey of Transportation Handicapped People was the first document laying the groundwork for President Carter’s doctrine of “full accessibility”, and nearly two decades later, the full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Integration of Vehicle Characteristics

As a founding member of the U.S.-Slovene joint venture company TAM-USA, TA presided over the design and development of the first integral school bus ever constructed — a design which integrated the full range of U.S.-certified safety features and requirements into a European motorcoach “vehicle envelope” (see Vehicle Design and Product Development). While this project was not commercially successful, it led to a plethora of vehicle integration efforts in the Early 1990’s, including every school bus manufacturers’ production of “transit” and “over-the-road” coach models, as well as the State of California’s specifications and RFP for an integrated transit/school bus.