Operations and Operating Assistance

Transportation Alternatives co-owned and directed the operation of a major paratransit service for a decade, served as the broker of a major city’s (Los Angeles) paratransit system, and assisted numerous public agencies and private companies in their operation of a broad range of often unique transit, paratransit and hybrid transportation services, many of which TA designed.

PTS Transportation Operations

As co-owner of PTS Transportation, TA designed, directed and supervised a 70-vehicle demand-responsive, flexible-schedule subscription service for 1,100 physically and developmentally disabled clients of the North Los Angeles County Regional Center attending more than 30 program facilities in the County’s San Fernando and Antelope Valleys. Relying on subcontractor Chrysler Corporation’s vanpool subsidiary, VPSI, for vehicles, insurance, maintenance and fuel, TA directed the performance of a complete range of operating functions for a 10-year period. Concurrent with and integrated into this operation, and relying on the same consolidated fleet, TA directed PTS Transportation’s MediCal-funded non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) service, transporting physically disabled and ill patients to medical facilities throughout Los Angeles County for dialysis, chemotherapy, radiation, physical therapy, doctors’ appointments and other purposes.

PTS Transportation Brokerage

As the technical consultant to PTS Transportation, TA assisted PTS in its role as the original Paratransit Broker for the City of Los Angeles’ VALTRANS Dial-A-Ride program. In its capacity as Director of PTS’ services, TA developed RFPs and operating contracts for participating service providers, supervised, managed and monitored their performance, and assigned them to various coordinated service roles. The multi-provider service structure included dedicated vehicles (vans and minibus conversions) supplemented by a non-emergency medical service network, as well as taxicabs used to accommodate “overflow” and provide service in low density portions of the service area and during periods of low demand. Among TA’s many responsibilities, it prepared “skeleton” schedules for the dedicated vehicle portion of service, into which pre-scheduled demand-responsive and immediate-response trips were integrated.

Technical Assistance to Operating Agencies and Companies

TA performed a number of technical assistance functions to both public- and private-sector operated transportation service entities, including:

  • Wilmington Checker Cab and SuperShuttle. TA helped this multi-purpose South Bay transportation company monitor and restructure its dedicated vehicle and taxi-based dial-a-ride services provided to roughly a dozen cities in Los Angeles County’s South Bay. TA also prepared the PUC application for the Company’s original route deviation “Supershuttle” operation, since then both franchised out, and otherwise replicated throughout the country. While the brainchild of taxi industry genius Mitchell Rouse, Supershuttle grew out of extended discussions between Messrs. Einstein and Rouse regarding the relative advantages of shared-ride versus exclusive-ride service. For years afterwards, Messrs. Einstein and Rouse were also among Los Angeles’ most vocal, key proponents of “mixed mode” transit service — what evolved, throughout much of the country, into the contracting out of all or selected portions of fixed route transit systems to private contractors.
  • Pomona Valley Get About and Diversified Paratransit, Inc..After redesigning the routes and service structure of this four-city paratransit system and revising the operating contract for its private service provider (Diversified Paratransit, Inc.), TA resolved a number of operating, capacity and institutional problems stemming from the system’s integration of demand-responsive paratransit service to elderly and disabled individuals with subscription service for developmentally disabled clients of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Center. Both types of service were provided within the integration of a single mixed van and taxicab fleet. The effort resulted in the agency’s restructuring by its Board of Directors, the Pomona Valley Joint Powers Authority.
  • Diversified Paratransit Services, Inc.. TA helped this large subregional paratransit service company restructure its paratransit and subscription services, and evaluated and redefined its scheduling and dispatching procedures – concurrently with, and with the permission from, TA’s service to Diversified Paratransit Service’s client, the Pomona Valley Get About.
  • The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU). As TELACU’s technical consultant, TA helped TELACU redesign its subscription service to social service agency clients, including service to physically and developmentally challenged clients of the East Los Angeles Retarded Citizens Association (ELARCA). TA designed skeleton routes and schedules, coordinated subcontracting service with Chrysler subsidiary Van Pool Services, Inc. (VPSI), and conducted feasibility studies and performance-improvement analyses, including an examination of the cost savings which would result from TELACU’s assumption of the entire ELARCA service structure.
  • Transportation Concepts, Inc. (TCI). TA prepared technical proposals – including preliminary system designs and run-cutting analyses — for TCI’s successful assumption of several fixed route lines and a route-deviation feeder service to the Lakewood Green Line Metrorail station contracted by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA). This effort was TCI’s first transit project: By 2000, TCI had 350 fixed route vehicle in operation, under contract to most public transit agencies, throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.