SANTA ROSA PARATRANSIT WINNER 2010 OUTSTANDING PARATRANSIT PROGRAM AWARD FROM THE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF COORDINATED TRANSPORTATION
Santa Rosa, CA – April 20, 2010: The City of Santa Rosa’s Transit Department is very pleased to announce their division, Santa Rosa Paratransit, has been recognized as the 2010 Outstanding Paratransit Program by the California Association of Coordinated Transportation (CalACT).
The award was presented at the CalACT Annual Awards presentation at their 2010 Spring Conference and Expo, at the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco on April 20, 2010.
Over the past five years, Santa Rosa Paratransit staff has been dedicated to improving all aspects of the Paratransit service provided to the residents of Santa Rosa. In particular, incredible improvements have been made in the following areas:
- Operations: Reliability and accountability are the driving forces behind the implementation of new software and technology which include:
- Trapeze Scheduling Software to improve productivity and reliability.
- Upgraded phone system with recording feature to enhance accountability.
- Installed Mentor Ranger Mobil Data Terminals and Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) systems to link with Trapeze and further improve productivity, reliability and accountability.
- All fleet vehicles will have been replaced with new vehicles by May, 2010, including upgrading sedans to accessible mini-vans.
- A standard Type 7 cutaway bus was replaced with a low-floor cutaway bus, for a deviated fixed route in the Oakmont Senior Community. This service allows Paratransit eligible passengers to schedule route deviations to their homes for shopping trips or travel within the Oakmont Community. Since implementation in 2008, 40-50 deviations are made per month, which in the past, likely would have been the more expensive Paratransit trips.
- Purchased a new mobile Transit Information Center for the Santa Rosa Transit Mall to provide fixed route information and assistance to elderly and disabled patrons which has the added benefit of controlling capacity on the Paratransit service.
- Safety and Security:
- Installed Emission Reduction Devices which reduced particulate matter emissions by 40% (compared to 2005 levels) and Nitrous Oxide (NOx) by 3.2 g/bhp-hr. Reducing emissions is important to the health and safety of our clients and well as the entire community.
- The installation of the AVL system with Global Positioning Units allows us to track the location of each vehicle and its passengers at all times.
- Five Mobile View IV video cameras were installed on each vehicle to record daily activities, which increase security and reduce the City’s risk exposure.
- The installation of G-force activated DriveCam cameras and recorders has resulted in safer driving habits.
- Quality Assurance: In July 2007, Santa Rosa Paratransit implemented a Functional Testing Program to ensure that the City’s ADA complementary Paratransit service was, indeed, reserved for only those who could not utilize fixed route service. Extensive community outreach was conduced in addition to having members of the Paratransit Users’ Group and Santa Rosa City Council participate in the eligibility screenings. Ultimately, the new Eligibility Testing Program has become one of the City’s primary ways of preserving the ability to deliver the highest quality service to its clientele. The completion of the new Transit Operation Building in 2006 provides a facility for the functional assessments, thereby mitigating the overhead costs of a remote assessment site.
- Regional Coordination: Meeting on a monthly basis with regional agencies to coordinate guidelines, transfer opportunities and resolve issues common to everyone, has proven to be invaluable. One area of joint concern is Mobility Management Options; the Santa Rosa Paratransit Program Manager joined with other county Adult and Aging Services staff members and two local elected officials to travel to the Senior Transportation Institute in Washington D.C. last summer. The goal was to evaluate and improve the level of service currently available to the elderly and person with disabilities. Cooperation and work between agencies on items identified is ongoing.
- Public Perception: Undoubtedly, Santa Rosa Paratransit and the City of Santa Rosa have invested a great deal of time, energy and resources to improve its system. Ridership has stabilized, quality of service has been enhanced and service reliability has improved. Staff has also continued to strengthen relationships with the disabled community by facilitating community evolvement and education through the Paratransit Users’ Group (PUG), travel training seminars, the development and publication of educational literature and by including representatives from the disabled community in appropriate programs and projects.
Through all of its concrete investments and strengthened relationships with the senior and disabled community, public perception of the Santa Rosa Paratransit system has significantly improved. Today, Santa Rosa Paratransit is well respected, especially for its notable achievements, completed in a short period of time, during a time of dwindling financial resources.
“Santa Rosa Paratransit is to be congratulated for taking on the challenge of system-wide upgrades, and most especially for striving to achieve and maintain a high level of quality service delivery that is a local asset.” – Janet Spilman, Deputy of Planning and Public Outreach, Sonoma County Transportation Authority.
“Over the past three years, Santa Rosa CityBus/Paratransit has demonstrated its commitment to improve transit service to seniors and people with disabilities. When functional assessments for Paratransit eligibility were initiated, the Paratransit Administrator for CityBus came to explain the new process to our social workers and address specific needs of the challenging clients we serve. System changes have significantly improved service for our clients.” Ginny Doyle, Planner, Area Agency on Aging.
“The most spectacular project in this program probably was our insisting on an up-graded reservation and routing procedure. The reservation system now is completely computerized and every call is registered and filed. Schedules, routes and individual bus-ride manifests are printed out and all these records are accessible. Today “on-time” performance statistics are at almost 99%. And we haven’t heard about a missed bus-ride in years now.” T. J. O’Leary, Paratransit Users’ Group.