The existence of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) may provide opportunities for cost-savings to Access Link, NJ TRANSIT’s statewide advance-reservation, shared ride, ADA complementary paratransit service. Presently, all Access Link trips are delivered directly by five (5) service providers that NJ TRANSIT has contracts with, serving separate geographic regions of the State. As Access Link ridership increases every year, service costs increase as well. The availability of service by TNCs may provide alternative, less costly options for some Access Link trips, however such needs to be studied in detail to examine and evaluate feasible service configuration options, risks, costs and benefits.
As Access Link conforms to requirements of the ADA and other regulations, any integration with service delivery partners, including subcontracting, would need to ensure that all such requirements will continue to be met. The ability to meet existing service standards, including those regarding safety, quality and service equivalence, is critical as well. The ability to ensure compliance with requirements regarding driver training, drug and alcohol testing and access to accessible vehicles is equally critical. While other transit agencies in the nation have gone forward to defer some service to TNCs, the impacts and results of such arrangements are unknown and may provide for case studies and “best practices” for consideration.
The outputs of this project must include the appropriate report(s) that describe the research conducted along with the considerations and evaluations made. Final recommendations must be delivered that state whether it would be advantageous for NJ TRANSIT to pursue integrating with a TNC along with comprehensive explanations of the basis for the recommendation(s). If the recommendations are to proceed with integration with a TNC, the outputs must include detailed descriptions of how the integration would work, what the operating terms and parameters would be, risks to be considered, how perceptions of service inequality can be addressed, implementation timeline, and benefits to be gained.