Article Revised: March 28, 2019
A Lean Six Sigma project in Tyler, Texas, has lead the city to opt for providing in-house paratransit services rather than contracting that service out to a private company. According to an article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, the city began its analysis in January and included a customer survey about the city’s paratransit services that provide transportation for disabled individuals six days a week. Also included in the assessment was the destinations the service would go to, including medical facilities, work places, Lighthouse for the Blind, and others, the article stated.
Tyler’s paratransit services have been offered both through private companies as well as in-house resources in the past. In December of 2013, the private company contract expired and the Federal Transit Administration urged the city to seek other bids. Assistant city manager Susan Guthrie stated that by keeping the services in-house, the city mitigates its risk through self-auditing to ensure compliance with federal transit guidelines. In addition, it is believed that the city can provide better value and enhance service levels for customers at a cost similar to that of a private contract, the article stated.
Mayor Martin Heines said of the issue that it is the city’s responsibility as stewards of taxpayer money to make sure that the taxpayer is receiving necessary service for the least cost. A majority of the funding for the paratransit services comes from Federal Transit Administration grants, as well as some funding from the Texas Department of Transportation. Grant money will help enable the city to purchase additional vehicles and to hire more drivers, the article noted.
Better value and enhanced service levels are part of the benefit that Lean Six Sigma projects such as the one completed by the city of Tyler provide.