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SLOCOG Wants to Stop Funding Ride-On Senior Shuttle


The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) created a new service called Senior Go! Recently they announced they plan to award Ventura Transit Services (VTS) a two-year contract after a request for proposal (RFP) bid from any agency that was interested in brokering the service. Ride-On Transportation, a local non-profit organization that has been providing social service transportation for the past twenty-five years, submitted a proposal that was $89,000 less than Ventura Transit Services’ proposal. Ride-On also committed to providing $50,000 a year for additional rides beyond the $250,000 budgeted for the service. Despite Ride-On being the lower bidder and more experienced transportation provider, SLOCOG chose to awarded the bid to an agency outside of the county.

  • Ride-On developed the Senior Shuttle and has been providing the service since 2006. San Luis Obispo Council of Governments is proposing to use the Senior Shuttle funding previously funding the Senior Shuttle at Ride-On, for their own program. Ride-On will need to find other funding to replace the $250,000 that SLOCOG is diverting to VTS for Senior Go!
  • Ride-On submitted a protest to SLOCOG stating that their proposal was the lowest bid. In addition, Ride-On is based in San Luis Obispo County and has 12 years of experience providing excellent transportation to the Seniors in SLO County. Ride-On planned to combine Senior Go! with their existing Senior Shuttle to provide more rides for seniors 65 years and older at a lower cost per ride. Ride-On has chosen to continue to operate their Senior Shuttle, but why has SLOCOG developed a new program that will compete and duplicate the existing Senior Shuttle as well as divert the funding from SLO County based Ride-On to a Ventura County based agency?
  • We ask you to contact the SLOCOG representatives and tell them we do not need to fund a second Senior Shuttle. Tell them that the bid should be awarded to the lowest bidder with the most transportation experience and keep the funding in San Luis Obispo County. The final decision will be made at the SLOCOG Board Meeting on Wednesday, June 6th at 8:30 am in the Hearing Room of County Government Center at 1055 Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo. Come to the meeting and show your support of Ride-On!


Background

Ride-On Transportation is a nonprofit organization that operates under United Cerebral Palsy of San Luis Obispo County. They began providing social service transportation for individuals with developmental disabilities in 1987. In 1993, they created Ride-On to meet the transportation needs of seniors, veterans, social service agencies and people with disabilities. In 1987, SLOCOG designated Ride-On as the Consolidated Transportation Services Agency (CTSA). Assembly Bill 120 was passed in 1979 to encourage each county in California to fund a nonprofit organization to improve social service transportation. The bill allowed up to 5% of the transportation funding to go each year to support the CTSA’s efforts to improve social service transportation. Ride-On has been receiving the CTSA funding since 1993. Last year, they received $490,000 and provided 174,080 social service rides with a $5 million budget.

In 2007, the State of California wanted to improve social service transportation by developing Human Service Transportation Coordination Plans. SLOCOG was given the task of hiring a consultant to develop the plan as a guideline to identifying an agency to become the Mobility Manager for our county. As the CTSA, Ride-On was already providing most of the coordination services identified by the State of California. SLOCOG‘s Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan came up with the recommendation that their own Rideshare Program would be the best program to become the Mobility Manager. Their Board approved the plan, and since then the Rideshare Program has been working to replace Ride-On as the social service transportation coordinator for San Luis Obispo County.

In 2015, SLOCOG contracted with another consultant to review the progress on the Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan.

  • Under the supervision of SLOCOG staff, the consultant came up with a plan to use Ride-On’s CTSA funding to pay for other programs identified by SLOCOG staff, such as mobility training and volunteer driver programs.
  • The consultant further labeled two transportation programs as contract services and therefore should not be supported with Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds. These services provided rides for adults with developmental disabilities to their programs and medical trips for people who could use public transportation.
  • He then recommended that SLOCOG end the 5% support of Ride-On and only pay Ride-On for the services that their staff and board selected for funding.

When Measure J failed to pass in November of 2016, SLOCOG was looking at a major short fall in funding for road and transit improvements. SLOCOG staff looked at the $490,00 CTSA funding for Ride-On, and decided to take control of how the CTSA funds were spent. Their answer was to create their own Senior GO! Transportation Brokerage Program to and to send it out to bid. They earmarked $250,000 of the CTSA’s funding to go to the transportation provider who was selected. Ride-On and Ventura Transit Services (VTS) were the two bidders. Ride-On’s bid over $89,000 less than VTS. Ride-On also offered an additional $50,000 if the program went over the $250,000 allocated in the budget. Ride-On’s proposal would add $189,000 worth of senior rides over the two-year period. SLOCOG’s Bid Review Committee was made up of four people with no social service transportation background. They selected VTS to be awarded the contract.

Contact the SLOCOG Board of Supervisors

Tim Brown
    Arroyo Grande Councilman - tbrown@arroyogrande.org - (805) 473-5400
Tom O’Malley
   Mayor Atascadero - tomalley@atascadero.com - (805) 470-3390
John Shoals
   Mayor Grover Beach - jshoals@groverbeach.org - (805) 473-4567
John Headding
   Morro Bay Councilman - jheadding@morrobayca.gov - (805) 909-9785
Fred Strong
   Paso Robles City Councilman - fstrong@prcity.com - (805) 237-3888
Ed Waage
   Pismo Beach Mayor - citycouncil@pismobeach.org - (805) 773-4657
Dan Rivoire
   SLO City Councilman - drivoire@slocity.org - (805) 540-8812
Lynn Compton
   4th District Supervisor - district4@co.slo.ca.us - (805) 781-4337
John Peschong
   1st District Supervisor - jpeschong@co.slo.ca.us - (805) 781-5450
Bruce Gibson
   2nd District Supervisor - bgibson@co.slo.ca.us - (805) 781-4338
Adam Hill
   3rd District Supervisor - bfixler@co.slo.ca.us - (805) 781-4336
Debbie Arnold
   5th District Supervisor - district5@co.slo.ca.us - (805) 781-4339


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