Bureau of Audit
Follow-up Audit Report on Vendor Contracts with New York City Transit to Provide Access-A-Ride Services
FEBRUARY 3, 2012
AUDIT REPORT IN BRIEF
Download the Complete Report (pdf 211KB)
This follow-up audit determined whether New York City Transit (NYCT) implemented the six recommendations made in the previous audit, Audit Report on Vendor Contracts with New York City Transit to Provide Access-A-Ride Services (ME09-078A) issued July 28, 2009.
The previous audit concluded NYCT’s monitoring of no-shows reported by Access-A-Ride vendors had significant deficiencies. The 14 NYCT Access-A-Ride vendors had 362,587 no-shows in Calendar Year 2008, or 6.3 percent of the 5.8 million assigned trips during this period. While NYCT identified instances of vendors incorrectly classifying contractor no-shows as either customer no-shows or no-fault no-shows, the agency was not able to specify the number of no-shows reviewed and the percentages that were misclassified because it does not adequately document its reviews. Consequently, neither NYCT nor we could determine the extent to which no-shows were misclassified and whether the instances identified were indicative of a much larger problem. By not ensuring that vendors accurately report the number of contractor no-shows, NYCT may be allowing vendors to provide an inflated view of their performance, resulting in NYCT not being able to determine whether contractors are receiving incentive payments they are not entitled to, or avoiding penalties for which they are liable.
In addition, although NYCT tracks customer complaints against Access-A-Ride vendors and has procedures in place to investigate and respond to those complaints, there is insufficient evidence that the agency regularly discusses complaint trends with each vendor or that vendors take corrective action to address identified problems. Consequently, opportunities to reduce customer complaints—and improve customer service—appear not to be consistently used by NYCT.
The previous audit further concluded that NYCT generally monitored the compliance of its Access-A-Ride vendors to certain key contract provisions. The previous review of on-time performance reports generated by NYCT’s automated and centralized Access-A-Ride trip reservation and scheduling system (ADEPT) found that these reports were generally accurate. We also found that Access-A-Ride drivers had valid licenses that authorized them to drive Access-A-Ride vehicles. Furthermore, Access-A-Ride carriers were ensuring that its drivers complied with Article 19-A regulations1 .
Audit Findings and Conclusions
The current follow-up audit found that NYCT has implemented all six of the recommendations made in the previous audit. Specifically, we found that: NYCT prepared written guidelines detailing the process used to review route data, and its reconciliation reviews cover a cross-section of vendors and alternates between vendors. Further, NYCT’s summary tracking sheets included a column identifying total trips reviewed and no-shows. In addition, route reconciliation records identify and reclassify no-show discrepancies, and NYCT sends letters to the appropriate carrier from a Contract Manager informing the carrier of the necessary changes. Finally, we found that contract managers discussed negative trends based on its complaint analysis and detail their discussions with vendors on performance issues.
NYCT’s Paratransit Division reviewed the draft report and concurred with the report’s conclusions.
1 Article 19-A requires Transit, like all motor carriers, to annually review the driving records of each bus operator it employs and determine whether each operator (1) meets minimum requirements for safe driving and (2) meets the minimum qualifications to drive a bus.