Item 18: Electric Cab Pilot Microtransit Program

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COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Consider approval of Resolution 2021-155R, awarding a contract to Rideco US, Inc. to conduct an eighteen-month Electric Cab Pilot Microtransit Program relating to downtown parking in a not-to-exceed amount of $500,000.00 with funding provided by the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #5; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the contract on behalf of the City; and declaring an effective date.
 

Attachments

  • Resolution (1).pdf
    7.5 KB · Views: 216
  • 220-270 Proposal Submittal Log.pdf
    580.2 KB · Views: 196
  • Exhibit A RideCo San Marcos TX - Work Plan.pdf
    769.9 KB · Views: 235

MBaker

Council Member
Will the marketing rollout phase include signage/wayfinding to help increase visibility of the program?

Since the app is in Eng/Span, can we expect the advertising and rollout to also target both languages?

Glad to see they addressed requiring masks and following the CDC's direction! Any data on how the last year has impacted their ridership? How many years have these programs been available, any sense of the overall trend and struggles these models encounter?

Looks like the "Error!" should have been links, can those be provided?
 

MDerrick

CoSM Members
I have several questions below.

-Will the "fleet" of electric cabs consist of only two - one ADA accessible and the other not, until such time as demand increases and they add another 2 buses?
- What if one breaks down? Will they have a certified mechanic in San Marcos or nearby. Do they have a 24 hour turn around on replacing a bus.
-Will this allow for extra cabs to be available for special events like Sights and Sounds.
-Where is their facility?
-It sounds like this is primarily an app we are paying for with Ride.Co and they will be working with a 3rd party vendor to provide the electric busses. Will they have local employees/management in San Marcos or nearby?
-Who will the phone receptionist at the city be? Do we have a position that can handle this currently on staff?
-Why are we going with an APP based out of Canada instead of a company in the U.S. or even a more local company?
- For the marketing/branding wrap on the busses, will we be able to wrap them for events like Sights and Sounds or will it just be one city approved design like we saw with our former bike now scooter program?- There is a lot of information about data, however, will analytics have a customized report for the information needs for downtown biz’s to buy into program. Who are the patrons where are they going to and coming from. Need to know who the target population is and are they “their” customer base so they can use the information to boost marketing.

Thanks
 

JHughson

CoSM Members
Is Rideco out of Los Angels (ARF) or Canada (RFP document)?
From the Rideco document, page 3. "Based on our assessment of the service zone provided in Addendum 1, we are confident that our software can serve up to 160 passengers using just two 5-passenger electric vans per 12-hour service day. "
Is that 160 people per DAY? Only 4-7 per vehicle HOUR?
What are the 12 hour service day hours?
Where is the covered parking? Is the City providing that?
What logos will be on the city branded vehicle wrap?
Does one have to book a trip or can they wave down the vehicle which should have a set route?
Part of this vehicle's purpose is taking employees to their cars after bars close. Who is answering the phone at that time?
Problem here on page 3. "A detailed walkthrough of our Passenger Mobile Application is in Error! Reference source not found.."
Still on page 3 "We will tune the platform so that trip times will be honored within 30 minutes of the requested pickup time." That seems like a long time.
This is a problem. "Before booking a trip with the service, passengers will need to create an account." How long does that take? Hoping it's a quick name/phone on the app. I can see the value in doing this, reporting, being able to see when the vehicle is coming, etc. but if someone is standing on the curb and needs a ride, Rideco needs to pick them up.
For the items in the their document that shows something "can" be done, will it? Who is responsible for seeing to that?
How long have these folks been in business? If everything is by an app, that's software and we all know software has bugs, especially in version 1 and there is time and effort and bad experiences that will eventually lead to better service. Seems like they acknowledge this on page 5 "Our Project Manager will be available by phone, email, and over a dedicated Slack channel; they will immediately rectify any issue until the system is fully functional." And WHO is available once they consider the system fully functional? AND shouldn't WE determine when it's fully functional?
Page 6. They have "we will work closely with the City of San Marcos to understand the definition of success and will work to ensure the service exceeds all target metrics" Where is OUR definition of success and metrics?
Page 6, another "Error! Reference source not found."
Page 6. Where does Rebecca live? San Marcos, nearby, or out-of-state?
Again "...Rebecca’s resume can be found in Error! Reference source not found."
Page 8. Again. "Detailed screenshots of our dashboards are included in Error! Reference source not found.."
All this automated scheduling seems like a lot for just 4-7 per vehicle per hour!
Who will have access to their dashboards?
Page 9 Again. "As seen in the screenshots in Error! Reference source not found., the RideCo API allows system administrators to view a display screen with a live map..."

What reporting do we plan to do?

What services do they provide for VIA in San Antonio? (If we know)

This is not exactly what council or the parking advisory board discussed/requested...we were looking at something like a bus service. This is more like a ride-share. They are different.
 

JHughson

CoSM Members
Please provide the information used by Purchasing to determine which of the applicants met the criteria.
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Response to CM Baker, provided by Pete Binion, Transit Manager:
Will the marketing rollout phase include signage/wayfinding to help increase visibility of the program?
No physical signage/wayfinding has been included in this pilot project. The Parking Advisory Board Education committee will work with staff to increase visibility. If the pilot is successful, physical signage/wayfinding could be a future consideration.

Since the app is in Eng/Span, can we expect the advertising and rollout to also target both languages? Yes, staff will release materials in both languages.

Glad to see they addressed requiring masks and following the CDC's direction! Any data on how the last year has impacted their ridership? A similar service model in San Antonio has shown a 50% decrease in ridership for last year. Public transit system ridership has dropped as much as 80% in some transit systems during the Pandemic nationwide. The city’s transit system saw a 26% drop in ridership in 2020 compared to 2019.

How many years have these programs been available, any sense of the overall trend and struggles these models encounter? Ride Co. has been operating a contract for VIA of San Antonio since 2019 and have been in business since 2014. Related to trends and struggles, Ride Co. reports that changes in schedules and/or routing can be disruptive to established customers of said service. Also, the Pandemic, and its impacts have rippled through this industry as well.

Staff in the CMO is working to provide information where links appear to be broken in attached PDF.
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Response to CM Derrick, provided by Pete Binion, Transit Manager:
-Will the "fleet" of electric cabs consist of only two - one ADA accessible and the other not, until such time as demand increases and they add another 2 buses?
Ride Co. has committed to have two ADA vehicles and two non-ADA vehicles. They propose to begin with two vehicles in service.
- What if one breaks down? Ride Co. will have a replacement vehicle for each service vehicle (50% spare ratio).
Will they have a certified mechanic in San Marcos or nearby. Do they have a 24 hour turn around on replacing a bus. Ride Co. has the responsibility to provide the service per the contract and will ensure a mechanic is available when needed. The city does not anticipate all four vehicles being out of service, and payment is based on Vehicle Revenue Hours provided.
-Will this allow for extra cabs to be available for special events like Sights and Sounds? Ride Co. has committed to provide additional vehicles in service when requested or if demand requires at the standard rate per vehicle hours.
-Where is their facility? Ride Co. will establish a facility in San Marcos.
-It sounds like this is primarily an app we are paying for with Ride.Co and they will be working with a 3rd party vendor to provide the electric busses. Will they have local employees/management in San Marcos or nearby? The RFP requires a livable wage of $15 per hour or more. Ride Co. has confirmed that employees/management would be hired locally.
-Who will the phone receptionist at the city be? Customer service is provided by Ride Co. and they will provide a phone number, email and in-app support.
Do we have a position that can handle this currently on staff? In 2019 City Council approved the Parking Advisory Board Recommendation Resolution (2019-01RR) supporting the creation of the a Parking Manager to oversee parking management. This position has not been hired due to a lack of paid parking revenue. In the interim, the Transit Manager and Transit Specialist are assigned to parking management.
-Why are we going with an APP based out of Canada instead of a company in the U.S. or even a more local company? The standard City RFP process found that Ride Co. offered the best value based on the relative importance of price, experience, and all other evaluated factors.
- For the marketing/branding wrap on the busses, will we be able to wrap them for events like Sights and Sounds or will it just be one city approved design like we saw with our former bike now scooter program? City has full control of the branding for the app and vehicle wraps, however, it would not be cost effective to changes wraps frequently. First vehicle wraps are included in the contract under consideration. Additional wraps would be at cost to the city.
- There is a lot of information about data, however, will analytics have a customized report for the information needs for downtown biz’s to buy into program. The Parking Advisory Board Education committee and staff will collaborate to review the data and provide relevant information through appropriate channels.
Who are the patrons where are they going to and coming from. Need to know who the target population is and are they “their” customer base so they can use the information to boost marketing. The Parking Advisory Board has prioritized this service for use by downtown employees, visitors and the general public. The premise is to move people to and from parking locations and downtown businesses within the TIRZ #5 boundary and perhaps beyond. The pilot will be an iterative process. Data assessment and Parking Advisory Board feedback will assist staff modify the pilot as needed to best benefit the community.
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Response to Mayor Hughson, provided by Pete Binion, Transit Manager:
Is Rideco out of Los Angels (ARF) or Canada (RFP document)?
Ride Co. is headquartered in Canada and has an office in Los Angeles, as well as, satellite offices in San Antonio and Houston.
From the Rideco document, page 3. "Based on our assessment of the service zone provided in Addendum 1, we are confident that our software can serve up to 160 passengers using just two 5-passenger electric vans per 12-hour service day. "
Is that 160 people per DAY?
The city provided a TIRZ #5 geographic area map to all respondents in an addendum to the RFP. Based on this geographic area, Ride Co. is estimating they may serve 160 clients per day.
Only 4-7 per vehicle HOUR? The daily average passengers per hour may be four to seven. The pilot may see increases and decreases in demand based on time of day, day of week, season of year and Texas State University academic calendar.
What are the 12 hour service day hours? The hours of operation are not established yet. City staff including Public Works, Main Street and Police will work with the Parking Advisory Board to establish the appropriate service hours and days of service. Initial service hours may be amended based on pilot results.
Where is the covered parking? Ride Co. will secure a facility with covered parking per the requirements of the RFP.
Is the City providing that? No.
What logos will be on the city branded vehicle wrap? The City seal will be part of the vehicle wrap and the other wrap details are under consideration by Public Works, Main Street and Communications staff.
Does one have to book a trip or can they wave down the vehicle which should have a set route? Passengers can hail a ride at designated locations within the service area. The Parking Advisory Board and staff will work together to establish these locations collaboratively.
Part of this vehicle's purpose is taking employees to their cars after bars close. Who is answering the phone at that time? There will be a customer service number and representatives available during all operating hours. Also, there will be an option in the Ride Co. “app” to request a call from the assigned driver for the service pickup.
Problem here on page 3. "A detailed walkthrough of our Passenger Mobile Application is in Error! Reference source not found.." All broken links are being assessed and we hope to provide updated links here shortly.
Still on page 3 "We will tune the platform so that trip times will be honored within 30 minutes of the requested pickup time." That seems like a long time. The 30 minute window provides a worst case scenario, and most pick-up times should be significantly shorter. Staff will monitor this metric in the pilot.
This is a problem. "Before booking a trip with the service, passengers will need to create an account." How long does that take? Hoping it's a quick name/phone on the app. I can see the value in doing this, reporting, being able to see when the vehicle is coming, etc. but if someone is standing on the curb and needs a ride, Rideco needs to pick them up. Setting up the passenger account should take no more than a few minutes. The client provides email address, phone number and a password to activate an account. Passengers may also hail a ride at designated locations within the service area.
For the items in the their document that shows something "can" be done, will it?
Who is responsible for seeing to that?
City staff will monitor performance per the approved contract and coordinate with the Parking Advisory Board for feedback.
How long have these folks been in business? Ride Co. has been in business since 2014.
If everything is by an app, that's software and we all know software has bugs, especially in version 1 and there is time and effort and bad experiences that will eventually lead to better service. Seems like they acknowledge this on page 5 "Our Project Manager will be available by phone, email, and over a dedicated Slack channel; they will immediately rectify any issue until the system is fully functional." And WHO is available once they consider the system fully functional? Ride Co.
AND shouldn't WE determine when it's fully functional? Yes, staff will monitor and assess implementation.
Page 6. They have "we will work closely with the City of San Marcos to understand the definition of success and will work to ensure the service exceeds all target metrics" Where is OUR definition of success and metrics? City staff will work with the Parking Advisory Board to establish Key Performance Indicators for system performance for this pilot.
Page 6, another "Error! Reference source not found." Staff is working to provide the full PDF.
Page 6. Where does Rebecca live? San Marcos, nearby, or out-of-state? The RFP did not request personal residential information and was not part of the selection criteria.
Again "...Rebecca’s resume can be found in Error! Reference source not found."
Staff is working to the full PDF.
Page 8. Again. "Detailed screenshots of our dashboards are included in Error! Reference source not found.." Staff is working to provide the full PDF.
All this automated scheduling seems like a lot for just 4-7 per vehicle per hour!
Who will have access to their dashboards?
City pilot project staff.
Page 9 Again. "As seen in the screenshots in Error! Reference source not found., the RideCo API allows system administrators to view a display screen with a live map..." Staff is working to provide full PDF.
What reporting do we plan to do? City staff will request a monthly report from Ride Co. to be made available to the Parking Advisory Board for their review and feedback. Staff will report to Council as directed by memo or other request. Pilot assessment will be provided to Council for consideration of long term parking management strategy prior to full expenditure of funding.
What services do they provide for VIA in San Antonio? (If we know) Ride Co. provides on-demand shared ride transit service in North East San Antonio.
This is not exactly what council or the parking advisory board discussed/requested...we were looking at something like a bus service. This is more like a ride-share. They are different. The Parking Advisory Board formulated the deliverables over several meetings and the final deliverables were incorporated directly into the RFP. The RFP was a public solicitation process, published in numerous outlets, and on the city’s website and “E-Procurement”.
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Response to Mayor Hughson, provided by Pete Binion, Transit Manager:
Please provide the information used by Purchasing to determine which of the applicants met the criteria.

All proposals were evaluated based on published criteria, and the scoring evaluation matrix is in the ARF.
 

COSM_Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Additional Attachments Provided by Lynda Williams, Purchasing Manager:
Attached are the Appendices which are in Exhibit A and shown as Link Errors. I’ve also attached the revised Exhibit A which clearly states the respective appendix.
 

Attachments

  • 220-270 Appendix E Dashboards.pdf
    1.3 MB · Views: 228
  • 220-270 Appendix F Training Program.pdf
    207.5 KB · Views: 201
  • 220-270 Appendix G PM Resume.pdf
    340.2 KB · Views: 206
  • Council Item Attachment - corrected 220-270.pdf
    751.8 KB · Views: 407
  • 220-270 Appendix B Passenger Mobile App.pdf
    1.3 MB · Views: 236
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