Senior paratransit

Anaheim Insider here.

Item 11 on tomorrow’s Anaheim City Council agenda item would authorize the Director of Community Services to apply for a Federal Transportation Authority grant in order to purchase three “new large buses” to the eight mini-buses the city currently owns and uses to operate its Anaheim Senior Mobility Department.

The staff report states that “Since 1977, the City has received funding through an Agreement with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to provide a “Senior Mobility Program” minibus service to transport Anaheim senior citizens to and from their home to senior lunch program sites, non-emergency medical appointments, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other sites. The Anaheim Senior Mobility Program provides transportation services to Anaheim senior citizens that purchase “ride tickets” at a cost of $2.00 per each one-way trip. “

Is there any particular reason for operating the Senior Mobility Program using city-owned buses driven by city employees. As long as it is voting on this item, City Council ought to considering contracting with an outside vendor to operate the program;  it is quite common for local governments to outsource their paratransit programs. Done right, the program could be operated by an outside vendor using its own equipment with its own employees, rather than the city purchasing depreciating assets that must be driven and maintained by city employees. This is the time for the Council to have that discussion.