Dakota Transporter
Volume 19, Issue 1Summer 2007

Affordable Transportation Insurance by CTAA

Pat Randall
Kidder Emmons Senior Services

At the DTA Spring Conference, "Transit Gathers at the River," Walt Diangson, president of Pacific Shore Insurance, presented information on the Community Transportation Mutual Insurance Company (CTMIC).

This insurance company idea was born when Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) asked Pacific Shore Insurance Services, Inc. to develop an insurance program for its members to address everrising insurance costs, insurance availability and the stability of the insurance market.

The insurance program focuses on all types of service areas including: rural, suburban, metropolitan, and urban areas. It addresses the needs and operations of transportation service providers which include: demandresponse, fixed routes, rural services, non-emergency medical, commuter and express bus services, and other similar forms of public transportation.

Diangson talked about trends in applicable claims and how insurance companies pay for those claims by diversifying and spreading their costs out over all fields. The insurance program facilitates loss control; emphasizes training; provides for safety and professional development needs; addresses maintenance issues; and provides technical assistance for participants.

To apply for this insurance, your agency would need to be a member of CTAA. However, the insurance company is owned by its insured members. CTMIC is similar to various state-legislated public transit or nonprofit agency pools. North Dakota has the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund. CTMIC has a governing board, is incorporated as Community Transportation Mutual Insurance Company, can be accessed in all 50 states and has numerous lines of coverage. Proposed limits are from $1 million and up depending on the liability coverage or other needs of insurance necessary for your transit system. CTMIC will comply with the changes in government mandates and will provide coordination with federal programs and needs of your transit program.

Other services available to members include:

  • marketing and sales
  • underwriting
  • policy issuance and management
  • policy changes and endorsement
  • certificates of insurance
  • claim administration

If your transit system is interested in more information to compare coverage, cost, proposed limits, eligibility, and explore other service options available to its members, you can contact a CTMIC representative at (800)825-5273 ext 177, or www.pacshorens.com. CTAA will also provide information at www.ctaa.org.

BE NOT AFRAID: An Introduction to Improving Transit Service with Technology

Kent Haugen
Cando Transportation

David Ripplinger, guest speaker at the DTA Spring Conference in Oacoma, SD, on March 26-27, gave a very good presentation on the wonders of technology in connection with public transportation services. Ripplinger, a researcher with the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center at North Dakota State University, outlined processes to determine what kind or level of technology that may benefit us, the provider, as well as our customers. This applies to all providers, whether they are large or small.

Some of the main points include:

  • You must have goals.
  • Eliminate fear of technology and its use.
  • Provide exposure to high-level concepts.
  • Focus on increased efficiency.
  • Keep in mind, though, that your needs come first and technology comes later.

You must consider your needs and their solutions. Many needs can be addressed by one of a number of technologies. Many technologies may address more than one need. Many technologies may work in tandem with needs. The best solution to your needs may be a low-tech or no-tech situation because of cost concerns. You can also put things on hold, delaying any implementation for a later date. Being a late adapter has a possible double benefit because the cost may be driven lower as the technology improves. Also consider that advanced levels of coordination often require additional technologies. Some needs and solutions:

  1. Paperwork is becoming cumbersome. Software can help this need.
  2. Increased level of service. The computer can automate scheduling and dispatch.
  3. Communication by radio is cumbersome and a possible safety issue for the driver. A Mobile DataTerminal in the bus provides voice free, private, and secure communications. It also provides communication that is precise, accountable and confirmed.
  4. Fare and ride collection is cumbersome. The Electronic Media Smart Card provides an easy way for riders to pay with no money being exchanged with the driver.
  5. Level of service suffers as vehicles wait for riders. Automatic vehicle location (AVL) is a great way to know where your vehicle is. It also provides emergency vehicle location, data collection, driver monitoring, and schedule adherence.

Braun Millenium SeriesQuestions to ask yourself before you decide to adopt additional technologies include:

  • Why do you want it?
  • Do you have time?
  • Are you ready to deal with the special technology problems?
  • Can you have the chosen technology where you live (need of extensive wireless service in the area)?
  • Can you afford the technology?
  • Is it a good time?
  • Are arrangements suitable for everyone, both staff and customers?

It will take a commitment of time, money, and responsibility.

It's time to get started. Know your agency's needs and their solutions. Set your goals and develop a plan before adopting. Contact David Ripplinger by phone, (701)231-5265 or e-mail, david.ripplinger@ndsu.edu, for help if you decide to pursue additional technologies.

Technology is not to be feared, but embraced. We all need to become more familiar with the technology available and learn how it can benefit the service we provide. Sure, there are some things that may seem intrusive, but if we choose to work with the positive benefits, the things that scare us will become less of a burden. So, BE NOT AFRAID!

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