Dial-A-Ride service changes

LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Transit Authority has selected a new service provider for its Dial-A-Ride service.

AVTA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a contract Tuesday with American Logistics Company (ALC) to begin servicing Dial-A-Ride customers starting January 1, 2012.

ALC plans to contract with local service providers, businesses such as taxi companies and shuttle services to respond to transportation requests.

“We anticipate this new transportation model will benefit our citizens as well as our local businesses,” Board Chair Norm Hickling said in a statement.  “ALC’s methods encourage excellent customer service because drivers must meet specific standards in order to remain on the call list and ensure a steady income.”

ALC currently serves transit agencies throughout the nation including one in North San Diego County and another in Stockton, California; the company intends to hire and train drivers immediately so that the transition in January will appear seamless to Dial-A-Ride customers, according to an AVTA press release.

“ALC is providing transportation service for the 21st century,” said AVTA’s Executive Director Julie Austin in a press statement. “They have a wonderful reputation in the transit industry for providing excellent customer service for being on time and capable of same day service.”  All drivers will wear AVTA identification badges and their vehicles will display AVTA placards to assure customers of their legitimacy.

AVTA’s Dial-A-Ride service, which is currently available to the valley’s seniors and disabled, uses a fleet of smaller buses to provide curb to curb transportation. The switch to ALC will take place on the first of the New Year.

The Board of Directors also unanimously voted Tuesday to renew AVTA’s contract with Veolia Transportation, which has been providing local transit and commuter services for the past five years.  The new contract extends Veolia’s service agreement another four years and adds bus maintenance to their scope of work.

(Information via press release from AVTA)