Cap Metro to Outsource Workers
Capital Metro is set to outsource most of its workers. The transportation organization’s board finalizes the move Monday that’s going to move all of its drivers, mechanics and maintenance to control of private contractors.
KUT’s Ben Philpott spoke with transportation reporter Ben Wear of the Austin-American Statesman about the state mandate that prompted this change and how it could affect Cap Metro services.
The Texas Legislature decided that either Capital Metro had to either bring in all of its workers in house, because it already has about 30 percent of its services and its MetroRail services handled by private contractors, or have everybody become privatized – working for outside contractors. And they passed a law to that effect.
The staff recommended that they give the remaining 70 percent of the bus services to MacDonald out of Fort Worth and that they take their para-transit services, which is door to door rides for people with disabilities, and they award that to a company called NV Transportation. And we’re talking about a half billion dollars of contracts over seven years.
The estimate from an analyst with the Texas Transportation Institute is that they will save $35.5 million by 2019. That’s about $5 million a year in Capital Metro terms – about 2 or 3 percent of their budget. That money could go into providing more bus routes, more frequent service, or it could simply go to restoring their reserves.
Capital Metro going to become a contract-management agency. It’s going to be their job to make sure that all of these contractors – the existing ones, the new ones – are doing a good job of providing the service.
Wear says there would be about 240 Cap Metro employees left if this move to outsource is finalized.