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VI. SUMMARY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The following is a summary of the PMOCs findings and recommendations for the technical capacity and capability review of the transit agencies responsible for public transportation services in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. These are the PMOC recommendations, but it is the grantees decision on how to create their organization.
Due to the limited information received from each of the Grantees, the Management Capacity and Capability review was limited to PMOC observations during site visits, documentation received either during those site visits or during the staff interviews. This review is a snapshot in time recognizing that ultimately all three agencies will be in integrated into one transportation authority. Staffing plans were not provided for review, and the agencies history of performance for financial stability and implementation of management systems has been poor.
Review and evaluation of financial capacity, cost and schedule controls, procurement, land acquisition, community relations, Civil Rights, DBE, and ADA, were limited due to the PMOCs constrained budget and schedule as well as overall financial crisis for the commonwealth which affects each agencys ability to efficiently operate, hire qualified technical staff and update and maintain processes and procedures,
ATM: The PMOC performed reviews of operational, maintenance, management and organizational documents, interviewed key staff in the organization, conducted on-site visits and performed tours of the ATM facilities and vessels during August and September 2015. Based on these reviews, it is the PMOCs opinion that ATM has the required technical capacity and capability to operate a safe ferry system and meet FTA grantee requirements. There are however a number of improvements that should be made for that opinion to continue in the future.
ATM has the required management capacity and capability due to its competent executive management. Significant improvements have been made in the areas of maritime operations, maintenance and repair, regulatory body compliance, and business processes and procedures. However, ATM has been unable to overcome long term weaknesses in ATMs organizational structure; a lack of funding; and reactionary operational and maintenance practices. It is the PMOCs opinion that with its current leadership and continuing support from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Government and FTA, ATM will continue to strengthen those functional areas within the organization that have been persistently weak.
In addition, ATM (thru the Puerto Rico Public-Private-Partnership (P3) Authority) is developing an RFP for a third party contract to operate and maintain the ferry services. FTA and the PMOC have provided comments and recommendations in the current O&M procurement, and has made clear to ATM that it is the grantees responsibility to ensure compliance with all FTA requirements. FTA is concerned that the P3 Authoritys apparent rush to release an RFP, might result in missing some FTA requirements. Should this contract operation scenario come to fruition, ATM has very little oversight technical capability.
The PMOC makes the following recommendations with regard to ATM:
In order to address the organizational shortcomings identified, it is the PMOCs recommendation that ferry operations be split up into three departments: marine/ferry
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operations, M&R, and ferry services. Each department having a manager with equal stature, but all reporting to an overall general manager.
ATM should consider the benefits that career employees bring to the core positions within the agency. o Extensive transit experience. o Wide-ranging technical knowledge in the core function. o Corporate knowledge in times of change.
Develop and execute a succession plan for the current Executive Director. Currently, the incumbent has dual responsibilities within PRITA and ATM that will result in a less than optimal management at both organizations.
During the transition of ATM into PRITA, consider how better to organize the agency to meet current and future challenges, operating requirements and scenarios, and strategic planning. Specifically, there is a need for a strong General Manager and Manager of M&R.
Develop a strategic plan for future ferry crewing. This plan should include discussions with representatives of the USCG and budget for training and certifying seamen by external maritime training centers.
Develop a plan and methodology to improve working relationships among the various functional organizations.
It is clear that ATM management and its unions dont always work effectively together. The PMOC recommends that improved relations with the unions become a management priority.
Formalize a process for training, certifying and promoting mariners.
Continue to report and deliver to the PMOC the operations data on performance measures included in Table 3 of this report. Achieve the performance goals and maintain performance above these goals.
Develop a plan for the future use of the water taxi consistent with FTA requirements and the remaining federal interest.
Develop a plan for the eventual replacement of the two catamarans.
Continue to closely monitor and provide input to the P3 Authoritys procurement process. Ensure that the final procurement documents effectively protect federal assets and continue to allow PRITA/ATM to receive FTA grant support.
Continue to fully implement a formalized PM and maintenance management system.
Provide the PMOC monthly updates of the matrix listing of all required certifications and permits for all vessels.
Report and deliver to the PMOC the maintenance data on performance measures included in Table 3 of this report, achieve the performance goals and maintain performance above these goals continuously.
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Continue to provide the necessary resources to meet federal and local regulatory requirements for safety and security.
Designate a person or persons within the organization as the point(s) of contact for the USCG for all potential safety and security issues: inspections, investigations, pollution, mass casualties, port security, etc. Have that/those individual(s) contact their USCG cohort in order to establish and maintain a professional relationship.
Obtain technical assistance in the development of processes and procedures for oversight of operation and maintenance services.
Develop and gain approval of a financial plan to match any new ferry construction plans, ongoing dry-docking and refit programs, and any shore-side improvement plans.
Ensure full implementation of the recently adopted PRPA procurement acquisition regulations.
Complete implementation of the automated inventory system, and its integration with the purchasing and financial systems.
Develop formal training and certification criteria and procedures to meet future USCG and organic requirements.
Execute the plans to automate the reservation and fare purchasing systems allowing ATM to more accurately capture ridership and revenue data.
Update the FMP, and develop a Safety Management System for the fleet. AMA: The PMOC performed a management capacity and capability assessment of AMA, including observation of current AMA functions and interviews of key staff. Although AMA does have the required management capacity and capability, the lack of procedures, performance measures and oversight limit AMAs ability to meet FTAs requirements for technical capacity and capability is a concern. AMA is an organization that has long been in a state of flux due to the continuous turnover of key staff. Overstaffing, a no terminations policy, and reduced funding has led to a reduction of scheduled bus service and declining system performance. With the service route reductions, significant uncertainty exists as to the continued viability of AMA as a provider of fixed route and paratransit service in the San Juan metropolitan area. Due to the current financial crisis, AMA lacks the resources to improve the operations to the desired service levels and staff are not fully monitoring all appropriate aspects of the bus operations. Funding limits have also affected parts availability, training and creditability with vendors.
It is also the PMOCs opinion that the transfer of many or most of the AMA functional management to PRITA will be challenging. PRITA will need to demonstrate that they will establish and maintain an effective management oversight environment, addressing the concerns in AMAs practices. PRITA will need to ensure that they are prudently managing funds to demonstrate and document improvement in the performance of service through the contract compared to the performance of recent years. It is the PMOC concern that due to due to the high number of staff in the PRITA organization, available funds may not be sufficient to cover the bus operational expenses. It is the opinion of the PMOC that AMA service and PRITA would
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benefit greatly by recognizing the potential for sustaining the status quo and implementing the recommendations below.