Training changes behavior

TAPTCO aims to standardize comprehensive driver training

Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), Macedonia, OH, developed comprehensive training courses for both transit and paratransit bus operators, as well as a trainer certification process. Jeff Cassell, TAPTCO president, says the company can customize these highly effective video-based presentations for any type of transit or paratransit bus. Cassell says 35 transit agencies throughout North America have signed on with TAPTCO.

Investing more than $500,000 to create the courses — Transit Operator Development, Paratransit Operator Development, and Trainer Certification Process — resulted in high-quality video presentations that include classroom facilitator guides, behind-the-wheel instructor guides, operator study guides and operator training progress charts.

Materials for TAPTCO’s Paratransit Operator Development course. The company also offers courses in Transit Operator Development and the Trainer Certification Process.

“These courses fully prepare drivers with the basics they need to provide safe and efficient service,” says Cassell. “The focus this training places on drivers makes a significance difference in their daily behaviors.”

The Ohio Transit Risk Pool provided copies of the Transit Driver Training Program to its members.

Loss Control Services Manager Kenneth F. Reed says he found the transit-specific training material to be professional and effective.
“It is comprehensive and systematic,” he says.  “It integrates a continual safety message into every module.”

Dedicated to producing meaningful strategies that lead to enhanced human performance in all walks of life, Mark G. Gardner is the founder and CEO of TAPTCO, which he says is the first and only company dedicated solely to improving human performance in the ground passenger transportation markets. The development staff includes transit professionals, performance improvement experts, industrial psychologists, curriculum designers and media producers.

Prior to forming TAPTCO, Gardner held executive-level positions with Progressive Casualty Insurance, where he created and managed the national Share The Road With Trucks Campaign, devised comprehensive organizational analysis protocols, underwriting standards and on-site safety surveys and consulted to more than 200 transportation companies and agencies, including 35 major transit agencies.

Jeff Cassell has been developing transit training programs for more than 20 years. He served as vice president, Corporate Risk for the Laidlaw group for nearly 21 years. Cassell holds the FCII, Fellow of Chartered Insurance, Institute of England.

“Our goal was to standardize all our training processes to the same high level at every location,” he says. “We looked at all the available training materials and could not find anything being even close to high quality comprehensive, systematic, integrated materials we required. That is until we came across the TAPTCO performance improvement company in Macedonia, which we ultimately contracted to create all our own materials.”

Cassell, who would eventually join the company, recalls it being well ahead of anything else available. “Its programs helped reduce our accident frequency rate by 72 percent,” he says. “Our annual accident savings across all of Laidlaw was $58 million per year.”

When First Group acquired Laidlaw, First Transit Services adopted the programs Laidlaw was using, asking they be changed to the First Group name for continued use. Cassell says with the training programs currently in use at every location, First Transit Services reported the lowest DOT accident rate he has ever seen — 0.29 DOT accidents per million miles.

TAPTCO has also created the training programs currently in use for the transit management companies Veolia Transportation, MV Transportation and Keolis, as well as for Greyhound Bus Lines.
he sister company of TAPTCO, School Bus Safety Company, has created all the training materials currently in use by over 2,600 school districts plus seven of the eight largest school bus contractors. BR