RFP 19-01 Questions and Answers

  1. Please confirm the maximum number of daily one-way trips the scheduling application will be required to support.

Answer: Gadabout has scheduled up to 450 trips per day.


  1. Section 3.1 General: The Microsoft Office Suite, Windows OS, Microsoft Windows server and Microsoft SQL software that are referenced in the RFP are older versions. May Bidder’s propose current versions of these applications with their proposal?

Answer: Gadabout is uncertain about upgrading the Microsoft Office Suite, however there are plans to update Windows OS and the Windows Server at the end of 2019. Microsoft SQL has been upgraded to the most recent 2017 packet running on a 2016 Server.


  1. Section 3.1 General “The Contractor shall implement a test environment, with all software components installed on parallel hardware at Gadabout, where software updates and configuration changes can be tested prior to being implemented in the production system.” For Contractor hosted systems will it be acceptable for the test environment to be located in the Contractor’s data center?

Answer: While Gadabout would prefer that the test environment be located at Gadabout, as long as software updates and configuration changes, and future updates or upgrades can be tested by Gadabout prior to being implemented in the production system, it is acceptable for the test environment to be located in the Contractor’s data center.


  1. Section 3.2.2 Software: In a Contractor-hosted system, what is the maximum number of individual users that will be accessing the hosted software?

Answer: The current number of individual users is 10.


  1. Section 3.3 Information Security: “The Contractor shall be asked to comply with best practices with all areas of IT Security as outlined by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules. Gadabout has specific policies in the following areas, if you require additional information please contact Gadabout IT to discuss in more detail.” Please provide contact details for Gadabout IT in order to obtain specific information on Gadabout policies.

Answer: Gadabout’s IT is provided in house by Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit’s (TCAT) IT manager. Any questions regarding IT can be directed to Kristen Wells, Gadabout Executive Director, 737 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850.


  1. Section Data Communication Hardware: Please confirm that it will be acceptable for the data communication hardware to be integrated within the tablet.

Answer: The proposer should identify the most appropriate approach for data communication hardware, given all of the on-board technology requirements and future capabilities (e.g., integrate electronic fare media) (outlined in Section 8 of the specifications).


  1. Section On-board Mobile Router Gateway (OMRG) – Please confirm whether Gadabout wishes a separate, onboard cellular data modem (OMRG) even if the proposed tablet will incorporate an integrated LTE modem of its own?

Answer: Please see answer to Question 6.


  1. Section 4.3.1 General: “The Contractor shall install WLAN access points at Gadabout’s office to upload and download data when vehicles are within close proximity to the office, as necessary.  The Contractor must coordinate with Gadabout’s IT staff for approval of access point locations.”  For the purpose of providing a price in the proposal, please specify how many access points will be needed. If possible, provide office layouts/drawings with dimensions, obstructions, and estimated access point locations indicated.

Answer: For pricing purposes, please assume that four (4) access points will be needed.  Please note that this number may change once the successful proposer is under contract.


  1. Section 9.1.2 Installation: “Installations shall be performed at specific times during the day and as approved by Gadabout.  The Contractor may be required to perform installations over nights and weekends, and installations may need to be performed at the vehicle’s home base.” Provide locations/addresses of all the bases where installations will take place.

Answer: All of the installations will take place at 737 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850.


  1. Section 9.1.2 Installation: “Gadabout reserves the right to limit no more than 5% of its vehicle fleet to be out of service within any given 24-hour period to accommodate vehicle installations.  Gadabout reserves the right to allow less of its vehicle fleet to be out of service if necessary in order to avoid disruption to revenue service in conjunction with maintenance requirements.”  This will limit installations to less than 2 vehicles per day and will result in the installations being more expensive than they need to be. Would Gadabout please indicate if the number of vehicles available would increase if the installations took place during evenings and weekends? If so, what would be the daily maximums?

Answer: If installation were to occur evenings or weekends no more than 60% of the fleet would be available for installations.


  1. Section General: “The vehicle operator terminal shall be connected with or integrated into a Vehicle Logic Unit (VLU), and the combination will be subsequently referred to as the MDT.  Gadabout is considering an MDT to be a tablet that Gadabout may be able to procure from sources other than the Contractor.”  Is there any existing VLU or VLU functionality that the tablet must integrate with?

Answer: Please review all of Section 9.2.1 for all required functionality.


  1. Section Geo-fencing: “The system shall allow Gadabout to associate geo-triggers with specific actions. The actions shall be activated when vehicle enters the defined geo-trigger and shall deactivate as soon as the vehicle leaves the geo-trigger.” Please provide examples of the types of actions that might be triggered by crossing a geo-fence.

Answer: Being within a certain distance of a major pick-up or drop-off location, such as the Tompkins County Public Library or Hospital could be used to update real-time information provided to riders.


  1. Section GPS Receiver and Antenna: “The Contractor shall interface with vehicle odometers and provide a gyroscope to compensate for the loss of GPS signals. In the event that location data is not available from GPS receiver, the MDT shall be able to calculate vehicle location based on vehicle speed, odometer readings and gyroscope data.” If the Contractor proposes a tablet with a GPS receiver having specifications that exceed those listed in the RFP, would it be acceptable to forego the gyroscope and interface to the vehicle odometer?

Answer: Please note that this is a Request for Proposal (RFP), not a bid.  If the proposer proposes to comply with a requirement by making a modification to the requirement, proposal evaluation scoring for that proposal will not be affected negatively.  As mentioned in the Compliance Matrix, if the proposer can comply if the requirement is modified, describe the modified requirement in the matrix.


  1. What is Gadabout’s budget for this project?

Answer: Price is one of the evaluation criteria that will be considered. While Gadabout has estimated the cost of implementing a system as described in the RFP, a specific budget has not been specified for the project.


  1. Is Gadabout interested in responses that propose an app-based, on-demand service model? Under such a model, customers would request rides in real-time using a mobile application. Such a model would additionally support over the phone and pre-scheduled reservations.

Answer: If an app-based, on-demand service model can meet Gadabout’s requirements as stated in the RFP, a proposal describing this approach will be considered.  Please ensure that the Compliance Matrix is filled out appropriately if the proposer can propose with requirements if they are modified.


  1. Does Gadabout have an approximate annual budget for this program?

Answer: Price is one of the evaluation criteria that will be considered. While Gadabout has estimated the cost of implementing a system as described in the RFP, a specific budget has not been specified for the project.


  1. Will Gadabout accept proposals for bidders offering alternative pricing schemes? If not, will you accept proposals with a slightly modified version of the pricing form included in the RFP?

Answer: Gadabout’s Pricing Form must be utilized so that a proper comparison can be made between vendor responses. Pricing can include other items not listed on the form with additional notes made as to what supplementary or added elements it contains.


  1. Would Gadabout clarify the percentage of trips that are: door-to-door transportation services for people 60 years and over; ADA paratransit; Medicaid trips; trips from Watkins Glen to Challenge; other trips to Challenge; and New Freedom Trips?

Answer: Rider statistics can be found below, however of those listed, a rider may fall within multiple criteria/categories. Example: a rider may be ADA certified, that works at Challenge, however a particular trip may be “New Freedom” if it exceeds beyond the ¾ mile ADA corridor or it may be a trip paid for by Medicaid. The criteria are used for billing and determination of funding sources.

32583 were for people 60 years and over

35242 were for ADA

8006 were Medicaid

379 were WG to Challenge – I used the Watkins AM count

3467 were other trips to Challenge

3972 were New Freedom trips


  1. Would Gadabout mind clarifying if vendors are required to provide drivers as part of this service? If so, would Gadabout accept proposals that rely on 1099s contractor drivers?

Answer: No, the vendor will not be required to provide drivers. Gadabout utilizes its own staff and volunteer drivers to provide service.


  1. Is it acceptable to submit an electronic copy of the proposal, in addition to the paper copies?

Answer: Please read Section III and Proposal Sign-Off Sheet of the RFP. Yes. Electronic copies should be e-mailed to kw1@tcatmail.com in addition to the required mailed paper copies.

  1. If so, is a USB (flash drive) an acceptable form of Electronic Copy?

Answer: No, electronic copies must be submitted by e-mail.

  1. Can a USB containing additional materials and videos be included with our proposal for better understanding of our software?

Answer: Additional materials can be provided but are not required and will not be considered in the proposal evaluation.

  1. Does the price proposal need to be in a separate sealed envelope from the technical proposal?

Answer: No, all response items should be submitted in the same envelope.

  1. Can Proposers include a copy of the specific vendor pricing sheet as explanation along with the required pricing form?

Answer: Please see answer to Question 17.

  1. Is this bid intended to enhance or replace an existing software solution? If is it either enhanced or replacement, which software solution does Gadabout currently use?

Answer: Please read Section 6.1 which notes the existing software, EasyRides scheduling software, which was purchased in the early 2000’s. The RFP is intended to replace the existing software.

  1. What are some of the biggest concerns seen with the current software solution that you would change immediately if you could?

Answer: Please read RFP Section I.A. The current scheduling software is outdated and needs to be replaced with one that is more efficient, and meets the needs of both clients and staff.

  1. Does Gadabout provide any other types of service?

Answer:  Gadabout does not offer any other services at the moment other than those outlined on page 2 in the System Specifications attachment.

  1. Can the Proposers include “Results of customer references related to similar projects” as discussed in Section VI. C separately?

Answer: This requirement should be submitted within the response under RFP Section IV.A.2. “A list of similar work for small size transit or paratransit agencies including name, location, date, for which services were provided during the last three years. Identify work as completed or underway. Provide at least three references with contact information including the name, address, phone number and e-mail of the contract officer of the awarding entity.” It should not be submitted as a seperate document.

  1. What is the funding source for this project?

Answer: A combination of local funds and State funding will be used.

  1. What are the funding deadlines/timelines for this project?


  1. Does Gadabout have a preferred cellular network? If so, please provide contact information for our account manager.

Answer: No, Gadabout does not have a preferred cellular network.

  1. Does Gadabout plan to leave the Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) within the vehicles at all times, or bring them inside when they are not in use?

Answer: Please read Section in the System Specifications Attachment.

  1. Do the current vehicles have any existing MDT’s in them?

Answer:  No.

  1. How many in office users will you have?

Answer:  Currently there are 10 users in the office.

  1. Do you want the chosen vendor to do all the driver training or are we training the trainers?

Answer: Please read Section 10.7 in the System Specifications Attachment. The vendor shall provide initial training courses to current Gadabout vehicle operators. Members of the Gadabout staff will train any new drivers hired after the initial training.

  1. If training the trainers, how many of those are there?

Answer: 4

  1. How many depots do you operate?

Answer: All of Gadabout’s operation is housed at 737 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850.

  1. Do you have any subcontractors?

Answer: No.

  1. If there are subcontractors, will those subcontractors need go-live support on site?

Answer: N/A

  1. Are any private contractors/subcontractors used to provide trips for Gadabout? If yes, how are these contractors paid, by the trip or by the hour?

Answer: Gadabout does not use subcontractors to provide service.

  1. Is it permissible to have a site visit prior to submission of the response to the RFP to learn more about your system?

Answer: No.

  1. Will Gadabout allow proposers to provide a demo of the software before awarding the contract?

Answer: Those proposers whose proposals are in the competitive range will be invited to an interview, in which demonstrations may be included.

  1. Would Gadabout consider SMS text messaging/Self Service Web requests/Mobile Booking app as optional products for purchase as a replacement to older IVR technology?

Answer: Please note that this is a Request for Proposal (RFP), not a bid.  If the proposer proposes to comply with a requirement by making a modification to the requirement, proposal evaluation scoring for that proposal will not be affected negatively.  As mentioned in the Compliance Matrix, if the proposer can comply if the requirement is modified, describe the modified requirement in the matrix.

  1. What is Gadabout expectations related to data conversion?

Answer: Please read Section 6.1 of the System Specifications attachment.

  1. Are there any interfaces required to external sources such as Medicare? If so, what other external sources?

Answer:  No external interfaces currently exist and are not required for this proposal. However, please read Section 8 of the System Specifications Attachment.

  1. Are there any special reporting requirements other than the ones requested?

Answer: Please read Sections 6.8 and 7 in System Specifications Attachment.

  1. Please provide a monthly reporting summary for Gadabout.

Answer: Please see answer to Question 43.

  1. What is the potential time frame for this project to be implemented?

Answer: Please read Section III.A.4 in the RFP and Section 10.2 in the System Specifications Attachment.  Gadabout has not established a specific deadline for this project. A proposed project work plan including a proposed schedule from notice to proceed for delivery, installation, system training, testing and full implementation is a required submission.

  1. When would Gadabout want/expect to “Go Live” with software system implementation?

Answer: Please see the answer to Question 45.

  1. Will Gadabout be purchasing the vehicle mounts and tablets and providing in-vehicle installation or would Gadabout like those included in the bid?

Answer: Please read Section 5 of the Price Proposal Form and Section 9.2.1 of the System Specifications Attachment.

  1. What is the total number of Drivers to be trained?

Answer: A total of 30-35 drivers will need to be trained.

  1. How many dispatchers does Gadabout have?

Answer: One primary and two (2) backup.

  1. How many reservation agents does Gadabout have?

Answer: There are three (3) primary reservation agents, however ten (10) people will need access to the reservation system.

  1. How many hybrid positions (i.e., reservations/dispatch scheduling) in one position does Gadabout have?

Answer: Of the 10 office positions, four (4) have hybrid positions of reservations/ dispatch/ scheduling.

  1. Are the Drivers and/or Dispatchers represented by a Union? If so, which Union?

Answer: No.

  1. Does Gadabout have any Commuter Routes?

Answer: No.

  1. Does the service area encompass more than one county? If so, which counties?

Answer: The current service area is within Tompkins County with the addition of one Watkins Glen route that services Schuyler County. This bus brings a group of riders in from Watkins Glen in the morning and returns them in the afternoon. This is not a committed commuter route as the bus will also take and deliver other riders along the route.

  1. Does Gadabout provide group trips? If yes, what percentage of trips are group trips?

Answer: Yes. Less than 5% of the total trips provided are for groups.

  1. What is the maximum number of paratransit vehicles at peak service on any given day?

Answer: 20

  1. Please indicate if there are any holidays for no service or reduced service.

Answer: Gadabout operates 360 days per year. There is no service on New Years Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There is reduced service on President’s Day, Labor Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and weekends. An average of 4-6 vehicles are utilized per day for weekend or reduced service.

  1. On what days of the week are trips provided?

Answer: Gadabout service along with the ADA paratransit service is provided Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:30pm EST. The ADA service extends to off peak hours during the evenings and weekends. The ADA paratransit service is required to operate paralell service times to the TCAT fixed route. TCAT operates 20 hours per day and Gadabout would be required to provide trips should one be requested. Currently the ADA trips are finished by 9:30pm, however Gadabout would be expected to operate later should a ride be requested that falls within the ADA paratransit service times and areas of service. Information on TCAT routes can be found on their website www.tcatbus.com.

  1. What are your hours of service?

Answer: See the answer to Question 58 response

  1. Are any trips provided that are out of state?

Answer: No.

  1. What are your current Rides per Hour (RPH)?

Answer: 2.04 trips/hour, 2018 had 54,196 trips with 26,163 vehicle revenue hours.

  1. What is your average trips per day?

Answer: Weekday M-F 200 completed trips, 45 Weekend trips

  1. What is the average trip length?

Answer: 9.0 miles/trip

  1. What is the number of will calls weekly?

Answer: Gadabout currently does not offer ”will call” service. There are anywhere from 4-6 rides that are not scheduled by the end of the day and they are considered ”add-ons” and the dispatcher will work those rides in the next day. Gadabout has on average 8-10 ”call when done” rides where the person may not be finished from a medical appointment and the dispatcher will work in their pickup when done.

  1. What is the weekly average number of declined trips?

Answer: The only rides that are ”declined” are those where adequate notice was not given to book the ride or their ride does not fall within the ADA service requirements. These trips are currently not tracked.

  1. What is Gadabout average number of one-way trips weekly?

Answer: 1,000

  1. Does Gadabout provide subscription trips (standing orders)? If so, what percentage of trips are subscription trips?

Answer: Yes. 35%

  1. What is the number of Flex Routes (Deviated Fixed Route) per day and per week?

Answer: Gadabout provides demand response service. We do not provide a deviated fixed route service.

  1. What is the current size of your client population?

Answer: Last year Gadabout served 2,781 individuals.

  1. What is the growth rate?

Answer: The client population growth rate is not tracked.

  1. On average, how many taxi trips are used per day?

Answer: None

  1. On average, how many calls will your call center handle?

Answer: 4,400 calls per month

  1. What is the peak number of calls handled per hour?

Answer:  Calls are tracked in ½ hr. increments. The peak times are between 3:00-4:30 pm EST when riders call to get their pickup times for the following days.

                3:00pm-3:29pm                223

3:30pm-3:59pm                195

4:00pm-4:29pm 110



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Kristen Wells

Kristen Wells is the current Director of Gadabout.

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