Arthur N. Gaudet has been involved with transit management and planning for over fifty years. His experience in transit led to the founding of Arthur N. Gaudet & Associates in 1987, incorporated as Arthur N. Gaudet & Associates, Inc. in 2007. He provides transit management services, operations reviews, and departmental management audits, route design, scheduling and run cutting, safety services, rail and rubber tire alternatives analyses, and financial planning.
He has served on the oversight committees for Transportation Research Board Project A-29, “Controlling System Costs: Basic and Advanced Scheduling Manuals and Contemporary Issues in Transit Scheduling,” and J11/Task 28 Analysis of Recent Public Transit Ridership Trends.
He is also the author of a series of articles published in Metro and Bus Ride Magazines. Mr. Gaudet’s Metro articles were excerpted from his recent On-Time Performance book. His Bus Ride series dealt with route and system design, scheduling, run cutting, and restoring transit service in response to service disruptions.
In 2019, he published a book, Improving On-Time Performance in the Transit Industry: A Practical Guidebook -- which led to development of a two-day on-site OTP Workshop.
In 2021, he published a second book, Managing the Scheduling Function: A Guide for Transit Executives. This book recognizes that CEO's, GM's, and those on an upward career path may not fully understand the combination of science, art, and mystery that go into this vital function. With between 80-90% of a system's budget dedicated to operations and maintenance, the scheduler has prime responsibility for direct expenditure (wages and miles), but also impacts other costs not easily quantifiable. Wise investment can pay dividends in reduced absenteeism and operator turnover.
He developed “The Runcutter Coursetm, a two-day intensive course in service design, scheduling, and runcutting (preparing operator work schedules). This course has been presented almost 60 times, to 800 attendees.
While both the OTP Workshop and Runcutter Course benefit most from in-person attendance, they are also available through videoconferencing.
For over 30 years, the largest component of business has consisted of service planning, scheduling and run cutting. Properties have ranged from a 250+ vehicle, four garage fixed route operation in Dallas, 100+ vehicle Los Angeles MTA and Foothill Transit fixed route private sector contractors, and a 100+ vehicle paratransit operation in Dallas; through 40 - 130 bus operations in Phoenix, Suburban D.C. and Houston, Texas; to operations with less than 20 vehicles.
Some of our other projects in the last two decades have included:
Wage Order 9 (California Lunchbreak Law) implementation for many properties throughout California.
Expert Witness work in southern California, in conjunction with a Wage Order 9 lawsuit.
Total transit system redesign in Amarillo, Texas, increasing travel directness by over 40% systemwide, decreasing passenger travel times and changing lives.
Route restructuring in Albany, GA.
Scheduling and Runcutting for a major system redesign in Merced, California
Scheduling Department Review/Route Productivity Analysis for MARTA, in Atlanta, GA.
Feasibility Study and System Design/Scheduling for a visitor’s shuttle, Grapevine, TX.
Participation in a full review of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority’s schedules and runcut, leading to efficiency recommendations that would generate over $5 million in annual savings.
Participation in a review of Sun Metro, in El Paso, Texas. This review studied Operations and Scheduling functions, as part of Sun Metro’s Long Range Plan development.
Scheduling/Planning Department functional reviews for Long Beach Transit, Long Beach California; Capital Metro, in Austin, Texas; and Hartline, in Tampa Florida. These reviews focused on the planning and scheduling function, and their interface with operations.
Comprehensive Operational Analyses, Short Range Transportation Plans for Hammond, Indiana and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Service redesign for Lorain County, Ohio, changing the system from variable frequencies (up to 90 minutes requiring multiple transfer connections), to systemwide 60 minute frequencies with a single, timed-transfer pulse point.
We helped Kankakee, Illinois rationalize its route structure, again implementing a pulse transfer system, and reducing overall passenger travel times. By eliminating large loops with their associated out-of-direction travel, realigning routes, and interlining vehicles, we achieved essentially the same service level with fewer vehicles.
Noting that our approach is from an Operations perspective more than a theoretical planning perspective, in early 1999, we were selected as the project manager for a major service expansion in the Washington, D.C. area. As part of that project, our review of vehicle utilization and blocking generated savings by reducing the number of vehicles needed, without affecting the public schedule. Phase 1 of the plan, under study for ten years, called for a combination of Express Buses and Feeder Service, replacing service that had not changed in twenty years. Our work resulted in a smooth transition as all routes and schedules changed at once, and as a new Park and Ride facility opened. During the start-up, we also actively participated in shake-down of the new Park and Ride facility.
Also during 1999, we assisted Fort Smith, Arkansas as the property transitioned from a Demand-Response operation to a combination of Fixed Route and Demand-Response.
Another 1999 project in Ithaca, New York had Arthur N. Gaudet & Associates participating in Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit’s service redesign. An essential ingredient of this project included over 60 hours on the street, evaluating and modifying detailed route design, safety issues, and running times.
We also worked with Racine, Wisconsin on major service revisions. These included implementation of a timed transfer (pulse) system, night service, and route modifications to serve large demand generators. The modifications also focused on the work trip, as part of the welfare-to-work initiative. Funding for service expansion came from rationalizing unproductive/low productivity service. Subsequently, we conducted a transfer point relocation study, and prepared a route and schedule redesign for the move to the new Transit Center.
In 1997, we completed a run cut for a new contractor on the West Coast. By reblocking and interlining service for this 105 peak bus operation, we generated savings exceeding $95,000 per year.
Arthur N. Gaudet & Associates, Inc. is or has been the scheduler/run cutter for several private sector contracts of varying sizes. Mr. Gaudet's scheduling practices for these clients typically result in average pay per driver assignment exceeding 39.5 hours, with scheduled overtime under one percent. For some properties experiencing driver shortages, we have modified our run cutting techniques, using a balanced allocation of reasonable overtime to help offset the staff shortage.
While private sector labor agreements typically do not contain restrictive and costly work rules, we have also worked in such environments. In Wichita, Kansas, for example, a change in run cutting procedures reduced spread time, reduced overtime, and reduced guarantee payments. Simultaneously, work weeks were reduced from six days to four or five days. The end result was not only a projected savings of more than $20,000 per year, but the first run cut posted in recent memory which drew no protests from drivers or the Union.
We evaluate all facets of operations as they are impacted by scheduling decisions. An audit of a medium-sized property's operations department discovered an opportunity to save in excess of $25,000 per year, in real dollars and increased productivity, by altering CNG bus assignment strategies. In Springfield, Illinois, creative vehicle blocking reduced the stress on the Maintenance Department, by reducing the number of bus pullouts needed.
Our ability to generate such savings comes from intimate familiarity with street operations. During his varied assignments, Mr. Gaudet has been responsible for maintaining transit service, and training Dispatchers and Field Supervisors to respond to disruptions in a number of cities. These situations have varied from minor schedule delays, street blockages, mechanical failure, pedestrian and vehicle accidents to a reported bomb on a bus in downtown Los Angeles and restoration of service/operation of emergency service in the immediate aftermath of the Northridge Earthquake. In addition to his bus experience, he has experience in maintaining rail service, including response to line blockages and the integration of charter/special moves with scheduled passenger service.
Through years of experience with street operations, he has set the highest priority on maintaining passenger service while resolving service disruptions, always keeping the passenger in mind. In addition to his experience with street operations and one-on-one training of Dispatchers and Field Supervisors, Mr. Gaudet has authored documents as varied as operations and administrative Policies and Procedures bulletins; Emergency Contingency (e.g., Strike) Plans; Bus and other Procurement Specifications; Safety and Security Reviews and Recommendations, and general Bus and Rail Operations planning documents.
Member: Fellow (FCILT) Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
American Public Transportation Association
New England Electric Railway Historical Society, Inc.
Boston Street Railway Association
Fellow: National Transit Institute - 1999-2001 Term