May 28, 2020 — New Orleans, LA
RTA to bring all transit operations in-house
Today, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced its decision to move its transit operations and maintenance functions in-house so that all staff will be directly employed by the RTA. This change, effective October 1, 2020, builds on last year’s decision to transition executive oversight and management from Transdev, a global operator of public transportation, to a contract focused on service operations and maintenance.
Transdev has provided transportation management services to the RTA since 2009, and played a key role in restoring transit service in the years following Hurricane Katrina. In October 2019, the RTA assumed direct administrative and management oversight of all support functions, while continuing to outsource the day-to-day maintenance and operations functions to Transdev. As of October 2020, the RTA will fully manage all aspects of the administrative, operational, maintenance and policy functions of the agency. All employees will become employees of the RTA. Labmar Ferry Services will continue to serve as the RTA’s ferry operator.
The ability to more closely manage operations will enable the agency to better manage the uncertain financial implications resulting from COVID-19. This change also presents the RTA with an opportunity to invest in the professional development of its staff and grow leadership from within the agency.
“We thank Transdev for its many contributions over the years. As we enter this new era for the RTA, I look forward to leading our staff through this change as we partner to build the world-class transit system this community deserves,” said Alex Wiggins, CEO of the RTA. “New Orleans has some of the best talent in the industry and I look forward to what we will achieve.”
“Transdev has been a proud partner with the RTA for the past eleven years. We have worked together to restore service and system infrastructure after Hurricane Katrina, saved the ferries from closing, worked with the Board to develop a long-term strategic vision and most recently our employees have delivered essential services through the COVID crisis. We have nothing but love and admiration for New Orleans and wish the Agency much future success” said Dick Alexander, CEO of Transdev’s U.S. operations.
“Since taking office, my administration has prioritized RTA and guided efforts to improve our city’s public transit system, and this next step is right for us,” said Mayor Cantrell. “I want to thank the RTA leadership, including CEO Alex Wiggins and the entire RTA Board led by Chair Flozell Daniels, Jr., for their stewardship which has positioned RTA to assume total control of its operations. I also want to thank Transdev for serving as a valuable partner for many years, including during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This move will improve efficiencies as RTA begins this new chapter of investing in professional development of its staff, and growing their leadership from within.”
“This is a pivotal moment in history for the RTA. Building on the operations and maintenance governance model instituted in September of last year, we are now more ready than ever to directly manage transit operations which allows the agency to maximize the use of public resources to improve access to work, school and other important resources in the Greater New Orleans Area,” Flozell Daniels. Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners. “We have aligned the priorities of our transportation system with the priorities of our riding public. I am honored to serve at a time when the RTA is positioned to best meet the needs of our everyday riders.”
In the next several weeks the RTA will meet with union representatives to begin the planning efforts necessary to complete this transition.