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RTA successfully brings operations and maintenance in-house

12/19/2020

New Orleans – Today, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced the completion of the agency’s transition to bring all operations and maintenance functions in-house. 

As of 3 a.m. Sunday, December 20th all bus, streetcar, and paratransit operators as well as maintenance personnel will be directly employed by the RTA. Additionally, all RTA operators will now dress in new green or purple RTA branded uniforms to signify the change in management. The RTA will increase its employees from 64 to 791. 

“The RTA Board of Commissioners is excited about the direction of the RTA and the significance of today in the agency’s history,” Flozell Daniels, Jr., RTA Board Chair. “The team has put in an extraordinary amount of work to strengthen the organization while maximizing the use of public resources to improve rider’s access to work, school and other important resources in the Greater New Orleans Area.” 

“Today marks the start of a new and exciting era for the RTA,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “Senior leadership is committed to investing in our employees and community as we continue the necessary work of maintaining mobility in New Orleans. We will continue to build a world class transit system while focusing on our goals of improving on time performance, building a culture of safety, and providing the best customer service for our riders.” 

“RTA's consolidation of its operations is another important step in the agency's turnaround with new leadership and improved collaboration with the City. With the finalization of the New Links transit plan, the implementation of the new ferry boats, the groundbreaking for the new ferry terminal, and the new ADA-compliant streetcars line, we will look back at 2020 as a pivotal year in the history of RTA while dealing with serious challenges including the response to the pandemic. We look forward to continued progress in 2021,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

The RTA announced its decision to terminate the contract with Transdev and to directly employ its employees in May 2020. 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. By directly managing operations, the RTA is better positioned to manage the financial implications resulting from COVID-19. The RTA expects significant cost savings in overhead and operational redundancies. The savings will allow the agency to directly reinvest in improving service and connectivity in the region while focusing on customer service and safety for all riders. 

Today’s transition not only signifies a shift in the management structure but also serves as a reset to the core values and culture of the agency.  The new RTA will place an intense focus on public service, improving service reliability, advancing transit equity, contributing to the local economy by investing in workforce development and job creation, and partnering with New Links to build a regional transit system that better meets the needs of our riders. 

Ferry personnel are directly employed through LabMar Ferry Services, the contracted ferry operator of the RTA. 

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