Accessibility

2011- Women In Transportation: Judie Smith

Posted on September 22, 2011 by Joanne Tucker, Assistant Editor

With MV since 2001, Judie Smith's 24 contracts in her region total more than $68 million in annual revenue and 14 divisions.
With MV since 2001, Judie Smith's 24 contracts in her region total more than $68 million in annual revenue and 14 divisions.
With experience in accounting, Judie Smith wanted to gain more knowledge of the operations of Los Angeles-based school bus and public transit contractor, Mayflower Contract Services (MCS), where she had her first transit job in the accounting department. She told her boss she wanted to advance, so for six months she worked one-on-one with everyone from the GM to the maintenance department. "I still appreciate the day they put me in a jumpsuit," she says.

After Smith completed the training, she was handed duties for paratransit services. "We started winning these contracts and so I got placed over what they called the 'Little Cities,' " she says, which included surrounding Los Angeles cities such as Downey, Cudahy and Bell Gardens. This group of contracts turned into a managerial position, "Next thing I knew I was responsible for managing the 'Little Cities,' " she says.

After two years at MCS, Smith managed Pomona Valley (Calif.) Transportation Authority for a short period until MCS wanted her back in 1995 to work on the L.A. DASH program. MCS was subsequently sold to Laidlaw Transit Services, which held on to Smith, who became the district manager with oversight of three divisions and about 12 contracts for the transit company.

Working on the L.A. DASH program confirmed Smith's passions for public transportation. She decided to take a ride one day and sat next to an elderly woman who began to tell her all the reasons she rides DASH and what it meant to her. "At that moment, I realized we offered something to people who otherwise wouldn't know how they would get around," Smith says. "This woman really depended on the service we provide to remain independent. That moment was very real; it continues to resonate with me."

In 2001, MV Transportation Inc. contacted Smith, and at the time MV only had two total contracts in Southern California. After meeting with one of the owners and hearing the company's story, "I just felt compelled to work for MV," she says, adding that at least 10 of her previous contracts followed her to her new position as GM of MV's L.A. office.

"I fly under the radar sometimes, but my relationships with the clients and the people that work for me and with me are very strong," she says.

In 2006, Smith managed MV's paratransit contract with Access Services, which included more than 200 employees based out of Van Nuys, Calif. The agency at the time experienced issues with service and employee relations. Smith decided to get to the bottom of the concerns and brought everyone in, including drivers, dispatchers and passengers.

"Access had monthly provider meetings already, but I felt it was important to have it on a smaller scale, where we could really get in tune with the people we carry every day," she says, adding that since these early improvements, the Van Nuys location became the showcase office for MV.

"I always felt that was a good indicator we were doing something right."
This period at Access Services gave Smith all the knowledge she needed about paratransit, and in 2008, Smith applied for the regional VP of Southern California position. "My boys were old enough, so I felt I could spread my wings a little," she says.

In August of this year, MV was awarded a five-year, $90 million contract with a combination of 156 buses for the city of Los Angeles, which adds to the 23 other contracts she oversees. The 24 contracts in her region total more than $68 million in annual revenue and 14 divisions.

"We're on the move and I'm glad to be part of that," she says. 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Valley Metro, regional paratransit providers do away with transfers

Peoria's acting public works and utility director said for residents a trip that now take two hours to get into Phoenix will drop to about a half hour.

Translink CEO addresses fare gate accessibility concerns

Attendants are meant to be present at accessible transit stations at all times to help any passengers who are unable to physically tap their Compass cards at the gate themselves.

Md. MTA to purchase 147 new paratransit vehicles

The new vehicles will be distributed to the MTA’s three mobility vendors — First Transit, MV Transportation and TransDev — with all vehicles in service within the next three to four months.

Mass.'s PVTA finds remedy to save dial-a-ride services

Officials say using separate van fleets will improve the on-time performance for the paratransit trips with no changes in dial-a-ride service.

Md. County officials oppose D.C. Metro partnership with Uber, Lyft

In a letter to Metro GM Paul J.Wiedefeld, the council members said the app-based transportation companies have a history of not providing accessible service and Metro shouldn’t reward them with a contract.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)



More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close