Foothill Transit’s executive board voted 5 to 0 in favor of establishing the agency’s first ever in-house management team and to amend the agency’s contract with Veolia Transportation to transition most of the current management team to Foothill Transit’s employ.
The agency’s first employee will be Doran J. Barnes, the current Executive Director under the Veolia Transportation contract who has served in that role for the past decade.
"At this time we believe it is important to control our own destiny and costs by bringing [the] management team in-house," read a report to the Foothill Transit executive board dated May 24. The report was signed by Management Services Subcommittee members Vice Chair Paula Lantz and Treasurer/Auditor-Controller Carol Herrera.
Foothill Transit was originally formed as a joint powers authority in 1988, creating a new transportation agency in Los Angeles County designed to be more responsive to its communities and more efficiently managed through public-private partnerships. Both the administrative management and service operations functions were contracted out to transit industry professionals. Veolia Transportation has held the contract for administrative management services for the past 13 years. Foothill Transit, up until now, has had no employees.
“Foothill Transit reaches its 25th year of service in December,” said Doug Tessitor, Foothill Transit’s board chair. “We’ve grown up and we’re ready. We have our own culture, our own values and our own mission. This evolution cements our reputation as an innovative and flexible agency that is in charge of its own future with our communities’ needs in the forefront.”
Foothill Transit will try to retain other employees from the administrative team who currently work under contract with Veolia Transportation who do not choose to remain with the contractor. The suggested amendment to the management services contract would allow Veolia Transportation to retain the management of the transit stores and bus stop maintenance services. Foothill Transit will not change its current operations contracts in place at its Arcadia and Pomona maintenance facilities.
This change at Foothill Transit, along with providing the agency with more direct control over its management, is expected to save the agency approximately $1 million a year.