Robert (Bob) Babbitt, president of McDonald Transit, announced his retirement, effective Oct. 31, 2016. Babbitt will continue to stay involved in McDonald Transit, working as a consultant and helping ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.
Babbitt started with McDonald Transit in 1977 in the position of management intern, working his way up the organization in both operating and administrative positions. Babbitt served roles such as GM of Abilene Transit System, manager, administration for Fort Worth Transportation Authority, and for a decade as executive director of Nashville MTA. He was appointed chief financial officer of McDonald Transit in 1981 and, in 2002, was named president.
Under Babbitt's leadership, the McDonald Transit team has expanded operations to 17 states. The company serves a total of 32 fixed-route, paratransit and shuttle clients, generating over $100 million in annual revenues. McDonald Transit's largest operation is in Austin, Texas, for Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which carries over 21 million customers each year.
In 2009, McDonald Transit entered into agreement with RATP Dev America, subsidiary of RATP Group, a global transportation company. Babbitt led the recapitalization of McDonald Transit and the modernization of the company's technology. With RATP Dev America, he formed a streetcar operating subdivision known as RDMT. The subdivision operates streetcars in Washington, D.C., and Tucson, Ariz., a new market for McDonald Transit.
Ken Fischer, sr. VP, business development, will serve as interim president while the company carries out a search for a successor.