Effective this morning at 12:00 a.m., National Express Transit Corp. (NEXT) took over the management and operations of “The Bus,” the public transportation service provided by The Joint Powers Authority of Merced County (TJPAMC).
The Bus offers fixed-route and paratransit services to the communities of TJPAMC’s seven member agencies, including the Cities of Atwater, Dos Palos, Gustine, Livingston, Los Banos, and Merced, and the County of Merced. The total value of the long-term contract is more than $45 million.
“National Express has performed very well in preparing for the takeover of service from our previous contractor, and we are looking forward to working together to make The Bus an even better transit system for our member communities,” said Rich Green, the TJPAMC’s Transit Manager for The Bus.
Gary Waits, NEXT CEO, expects a smooth start-up of service. “The relationships our team has built with the Authority, our new employees in Merced, and other key stakeholders in the service area have prepared us well. Our team is ready for Day One and every day to follow,” he said.
National Express, which provides fixed-route, demand-response, commuter, shuttle, and ADA paratransit solutions for public-sector clients, was ranked the highest of the five firms that included one local transportation company and three multinational transit contracting and management companies, according to the company.