Mobility

Transit Contractors Bring Efficiencies, Share Success Stories

Posted on June 26, 2013 by Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor - Also by this author

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Keolis America is partnering with Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to provide bus service in Las Vegas’ resort corridor. The fleet includes double-deck buses manufactured by Alexander Dennis.
Keolis America is partnering with Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to provide bus service in Las Vegas’ resort corridor. The fleet includes double-deck buses manufactured by Alexander Dennis.

Keolis America – Vegas BRT
As of July 7, Keolis America will take on the formidable task of providing transportation to the city of Las Vegas, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The contractor is partnering with Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and running 213 vehicles in the resort corridor on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

Keolis will operate along the Strip double-deck Deuce buses, manufactured by Alexander Dennis, which will run in local service mode and make every stop, and 60-foot articulated bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles, manufactured by The Wright Group, Kevin Adams, executive VP, business development and operations planning, Keolis America, says. The fleet also includes approximately 75 hybrids.

The contractor will also operate residential services in other parts of the city.

Las Vegas’ 24-hour service accommodates very high daily ridership on the strip, at nearly 46,000. When asked about the challenge of taking on transit in Las Vegas, Adams points out the Keolis operates in other intense corridors worldwide with 22,000 buses.

“For example, in Lyon, France, we operate over 1,200 vehicles,” he says. “Keolis [also] is the largest tram operator in the world. But, there’s nothing quite like Las Vegas.”  

Keolis is operating one of two contracts for the RTC service. During the procurement process, RTC decided to split the contract and use two operators. MV Transportation is operating the services for RTC in the Northern part of the city.

One unique aspect of the contract is the approximately 411 drivers Keolis will hire will be able to choose the division they work in after they become a permanent employee, according to Adams.

The project has been a cooperative effort between MV Transportation, Keolis and the RTC, he adds.

“RTC is really a progressive transit authority. They’re one of the most efficient operations, when measured in their operating costs per hour and passengers carried per hour,” Adams says. They’re one of the tops in the country.”

McDonald Transit completed a sustainability management pilot project at its operation in Daytona Beach, Fla. It reviewed its recycling and maintenance practices and water use.
McDonald Transit completed a sustainability management pilot project at its operation in Daytona Beach, Fla. It reviewed its recycling and maintenance practices and water use.
McDonald Transit Associates – Maintenance, sustainability
Taking on a quickly growing fleet, Fort Worth, Texas’ McDonald Transit Associates currently operates a fixed-route service for the City of Colorado Springs (Colo.) and was also recently awarded a maintenance contract from the city, Ken Fischer, sr. VP, business development, McDonald Transit Associates, says. The new contract goes into effect July 1.

For this contract, McDonald is only operating the fixed-route buses but doing the maintenance for all the vehicles. This is the first time McDonald entered into a contract with a government organization to handle only maintenance. Typically, McDonald takes on the fixed-route and paratransit operations and maintenance.

Under the fixed-route operations contract, McDonald was responsible for maintaining 57 vehicles. After winning an additional contract from the City, McDonald will take on maintenance for 155 vehicles, including those in the paratransit and vanpool fleets, almost tripling the number of vehicles to be maintained.

Before McDonald was operating the fixed-route vehicles, the city staff itself was doing the maintenance on the paratransit vanpool and City service vehicles. McDonald was able to offer them a better price and more efficiency.

Turning attention to its own operation’s efficiencies, the contractor completed a sustainability management pilot project at its operation in Daytona Beach, Fla., inventorying all its maintenance, operations and administrative departments to ensure its operating practices promote sustainability.

McDonald paid particular attention to what it was throwing away, tracked how much water it was using and went through its maintenance practices to ensure it was doing all the necessary recycling.

“We’re trying to encourage that in all our operations: to look at the operating, maintenance and administrative departments, to practice sustainability in those functional areas,” Fischer says. 

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