City Council to discuss awarding contract for bus service on Thursday

Greensboro City Council is hosting a virtual working session on the Greensboro Transit Agency (GTA) and parking starting at 2 p.m. Thursday, February 24.

According to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, the main purpose of the meeting is to review and discuss the GTA operating contract which operates buses in Greensboro.

The city currently has a contract with Keolis to operate GTA, but that contract expires on June 30 this year. The city council is expected to approve a new contract at its meeting on Tuesday, March 1. Vaughan said she thought it was important that the city council had the opportunity to discuss the offers in detail before making the decision on March 1.

The Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) received four “compliant proposals” following its Request for Proposals to operate GTA in October 2021. Proposals reviewed were from Keolis (the current contractor), National Express, RATP Dev and Trans Dev (a former provider).

GDOT recommends that the city contract with RATP Dev, USA to begin operating the transit system in Greensboro on July 1, 2022.

In the report to city council, GDOT notes that RATP Dev received the highest rating from all reviewers, operates in 14 countries on four continents, has operations in North Carolina that include the city of Asheville and the city of Charlotte and has an average first year hourly wage of $28.97.

GTA also notes that RATP Dev has offered a local management team with a combined experience of 132 years, has a strong training program, has experience with electric vehicles and perhaps most importantly for the city council has a Integrated Minority and Women Enterprise (MWBE) approach which outsources 15 positions in parts, administration and utilities.

If the City Council follows the recommendation of the GDOT and the contracts with RATP Dev from March 1 to June 30 will be a transition period from Keolis to RATP Dev.

Since RATP Dev operates the transit system in Charlotte and Greensboro City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba was Assistant City Manager in Charlotte before coming to Greensboro on Feb. 1, Jaiyeoba should be able to provide incentives on how RATP Dev actually operates a public transport system.

Melvin Z. Madore