Transit Operators Team to Form North American Transit Alliance

Written by Andrew Corselli

Six of the largest private transit operating firms—First Transit, Keolis, MV Transportation, National Express, RATP Dev USA and Transdev—have come together to form the North American Transit Alliance (NATA). The group aims to help cities in North America flourish “by promoting innovative transportation solutions that ensure transit is safe, clean and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.”

NATA said it will work diligently with public transit agencies to help shape a future where public transportation is personal, equitable and highly sustainable.

In addition to promoting innovation in transit, NATA will advocate for its members’ workforces, which together account for 35% of the total U.S. public transportation labor pool with more than 154,000 total employees. During the coronavirus pandemic, NATA members’ teams have been on the front lines in cities across North America, providing transportation to first responders, healthcare workers, grocery store employees and all other essential workers who rely on bus, rail, paratransit and shuttle services.

More than 19% of the passenger journeys, or more than 1 billion trips, in the U.S. in 2018 were completed using services provided by private transportation. NATA members operate in 46 states, five provinces, and more than 2,000 cities in the U.S. and Canada. NATA will bring expertise from more than 30 countries to North America to ensure the strongest and best practices are deployed here, first.

“The future of our economy depends on safe, effective, reliable public transit,” said Dick Alexander, Transdev CEO and Chair of NATA’s Board. “NATA’s members bring ideas that will help pave the way for what tomorrow’s mobility looks like, today. We must fundamentally rethink how transportation services are delivered for the communities we serve, and we will help do that by bringing proven solutions and a deeply-experienced workforce.”

“The transportation industry continues to evolve with new technologies that create opportunities for more cost effective and dynamic modes of mobility,” said Brad Thomas, First Transit President and NATA Vice-Chair. “With our diverse range of experience, NATA’s members are well-positioned to partner with public transit agencies in building new, efficient and accessible operating models.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on public transit in North America, and NATA companies have worked diligently beside their public transit agency partners to continue to provide necessary mobility and other community services during this extraordinary time,” said Paul Comfort, NATA Executive Director. “Public transportation remains critical to all Americans—it provides mobility options, generates jobs, spurs economic growth, and supports public policies regarding energy use and air quality.”

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