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County Council to replace Votran management firm

February 6, 2020

The Volusia County Council voted Tuesday to bring in a new transit management firm to oversee the day-to-day operations of the county’s Votran transportation system. With the council’s action, county staff will begin negotiating a management contract with First Transit, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio.

McDonald Transit Associates, and then its successor, RATP Dev USA, Inc., have been the only companies that have managed the county’s public transportation system since Votran was established in 1975. But on Tuesday, the council decided it was time for a change. With RATP Dev’s five-year agreement about to expire, the county decided to put the contract out to bid. The contract attracted proposals from RATP Dev and First Transit, and both companies came before the County Council on Tuesday to make their pitch.

“We are very community oriented and service focused for each and every one of our customers,” First Transit’s senior vice president, Nick Promponas, told the council. “We develop a customer care program for every single one of our operations that includes an annual operations management plan that we manage our deliverables – your expectations in the solicitation and other needs that are ultimately required in order to advance your transit system.”

In addition to deciding to switch management companies, the council also voted to extend RATP Dev’s contract for up to six months to ensure a smooth transition once First Transit takes over. That will give county staff time to negotiate a contract and monthly fee with First Transit. The new contract will be for five years.