Capital Metro awarded two contracts Monday to provide fixed-route and paratransit services, marking a major change in the agency's business model and making the agency compliant with a 2011 state law aimed to force a change in its operating model.
McDonald Transit Associates will assume responsibility for the agency's fixed-route services. The company provides transit services across the country, in such areas as Fort Worth, Lubbock, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Locally, their team brings more than 95 years of combined transit experience.
MV Transportation will assume responsibility for the MetroAccess services. Founded in 1975 in Dallas, the company focuses solely on mobilizing transit dependent seniors and persons with disabilities. MVT has more than 190 contracts with more than 150 government agencies.
Both contracts will take effect in August. CapMetro expects to save $35 million over the next seven years with this new business model. Most current employees of StarTran, the agency's current operator, will transition over to the new contractors, and the agency has provided a number of guarantees to protect employees’ jobs, wages and benefits, including a retirement plan with the new contractors. CapMetro says the transition will be seamless for riders.
Private contractors are nothing new for CapMetro - the agency has used private contractors for University of Texas shuttle services since 1985. The agency has also shifted regular routes to First Transit and Veolia Transportation in recent years. And the agency's MetroRail service, is operated by Herzog Transit Services.
The agency will shift from having more than 1200 workers to being left with about 240 administrative workers. Agency employees will still handle route scheduling, planning, marketing, purchasing, construction, and financial aspects of the operation.