Issue 1 | April 2, 2018
Learn more about Steve’s career journey with RATP Dev!
RATP Dev is Expanding! Find out about our recent wins!
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month Here at RATP Dev USA we know just how to use this holiday to engage your customers. Read more about connecting with your customers and the other National Holidays in April.
The Leadership Conference in New Orleans was a huge success! Let’s keep the momentum going. Here are 5 leadership takeaways you can continue to use and share with your agency. Details.
Happy April Birthdays! Work-Versaries Upcoming Events
Find out who we’re celebrating and where we’ll be.
As we aim to expand our footprint in the United States, our specific RATP Dev USA entity will optimize our interactions with our clients and the industry. Our US headquarters, originally based in New York, will move to the heart of our bus activities in Fort Worth, Texas.
Blaine Rigler will continue to lead as the President of RATP Dev USA. This new organization across the USA is all about positioning ourselves as a long-term player and emphasizing our strong corporate commitment to delivering the highest standards in terms of service and customer satisfaction. We are confident that our new structure – RATP Dev USA and RATP Dev Canada – will enable us to benefit from the many new and exciting opportunities ahead.
RATP is thrilled to celebrate another Grow Our Own Success story! In January, Steve Sherrer, GM of Volusia County (Votran), was promoted to the position of Regional Vice President, Southeast. A great accomplishment for a man who says, “I never thought I would be in public transportation.”
Steve’s relationship with RATP Dev began 19 years ago at Citibus in Lubbock Texas and he has continued to grow with the company ever since. In 1999, Steve was a student at Texas Tech and in search of a part time job that would work with his school schedule. His friend and classmate, John Hendrickson (who, at the time, was the Paratransit Manager for Citibus), suggested Steve apply to Citibus. Steve took John’s advice, and soon began working part time at night as a Paratransit Scheduler, which allowed him to finish school. Upon graduation, Steve joined the Management Trainee Program, led by John Wilson, where he was trained in various departments and learned the skills needed to become a General Manager.
Steve assumed the role of Vice President/General Manager of Lawton Area Transit System in Lawton, Oklahoma in 2002. Lawton was a big project – a start-up. Steve helped build the system from scratch and ran the daily operations which consisted of fixed route bus and ADA Demand Response services.
“The opportunities I’ve been fortunate to receive have been exciting. Every day is something new and different. I am excited for the future of transportation and the future of RATP Dev. Be sure you take opportunities to learn from your peers and you will find yourself doing great things with RATP Dev!”
In 2012, Steve became the Vice President/General Manager of Votran in Volusia County, Florida, leading a team of 300 employees who provide fixed route, paratransit, and ride share programs.
Steve has done a remarkable job over the last 5 years in Volusia County. In his new role, Steve is responsible for the contract oversight of Volusia County, Ocala, Hernando County, Lake City, Augusta, Mobile, Oxford, and Western Kentucky. “There is so much that is happening in our company now and so much more on the horizon. I am excited to lead the organization in a positive direction and I know we will accomplish great things in the future. We are fortunate to have great leadership and I would not be here if it were not for the guidance and individuals in our company,” said Steve.
In addition to his new leadership role with RATP Dev, Steve is also currently serving as Chairman of the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA).
That’s Right! RATP Dev USA is Expanding!
Congrats are in order for the newest member of the RATP Dev USA family: Prince George’s County, Maryland! In the summer of 2018, we are excited to partner with PCG County to provide management and operational services for TheBus system. With a unique blend of urban, suburban and rural settings across 450 square miles, including the National Harbor and the Andrews Air Force Base, Prince George’s County offers their residents serenity, while keeping them close to the buzz of Washington, D.C. Welcome PGC!!
Let’s not forget that we couldn’t achieve the success that we have without our current clients, and we are glad to have Waco, Texas and Ocala, Florida renew their contracts with us! Our partnerships with these agencies dates back as far as 1976. These relationships, built on trust, best-in-class service and a focus on the customer experience, result in long-lasting partnerships where the highest levels of quality and satisfaction are achieved. We look forward to experiencing additional growth and innovation with these agencies as we continue providing excellence in transportation. Stay tuned to see where we’ll pop up next!
What makes our system different?
Our holistic SMS is what sets us apart from the rest of the industry. Most companies have a safety program…we take it to the next level with a full Safety Management System that is one of the only in the industry to provide one comprehensive solution and meets OSHA, FTA, and other regulations.
So, let’s talk drive2zeroTM
The foundation for our robust and effective Safety Management System comes together in four interrelated, yet functionally separate pillars:
1) Safety Policy
2) Safety Risk Management
3) Safety Assurance
4) Safety Promotion
Each pillar focuses on a different component of what together constitutes our complete system for managing safety and risk with a business-like approach. Each is explained below.
Safety Policy is the foundation of our Safety Management System. It clearly states our safety objectives and sets forth the policies, procedures, and organizational structures necessary to accomplish our safety objectives. The safety policy clearly defines management and employee responsibilities for safety throughout the organization. It also ensures that management is actively engaged in the oversight of the system's safety performance by requiring regular review of the safety policy, budget and program by a designated accountable executive.
Safety Risk Management requires development of processes and procedures to provide an understanding of the public transportation system’s operations and maintenance to allow individuals to identify hazards associated with those systems. Once hazards are identified, other procedures must be developed under safety risk management to analyze and assess the risk resulting from these hazards, as well as to institute controls to reduce or eliminate the risks from these hazards.
Safety Assurance ensures the performance and effectiveness of safety risk controls established under safety risk management. Safety assurance is also designed to ensure that our organization meets or exceeds our safety objectives through the collection, analysis, and assessment of data regarding the organization's performance. Safety assurance also includes inspection activities to support oversight and performance monitoring.
Safety Promotion requires a combination of training and communication of safety information to employees to enhance our organization's safety performance. How an organization seeks to comply with this component depends on the size and scope of the organization. It may include formal safety training for employees, a formal means of communicating safety information, and a means for employees to raise safety concerns without fear of retribution.
* Definitions by compliment of Federal Transit Administration
RATP Group launches experiment in driverless shuttles at CEA Paris-Saclay
RATP Group is excited to take a bold step forward in the field of autonomous vehicles. For nearly two months (February 13th – March 30th) RATP Group has been running two driverless shuttles on the open road in Paris, France.
The shuttles, which are driverless and 100% electrically powered, are operating on the grounds of the CEA Paris-Saclay. The vehicles must negotiate intersections and pedestrian crossings and be cognizant of other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The shuttles can transport up to 12 passengers (six seated), and run each business day on a 2.6-km loop with seven stops. The shuttles are free, they run every 15 minutes and there is an operator on board.
The CEA Paris-Saclay facility is uniquely situated for RATP Group’s driverless shuttle endeavor. The research facility is located in an urban environment with moderate traffic, and its scientific community is eager to participate in autonomous vehicle experimentation. The high frequency is intended to make the service attractive to the 6,000 people who use the CEA Paris-Saclay facility daily. The shuttles used in this undertaking are operated by RATP Group.
This is RATP Group’s fifth experiment with driverless vehicles. RATP Dev has operated driverless shuttles in Austin, Texas; Bloomington, Indiana; and Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. RATP Group launched another service in Floral Park in Vincennes, Paris in November 2017, which is still in operation. To date, RATP Group has transported more than 43,000 passengers in autonomous vehicles.
Watch our Autonomous Shuttle demonstrations in the USA. Check out the videos on our website!
Learn more about RATP’s Commitment to Innovative Mobility. Check out our global website here.
RATP Group is at the heart of innovation, helping to build smart, sustainable cities. Driverless vehicles are a priority for RATP Group because they cater to mobility needs that are not currently being met (i.e, low-density areas, low movement, first and last mile), and because driverless vehicles are adaptable and flexible, they are particularly well-suited to solve supply and demand imbalances. RATP Group also has innovative programs in transport on demand; for example, the Slide service in Bristol, England, and new and emerging mobility models offering integrated bundled services with Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Through its RATP Capital Innovation Fund established in 2017, RATP Group has developed new partnerships with car-pooling specialist Communauto, car-sharing expert Wayz’Up (now Klaxit), a specialist in transporting fragile citizens -- Citizen Mobility, and a leader in self-service scooters –Cityscoot.
As noted by the CEO of RATP Dev, Laurence Batlle,
“The future of mobility is also driverless. Driverless metro has been a reality for a long time, RATP Group being the leader of this mode of transportation, driverless trains are coming, and at RATP Group, we are experimenting autonomous garage for buses and tramways. And now, autonomous shuttles, the first step to full autonomous buses. Autonomous shuttles have already benefited to inhabitants in Austin, Texas, Paris, Boulogne-sur-Mer and now to students in CEA Paris-Saclay. A first experimentation of autonomous shuttles on opened roads. With RATP Dev, your future is our destination!”
April's National Holidays
In a world where everyone is being marketed to everyday, it’s OUR time to get in the game, and win! Welcome to Making the Connection. Here at RATP Dev USA, we want to help you vanquish the behemoth called marketing by simplifying it and breaking it into smaller, actionable items that you and your teams can use to engage your customers. This column is your source for tools and resources that can help you make the connection with your customers in a variety of ways.
Okay, here’s the first secret to winning at marketing. The foundation of all marketing is building relationships. Relationships set you apart from your competitors and their marketing efforts. Think about it this way. Most of your customers have plenty of mobility options for traveling around town. Why would they choose your bus?
- Is it because you have the best customer service and they enjoy interacting with your staff?
- Is your bus operation/route convenient and one they feel safe using?
- Are there activities they enjoy being a part of that only your bus operation provides?
For example, April is full of National Holidays:
- Distracted Driving Awareness Month
- Keep America Beautiful Month
- National Autism Awareness Month
- National Volunteer Month
- Stress Awareness Month
Think of these designations as springboard themes for marketing campaigns.
Want to use the Keep America Beautiful theme? Remind potential customers via social media that people who ride public transit use their cars less, thus reducing air and noise pollution and conserving valuable natural resources. You can even take it a step further and designate a Keep America Beautiful day where riders are given some form of incentive to ride the bus. Anyone who lives in a metropolitan area knows driving on congested streets is the definition of stress-inducing; from 5 o’clock traffic to distracted drivers. You can promote Stress Awareness Month by being a stress-reliever. Share with your riders that taking public transit can help minimize stress because it leaves the driving to an experienced professional (your riders can even meditate on the bus– not something you want to try when you’re behind the wheel!).
What about those distracted drivers? Throughout April’s Distracted Driving Awareness month inform your community about the harm distracted driving can cause and the benefit of using public transit since they don’t have to worry about distracted drivers; riders can be as distracted as they want to be.
You get the point we want to arm you with the ideas and strategies you can use to make that connection with your customers and your communities. At RATP Dev we understand you are busy keeping the buses running on time and, quite frankly, that alone, is a full-time job. You probably don’t think you have time for marketing. But marketing is important. Really important. It’s a way to reach your current customers and potential customers and share the important services your agency provides every day. We hope Making the Connection makes it easier for you to get in the marketing game, and win!
Let’s Keep the Momentum Going!
The Leadership Conference in New Orleans was a huge success! RATP Dev USA is lucky to have great leaders throughout our organization. We’re keeping the momentum going by providing key takeaways, tips and “try this” solutions to encourage ongoing growth in leadership within your agencies and systems.
1. Lead by Example
a. You are in the position of leadership for a reason. Your leadership qualities and characteristics helped propel you forward over the course of your career. Put those characteristics on display for your employees. In other words, show…don’t tell.
b. Try This:
Want your employees to be on time? You need to be early. Want your team to be positive and upbeat? Make sure your interactions with people exude the positivity you expect.
2. Effective Communication is Key
a. The quality of your verbal communication directly impacts the quality of your team’s output. We’re all guilty of giving overarching directions and assuming people know what to do. Effective communicators understand it’s important to be specific.
b. Try This:
Asking a team member to share their thoughts about a project doesn’t give them enough information to do the job properly. Be specific. Say: “I would like you to review XYZ." This will help you to identify and explain what you really want and improve the quality of their response.
3. Create Positive and Engaging Work Environments
a. Satisfied employees create satisfied customers. As the leader, you should build a work environment that is empowering, engaging, and enjoyable. Mentorship opportunities and job shadowing are great avenues to use to build engagement.
b. Try This:
Talk to your employees about their goals as well as skills and experiences they want to gain. Then assign projects and provide training that will help them develop and progress in that direction. Check in frequently and provide feedback to help them stay motivated and on course.
4. Pursue Personal Development
a. Leaders aren't born; they evolve. A great leader never stops learning and bettering themselves, so stay curious. Be open-minded to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
b. Try This:
i. Books: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
ii. Podcasts: This is Your Life, hosted by Michael Hyatt
iii. Attend industry conference breakout sessions that cover topics that interests you
5. Remember: The 'little things’ matter
a. Be approachable and genuine in your interactions with others. And get feedback from your team (you can learn from them too); relationships are a two-way street.
b. Try This:
i. Publicly post positive customer commendations. Positive reinforcement is a more effective behavioral tool than discipline. People take pride in their work and like to be recognized when they do a good job.
ii. Observe holidays and special milestones like birthdays or work anniversaries
Dates to Remember
Happy April Birthdays!
Maurice Pearl (General Manager, Lubbock)
Thomas Wittig (General Manager, Admin)
Stephen Keiper (General Manager, Austin) – 2001
Jerry Triolo (General Manager, Colorado Springs) – 2001
Richard Ticehurst (General Manager, Clinton County) – 2010
Thomas Reynolds (General Manager, Harrisburg) – 2013
Stuart Ballenger (Director of Operations, Buncombe) – 2015
Marcus Wright (Director of Safety & Training, Austin) – 2016
Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) Annual Transit Conference– April 8-10 in Tucson, AZ
Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA) Annual Conference – April 9-11 in Columbus, OH
North Carolina Public Transportation Association (NCPTA) Annual Conference, Expo, Roadeo, and Golf Tournament – April 20-25 in Wilmington, NC
Florida Triple Crown Bus Roadeo – April 27-28 in Daytona Beach, FL