eSource Newsletter

Issue 5 | August 1, 2018

News You Can Use

Making winning connections and building strong business relationships are the key to business development. Click here to discover ideas on cultivating these connections.

Making the Connection

RATP Dev has the most skilled and knowledgeable leaders in the industry. Learn more about utilizing our resources through partnership with colleagues to move the industry forward.

Standout Service

We welcome Roadrunner, Yuma County and Russ Tieskoetter.  Take a look at the exciting details surrounding RATP Dev’s new business and Chief Operating Officer.


Assessments are key to continuous improvement of the SMS system.  Discover how assessments make managing risks more effective and establish a baseline of safety for drive2zero™.


Innovation plays a vital role in transit expansion.  RATP Dev’s Orbyt is our proactive approach to innovative business development. Learn how to navigate your next challenge with Orbyt.

Global Insights

The tram in Florence, Italy recently expanded their line to provide even more transit options to residents and tourists while having a positive environmental impact. Read more here.


"In business development, we make opportunity a reality. With a deep understanding of client needs, our commitment is to provide effective and efficient service delivery options to the communities we serve.”

About Scott Neeley

Mr. Neeley is a 24-year veteran of the public and private transportation industries. Previously serving as Chief Executive Officer for the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority and Executive Vice President for the Denton County Transportation Authority, he now manages the business development efforts for RATP Dev USA.


Making Connections and Building Relationships to Develop Business

Our industry demands a laser focused approach to making transit options more convenient and efficient from the consumer standpoint.  New technologies and service delivery options, with first mile and last mile considerations, are being introduced into our client scopes.  Couple this with the absolute necessity of recruiting exceptional employees - while maintaining a reasonable price structure, and you can see why this is an exciting time this is to develop and expand our footprint right now. 

Essentially, the focus on business development is threefold: 

  • Grow the company in strategic areas of the country
  • Expand new mobility services in current operations
  • Ensure satisfaction with current contracts to secure our position during renewal periods

Lasting relationships don’t just happen, they develop out of dedicated and consistent work.  It takes time and energy to build strong and lasting business relationships on a foundation of trust.  You should be thoughtful, with the right motives, while connecting with people for the right reasons. Focus on educating, helping and inspiring others with your experience and expertise; this builds the necessary trust that underlies enduring relationships. 


Five Quick Tips on Make Winning Connections

  1. Be authentic
  2. Develop mutual respect
  3. Identify shared goals and values
  4. Share leads and advice
  5. Offer something before asking for something.  Serving is the new selling

Here are a few ideas to build stronger relationships with your connections:

  • Make business development part of your regular routine.  Connect with colleagues, both current and past, on LinkedIn and dedicate 15 minutes of your week to cultivating these connections while enhancing your online business presence. 
  • Have a purpose when attending trade shows and conferences. Find out what is going well for an agency and what challenges they are currently facing.  By doing this, you can identify opportunities to improve their service and enhance their customer experience. 
  • Visit systems in your area or take advantage of visiting a system when attending a conference in another city.  This is a great opportunity to see, first-hand, how other systems operate. One day in-person is more valuable than one month of reading and research.

Remember, loyal clients are the best salespeople.  Cultivate the relationships with your connections and your systems. The goal is to develop relationships with clients who don't just understand our products and services but are excited about what we do…and can’t wait to share it with their winning connections.


Leveraging our Expertise to Move the Industry Forward

RATP Dev USA brings 45+ years of success in managing and operating high-quality, safe, responsive and efficient transit systems throughout the United States. As part of a broader global organization, we marshal the resources, talent and innovative spirit from our operating agencies across the globe. With our unique history of designing, managing, operating, maintaining and modernizing all forms of public transport, we have developed an unmatched level of expertise.

Due to the many achievements and contributions to the transit industry, and our commitment to excellence, RATP Dev is recognized at various state, regional and national levels including:

  •  Named Best Transit Operations of their size in North America, including Lubbock, TX, Daytona Beach, FL, and Bloomington, IN by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
  • APTA Minority and Woman Advancement award for the Trinity Metro transit system
  • 25 awards for safety, including APTA’s top safety honor, the Elizabeth H. Dole Silver Award
  • Texas Transit Association (TTA) honored our Midland- Odessa, TX General Manager with the Outstanding Public Transportation Resident Manager Award for 2016
  • FTA’s Region VI Office named our Lubbock, TX network, Citibus, their Transit System of the Year for 2016
  • Top finishers in multiple state and national maintenance Roadeo competitions, including 3rd place in Texas Transit Association’s 2017 Roadeo
  • Waco Transit System (WTS) was recognized by the FTA for Excellence in Grant Management in 2017
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RATP Dev has the most skilled and knowledgeable leaders in the industry and leveraging the expertise of our team members is one of our greatest assets. Outlined in the map above are the partnerships and services RATP Dev is proud to be a part of. There are over 6,000 team members across 13+ states possessing a wealth of information. By partnering together, we unlock and open doors that move our industry forward.          

Access to this information is two-fold. Perhaps you have a success story as a result of a system initiative, share the good news and the steps taken to achieve your accomplishment. You never know who could benefit from these best practices. Maybe you’re having difficulty finding a solution to a current problem or challenge, reach out and ask questions. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when your colleagues have a breadth of first-hand experience and insight that can save you time and resources. 

Making these types of connections allows RATP Dev to continue building and maintaining long-lasting client partnerships. We are proud to provide excellence in transportation and foster a culture of growth that influences positive client experiences.


Welcome Roadrunner to the RATP Dev USA family

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On May 14, 2018 RATP Dev announced the acquisition of Roadrunner based in Camarillo, California.  Roadrunner provides fixed-route, paratransit, airport shuttle, charter, and black car services to Southern & Central California. The addition of this business expands the RATP Dev USA footprint in the California market.


In addition, Brad “Brick” Conners has joined the RATP Dev USA Leadership Team as a Regional Vice President.  Brick leverages his fighter pilot experiences, serving in the US Navy for 27 years, with his professional corporate portfolio expertise, and has held the position of CEO at Roadrunner Shuttle for the past two years. During his tenure he worked to develop extraordinary talent and enhance performance levels. He brings a proven track record of developing best in class training and maintenance programs and is a firm believer in establishing aggressive risk management and continuous improvement. For the latest news and updates, follow our social accounts @rrshuttle on Facebook and Twitter.


Welcome Yuma County to RATP Dev USA

On July 1, 2018 RATP Dev assumed operations of the Yuma County Area Transit fixed-route and paratransit services in Yuma County, Arizona through the competitive procurement process.  “RATP Dev USA is thrilled to be working with YCIPTA to bring our expertise to the citizens of Yuma County,” said Blaine Rigler, President of RATP Dev USA. “Through our experience in operating fixed route and paratransit services across the country, we are confident that we will uphold excellent public transportation for the Yuma County community.” 

YCAT and RATP Dev will partner to serve the citizens of Yuma County in the southwestern quadrant of the area with 11 fixed-routes consisting of over 37,000 annual revenue hours and a demand response service.  Contract services will initially cover a 3-year period with 7 additional one-year options.  New to the RATP Dev USA team, Elizabeth Williams will serve as the new General Manager of YCAT.


RATP Dev Welcomes Russ Tieskoetter as Chief Operating Officer

On July 23, 2018, RATP Dev USA announced the appointment of Russ Tieskoetter as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining RATP Dev USA, Russ spent seventeen years with MV Transportation, most recently as a Senior Vice President of Operations. Prior to that role, Russ worked for eight years with Laidlaw Transit in various capacities as well as served our country as a captain in the US Army.


“As a leader in the public transportation industry for several years, Russ brings a tremendous amount of experience to this role and we are excited to have him as part of the RATP Dev family”, says Blaine Rigler, President of RATP Dev USA.  “With our continued growth in North America, the addition of Russ to the team will allow us to accelerate our expansion, increase our focus on innovation and continue to provide the highest level of service to our customers through our Going for Excellence program”.

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Safety Management System Effectiveness Assessment

Understanding Assessments

Below are three primary terms to grasp when understanding assessments. To know the purpose of each will enable you to better know which term is most fitting for your needs. Fundamentally, an assessment is an evaluation of something and you use a type of assessment many times over in the course your day as it can be as simple as which type of shoes to wear for the days weather conditions or assessing which fits best with your outfit. In short, assessments can be very simple or very complex depending on the outcome you wish to have.

  • Assessment: The evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something.

The question is then…which type of assessment(s) do I want to conduct.

The difference between and effectiveness assessment and a compliance assessment

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A compliance assessment typically leans towards evaluating your current safety condition and assets against a predetermined listing of conditions or assets…moreover, “your documentation says you should hold an annual review of a manual”, then “show me evidence that you have met the condition of having conducted that annual review.” In no manner, does effectiveness of that review enter into the equation. It is as simple as “have you met the predetermined condition.”

An effectiveness assessment however, leans toward showing evidence that whatever condition you are doing…”how well is it doing that for you.” In this manner, the conditions to meet are less prescriptive on what to do, but whatever you are doing, is it producing the desired results.

  • Compliance: the action or fact of complying with a wish or command.
  • Effectiveness: The degree to which something is successful in producing a desired result; success.

Regulatory deference changing towards effectiveness rather than compliance

So, why the two types and how to pick which is best for me? Largely, compliance assessments are more like an audit and are best to use when detailing compliance to a regulation or need from a reviewing authority. A reviewing authority may, indeed, be from a true regulatory authority such as the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) or from a client or customer that has expectations for you to perform to.

From a regulatory perspective, there are indications of a slow change away from mere compliance audits to that of effectiveness assessments. From a safety standpoint there is an old adage…being compliant won’t necessarily make you safe, yet being safe won’t always guarantee compliance. (Think this…although the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph and you are being compliant by driving to that limit, if the traffic on that highway is moving at 80 mph…are you actually safer at the compliant 55mph?)From this we can gather that regulations are written to a least common denominator of the ability to meet said regulation and that is primarily due to a lack of scalability in the way regulations are spread. Regulations are generally written to be reachable by organizations ranging from the very small (mom and pop shops) to the largest and most complex organizations in the respective industry.

When you choose to evaluate on an effectiveness scale, you then examine on the entity level and not through a “one size fits all” lens. This allows organizations to do whatever best suits them given their size and complexity. The focus then remains on how well they are doing whatever it is they are doing. This approach is designed around scalability and fit for differing organizations.

When it comes to safety, it is much better to be effective at managing your organizational risk, that to be merely compliant to regulations that may or may not fit your organization and may or may not deliver an effective solution.

drive2zero™ Assessment Levels

For our SMS, we lean towards evaluation using an effectiveness scale given that most of our locations vary in size and complexity. We desire for each to be more effective in managing risk and establishing a local baseline of safety. While there are basic tenants of compliance that we must evaluate, our assessment protocols largely center on effectiveness of your local organizations ability to show effectiveness of the SMS fit for them.

Below is a graphic detailing the four levels of SMS and the basic effectiveness expectations for assessing SMS effectiveness.

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Cultivating Innovation for Growth

 With an increased collection of information, availability of untapped resources, and data sharing, along with the expansion of technological capabilities, it is important to develop innovative strategies to advance the goals established by smart city leaders. Innovative strategies drive core and adjacent offerings aimed at delighting current customer and attracting new passengers. Thus, innovation is the foundation of successful transit expansion.

In early 2018 RATP Dev USA launched Orbyt, our technology and innovation framework, to advance our technological support services alongside the industry, or even ahead of it. Orbyt is our proactive approach to innovative business development, ensuring we are partnering and investing in the right start ups, tools, and technology to advance operational excellence in the transit industry. This is done through four key areas of focus:

  •  Improving Core Services
  • Taking Advantage of New Mobilities
  • Anticipating Industry Disruption
  • Increasing Passenger Satisfaction

Through our formal framework - Orbyt, we categorize these four focus areas and connect them through a methodical timeline. Our world revolves around investments made for you, and your passengers - leveraging the relationships and knowledge we have built over the years in the United States, and in addition to the global expertise honed from our parent company and subsidy agencies across the globe! We then apply this strategy to the connected passenger-operator journey, before, during and after the ride.

With a team dedicated to your improvement, we take a consultative approach with each agency, to help fulfill their vision. By partnering together to further understand the challenges our agency faces, we can research and understand what solution solves those challenge best. It may seem daunting – with new regulations emerging in the industry, customers demanding different and sometimes complex mobility solutions, technologies that seems simple on the surface but have so much more depth than you first realize, the list goes on – but, we can help.

Navigate your next challenge with RATP Dev’s Orbyt.


GEST, a Subsidiary of RATP Dev, Unveils Extended Tram Line in Florence, Italy


Florence, Italy’s Tramvia connects the city of Florence with Scandicci, one of the biggest suburbs of Florence located about 6 km southwest of the city. The initial line from Villa Costanza has now been extended by 11.5 km of tracks and 26 stations, enabling Florentine locals to make the entire journey in 40 minutes, with trams running every four minutes from 5.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m., and until 2.00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.  After four years of construction, the line now connects Villa Costanza to Careggi University Hospital via Alamanni. In addition, GEST has trained 40 new operators as a result of the tram extension.

This extended line represents a real alternative in sustainable mobility for the Tuscan capital, which is very popular with tourists. With an estimated 20 million passengers annually, it is the equivalent of having 9,300 fewer cars per day on the city's streets and avoiding 12,500 tons of CO2 emissions.

GEST has been a partner of the Municipality of Florence since 2005 and launched the city's first tram line on February 14, 2010; it has been operating and maintaining the line ever since. "We are proud and honored by the trust that the city of Florence and Florentine locals have placed in us. From the very first year the tram was introduced, the network was well-received and recorded 12 million passengers, more than 20% of the target set", explains Jean-Luc Laugaa, Managing Director for GEST.

This achievement is also shared by a team that was locally recruited and trained to the highest international standards. Transferring expertise and developing local talent represent a pledge of excellence promoted by GEST, as well as all of RATP Dev's operations worldwide, to offer cities and their inhabitants reliable, safe and innovative mobility solutions and services.