eSource Newsletter

Issue 7 | October 1, 2018

News You Can Use

Introducing RATP Dev’s Buy Better Program. Find out all the details including what it is, how it works and the benefits you can expect to take advantage of. 


Let’s take a look at the role innovation has played in transportation from the early 1800’s and into the future in our Age of Acceleration article. Learn more here.

Standout Service

We Move People is growing, and we are excited about the positive impacts we are having on the communities we serve. Click here to see who’s standing out in their community.

Making the Connection

Make the most out of the last quarter of the year by getting back to the basics of Marketing. Click here for five specific strategies you can implement now to finish the year strong.


Discover the four major categories of the Error Chain and the safety mechanisms designed to “break the chain” and prevent or reduce the likelihood of accidents. Read more here.


From reactive to proactive, find out how drive2zero™ is helping Roadrunner improve productivity, increase employee engagement and solidify a safety culture.

  Russ Tieskoetter, Chief Operating Officer

Let’s get Back to Basics. What does that mean?  It’s the simple things we do in managing our operations to take care of our three key customers our client, our employees and the company we work for.” - Russ Tieskoetter, Chief Operating Officer

Back to Basics Advice:

  • Conduct weekly staff meetings to engage your staff.

  • Manage by walking around, interacting with employees and understanding the needs of our passengers.

  • Complete a a daily review of your payroll.  Since more than 70% of our costs are payroll we must ask the hard questions around overtime, deadhead, and down time to control this cost.

  • Read your revenue and labor contracts; the more you understand your contracts the more knowledgeable you will be of your operation.

  • Get out of your comfort zone and get into areas you need to build your knowledge.  Get into the garage and ask your maintenance manager and technicians questions.  Work with your safety and accounting staff to understand what they do. Bottom line get involved!

About Russ: With over 22 years of experience in the transit industry, Russ Tieskoetter has partnered with public and private transit agencies, as well as school systems - providing safe, effective, and reliable transit and paratransit services. Most recently, Russ served as the Senior Vice President of Operations for MV Transportation.  Prior to his career in the transportation industry, Russ served as a Captain in the US Army. 



Introducing the Buy Better Program

At RATP Dev our Seven Pillars of Success for Public Transit are the foundation on which we’ve repeatedly built and managed outstanding transportation systems. These pillars—dedicated Customer Focus, Training, Management Plans, Community Involvement and Sustainability, as well as Operations, Maintenance, Safety and Security—are the cornerstones of our philosophy, with Innovation as the indispensable bedrock supporting them all.

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At RATP Dev our Seven Pillars of Success for Public Transit are the foundation on which we’ve repeatedly built and managed outstanding transportation systems. These pillars—dedicated Customer Focus, Training, Management Plans, Community Involvement and Sustainability, as well as Operations, Maintenance, Safety and Security—are the cornerstones of our philosophy, with Innovation as the indispensable bedrock supporting them all.

Our internal initiatives are the actionable elements that support each of our pillars, ensuring that we are providing the services necessary for our clients’ success within the transit industry. From Grow Our Own to Going for Excellence and We Move People, we take strategic actions to bring these pillars of success to life at each system and each initiative supports our mission and vision of transportation excellence.  

Our newest initiative, Buy Better, is a National Purchasing Program that provides efficiencies and cost savings across the entire organization, ensuring all of our agencies can leverage the relationships we have built with manufacturers and vendors to reduce overall costs and exceed customer expectations. The single national account will increase RATP Dev’s overall buying power across all current and future contracts ensuring consistent pricing structures. In addition, the Buy Better program will adhere with the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) procurement rules to provide opportunity for small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs).


Initially the Buy Better Program will include vendors of tires, uniforms & auto parts. The key focus areas and main objectives include:

  • Impact the inventory purchasing process for our agencies

  • Improve the bottom line by aligning purchases with budget projections to strategically enhance profitability

  • Advance as an organization through long-term vendor partnerships that allow for product innovation, expansion and supply chain management 

Simply put, Buy Better introduces smart decision-making to the purchasing process and as a result our clients will benefit from a streamlined process and cost savings.


Age of Acceleration: Innovative Technology in Transportation

The rapid advancements in technologies are changing the way we conduct ourselves in a day to day setting and affecting almost all aspects of our lives. The growing interdependence on technology in society is evident in the Transit Industry, through implementations of new tools and software, enabling greater efficiency while enhancing ridership, operations and maintenance. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see where innovation in transit began…

The early 1800s ‘Omnibus’ marked the very beginning of public transportation in the U.S.  This horsecar could transport up to 42 passengers- the beginning of integrating public transportation to everyday life, leading to the creation of the Cable Car, Trains, Railways, Motorbus and more!

In 1970, innovation took a leap forward with the introduction of the Magnetic Strip Card, another method of payment for public transit besides typical cash and tokens, allowing riders to pay by swiping their card onto a reader, making fare payments more convenient. Not long after, “Smart” cards began to make their way into the transit space, allowing riders to pay without inserting or swiping their card at all. Thus, reducing transaction time, fostering a seamless transportation experience.

Jumping to the present – during the age of acceleration, we are driven towards the future of mobility and smarter cities with technology industry trends including cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), Big Data, Real Time technology, Data Analytics and so much more!

Transit agencies’ focus and spending are beginning to shift to technology which is evident in three broad areas. First, there are technology solutions that appeal to a broad ridership – not just traditional users who may have a lower income or no car – public transit is keeping up with TNC’s, utilizing software and apps to solve the first/last mile problem for all riders. Second, agencies are increasingly using intelligent systems to streamline and improve fare collection, scheduling and routing of transit services. With technology, agencies can not only track their fleet in real time, but also assess the number of people riding a vehicle at a particular time, which in turn, will allow transit officials to predict and optimize their fleet size and operations. Lastly, transit agencies are adopting social media to foster two-way interaction to increase foster and accountability – ensuring the ultimate customer experience.

During this age of technological acceleration, public transportation strikes back.

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We Move People in Florida

Through our community outreach program, We Move People, RATP Dev USA and our Executive Leadership Team proudly supported The Halifax Urban Ministries and donated their time to create food bags for the homeless population called “Feed a Family Bags”. The food is donated from many sources, sorted, bagged and then taken to a social service facility for distribution to those in need. 

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Upcoming We Move People Events

Lake County, LakeXpress – Stuff the Bus Food Drive

Saturday, October 6, 2018, 9:00am - 5:00pm. The 13th Annual Stuff the Bus food drive in partnership with Publix Super Market to benefit local food pantries in the community.

Hernando County, The BUS – National Night Out

Saturday, October 6, 2018, from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. The Bus Hernando County National Night Out is a good night to get to know neighbors and all the first responders supporting Hernando County.


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Congratulations to our Concho Valley Transit System for being recognized in the San Angelo news for making public transportation easier with their new bus-tracking app. Read the full article here . In addition, we want to recognize their General Manager, Steven Beck, for being named an Honorary Commander at Good Fellow Air Force Base in San Angelo.



Marketing Basics for Q4

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October represents the beginning of the end, where preparation starts to end one year and begin anew. Although our sights are set on the 2019 horizon there are still opportunities and accomplishments to take advantage of in 2018. Especially with the upcoming holiday themes including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s. Visitors will be traveling in and out of town, and you can position your system to be the preferred mode of transportation.

Specific marketing strategies can help you and your agency take advantage of those final goals and experience momentum into the new year.

If you have found the implementation of marketing efforts to be overwhelming our advice is to keep it simple and get back to the marketing basics. Here at RATP Dev we want you to be successful in your marketing endeavors so we’re sharing some Marketing Basics for Q4 to help you finish the year strong.

  1. Identify the goal you want to accomplish through marketing; your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic & Timely

    • For example, on route 34 we will increase ridership by 10% over the next 90 days; this goal outlines exactly what the results of the marketing efforts should be.

  2. Design a 4th Quarter Marketing Campaign with a specific theme throughout

    • Create a ‘Giving Back’ theme and craft your marketing story with that focal point. This could include a billboard, a fundraiser, and a promotion that incentivizes frequent riders - all of which share the Giving Back messaging.

  3. Use emotional ties to tell a feel-good story of your passengers or drivers

    • For example, create a short video interviewing passengers on various routes and what public transit means to them or use a personalized testimonial from a passenger or driver in your marketing collateral.

  4. Run a contest or giveaway over the course of time to increase engagement and excitement around your brand and service offering

    • Use social media to encourage your audience to like, share and comment on posts with a specific hashtag or upload their selfies on the bus for a chance win a $100 gift card.

  5. Participate in community outreach/service showing goodwill to those in the community you serve

    • For example, establish a canned food drive in November or volunteering at a local charity for the less fortunate members of the community; these opportunities are plentiful especially with the holiday season approaching.

Need more ideas? Find additional examples of successful transit related marketing campaigns by clicking here.


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An Overview of Classifying Elements of the Error Chain

What is an Error Chain and how are Error Chains Formed?

An error chain is described as a concept that many contributing factors (latent or active) typically lead to an accident rather than one single event causing the accident. These contributing factors stem from human-factor related errors rather than mechanical malfunctions.


Understanding how error chains are formed begins with first understanding the elements of an error chain. An error chain is comprised of latent failures/issues from the organizational level, latent failures/issues from the processes and procedures level and lastly, from the human error or active failure level wherein failures or issues have been present in the organization level and process/procedure level for some period of time and in absence of a human error they would remain so. It isn’t until human error is introduced that the latent failures activate and, when combined with the human error, they cause an accident.

If at any point during the accident/incident sequence a link in the error chain is broken, the accident would not happen. This is why we have safety mechanisms that are designed to prevent or reduce the likelihood of accidents…these mechanisms are designed to “break the chain.”

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Root Cause and Contributing Factors

Root Cause: The single item in the error-chain, that if not realized/present, the error chain would have been broken and the event outcome would not have happened. 
There is only one…generally

Contributing Factor(s): Items in the error-chain that facilitate the error-chain continuing to a subsequent event outcome.
There can be many!

Why Classify?

Given the myriad of opportunities for error in the workplace, it’s important to group like root-cause findings together to better understand the gravity of the errors in aggregate. In short, classifying gives deeper meaning to root causes, when compiled together, and provides a unique understanding of each error alone and in aggregate.


At RATP Dev USA and in consistence with other industries, we subscribe to a model of classifying known as an error decision analysis or HFACS.

What is Human Factors Analysis & Classification System (HFACS)?

HFACS is a means for categorizing the root causes of events such that, over a period of time, a reasonable assessment can be made to further determine, or otherwise predict when failures are likely to occur.


This study of aggregated root causes gives safety practitioners a data-based means for surfacing, analyzing and determining when incidents may happen…known as proactive risk management.

Organization of the HFACS Taxonomy:

The organization of HFACS is arranged such that each major category has one or more sub-categories to further identify and isolate each incident’s causal factors.

HFACS Four Major Categories are:

1. Unsafe Acts


a. Errors: Unintentional behaviors

  • Skill-Based Errors - Errors which occur in the operator’s execution of a routine, task relating to procedure, training or proficiency that result in an unsafe a situation (e.g.,fail to prioritize attention, checklist error, and negative habit).

  • Decision Errors - Errors which occur when the behaviors or actions of the operators proceed as intended, yet the chosen plan proves inadequate to achieve the desired end-state and results in an unsafe situation (e.g. exceeded ability, rule-based error, and inappropriate procedure).

  • Perceptual Errors - Errors which occur when an operator's sensory input is degraded and a decision is made based upon faulty information.

b. Violations: Willful disregard of the rules and regulations

  • Routine Violations - Violations which are a habitual action on the part of the operator and are tolerated by the governing authority.

  • Exceptional Violations - Violations which are an isolated departure from authority, neither typical of the individual nor condoned by management.


2. Preconditions for Unsafe Acts


a.  Substandard Conditions of Operators:

  • Adverse Mental State - Refers to factors that include those mental conditions that affect performance (e.g., stress, mental fatigue, motivation).

  • Adverse Physiological State - Refers to factors that include those medical or physiological conditions that affect performance (e.g. medical illness, physical fatigue).

  • Physical/Mental Limitation - Refers to when an operator lacks the physical or mental capabilities to cope with a situation, and this affects performance (e.g. visual limitations, insufficient reaction time).

b. Practices of Operators:

  • Crew Resource Management - Refers to factors that include communication, coordination, planning, and teamwork issues.

  • Personal Readiness - Refers to off-duty activities required to perform optimally on the job such as adhering to crew rest requirements, alcohol restrictions, and other off-duty mandates.

3. Unsafe Supervision


a.  Inadequate Supervision - The role of any supervisor is to provide their staff with the opportunity to succeed, and they must provide guidance, training, leadership, oversight, or incentives to ensure the task is performed safely and efficiently.

b.  Plan Inappropriate Operation - Refers to those operations that can be acceptable and different during emergencies, but unacceptable during normal operation (e.g., risk management, operational tempo).

c.  Fail to Correct Known Problem - Refers to those instances when deficiencies are known to the supervisor, yet are allowed to continue unabated (e.g. report unsafe tendencies, initiate corrective action, correct a safety hazard).

d.  Supervisory Violation - Refers to those instances when existing rules and regulations are willfully disregarded by supervisors (e.g. enforcement of rules and regulations, authorized unnecessary hazard, inadequate documentation).

4. Organizational Influences


a.  Resource Management - Refers to the organizational-level decision-making regarding the allocation and maintenance of organizational assets (e.g. human resources, monetary/budget resources, equipment/facility recourse).

b.  Organizational Climate - Refers to the working atmosphere within the organization (e.g. structure, policies, culture).

c.  Operational Process - Refers to organizational decisions and rules that govern the everyday activities within an organization (e.g. operations, procedures, oversight).

It is important to remember that classifying root cause and contributing factors in an accident can only be done if a complete and thorough human-centered, behavioral-based investigation is conducted.



How drive2zero™ is Increasing and Improving Multifactor Productivity, Employee Engagement and Safety Culture at Roadrunner

At Roadrunner in Camarillo, CA, it’s back to the basics. We are bringing individual operators and the organization’s focus back to making Safety the priority by implementing RATP Dev’s drive2zero™ program.  Joe Flores, Roadrunner’s fleet/risk manager said it best, “Safety first means safety always.” 

Roadrunner operates multiple service offerings: fixed-route, paratransit, non-emergency medical transportation, special needs and school activity transportation, charter buses, black car services, airport shuttle programs, and more.  As you can imagine each of these segments has unique, service-specific safety concerns.  drive2zero™ is the first comprehensive Safety Management System (SMS) that provides a strong, common core to address and accomplish outstanding safe practices (and ultimately outstanding customer service) uniformly across all business segments.

Prior, Roadrunner was impacted by waste in time, resources and expense with a fragmented approach to managing each project. But, it is clear now safety must be considered in the context of the overall system, not isolated individuals or events. Most problems and most possibilities for improvement happen when you look at the entire system. drive2zero™ platform allows Roadrunner to capture that holistic view.  There is outstanding, real-time communication through SMS Enterprise Software (Coruson), from capturing incidents on location through investigation and the root-cause analysis that provides useful, applicable insights to all department leaders. 

Roadrunner began implementing the drive2zero™ mindset and management one month ago and has already seen an increased level of safety awareness.  At the monthly safety meeting, where it was promoted drive2zero™ was to be unveiled to VCTC Intercity Transit Service bus operators - there was 100% attendance.  The project managers were further able to engage staff and practice the use of the driver applications by performing scenarios in skits and demonstrate the reporting features.

  Apparently, when a manager dresses as a stop sign, operators listen.

Apparently, when a manager dresses as a stop sign, operators listen.

The drive2zero™ platform emphasizes and re-affirms safety in a positive, constructive and professional manner. Syed Shadab, VCTC Intercity Bus Service Project Manager explained "It is a great tool, it has made me and my department be a ‘proactive manager than a reactive manager’. This program helps us document and analyze all reported hazard (on and off the road) which in turn keep us of safe from potential hazards and we can resolve these hazards to have an accident free, safe driving experience.” 

All safety managers, in all departments at Roadrunner, concur the acquisition of Roadrunner by RATP Dev will affect many employees in a positive way; implementation of the RATP Dev's drive2zero™ will be a positive cultural change for the company and our customer base. It takes the operators back to understanding their role and applies the basics they may have forgotten, and it may change lives and at the same time save lives. The drive2zero™ philosophy will enhance driver awareness, the fallout will be safer driving, better customer service and increase in ridership.