CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Shootouts, fights and drivers calling for increased safety. RATPDev, the company overseeing the operations of Charlotte’s city bus operation, has seen a lot of issues over the last year.
The management company’s contract ends in February 2024.
Charlotte Area Transit System’s interim CEO Brent Cagle said in April the organization requested proposals.
“And two responses were received,” Cagle said. “RATPDev choose not to propose for this contract.”
This means Charlotte will have a new company managing the city bus operations, whose employees fall under Transit Management of Charlotte. The recommendation from CATS officials is for Illinois-based company National Express Transit to oversee TMOC.
It was determined the best to meet the needs of riders in the Queen City, and the idea was presented to Charlotte City Council on Monday night.
“This marks a significant step in the overall process of moving us out of the depths of the issues with CATS,” said Councilmember Ed Driggs. “Which I think we all remember.”
CATS officials tell Queen City News they will not comment further on the selection because City Council still needs to vote on the recommendation. But the leadership team is answering questions from the board.
“I understand the relationship to CATS, what’s going to be the relationship to council,” asked Councilmember Malcolm Graham, “One of the things we, Charlotte City Council, got criticized for was just not being in-tune to what was going on with the contractor.”
Officials say National Express Transit’ general manager will be part of the CATS management team and provide daily updates. The proposal also lists a merit system for good and bad performance. Plus, a new accountability program will keep council informed.
“This whole concept of a ‘secret shopper’ program allows us to have constant monitoring that reflects the actual experience of our ridership,” added Councilmember Dante Anderson when hearing about the program.
City Council is scheduled to vote on the contract on Nov. 27.
National Express Transit has more than 60 clients nationwide, including Durham, Greensboro and Charleston, S.C.