RATP Dev announced it has been awarded the contract to manage Asheville Redefines Transit (ART), the transit services for the city of Asheville, North Carolina. The city of Asheville selected RATP Dev through a national competitive process that awarded the contract based on best value procurement. Contract services are set to begin October 1, 2017 and will cover an initial period of four years with two additional two-year renewal options. RATP Dev has appointed Bernadette Townsend to serve as ART’s new general manager.
Under the terms of the contract, RATP Dev will directly supervise ART’s daily operations for the Fixed Route bus services in Buncombe County. Presently, ART has 22 biodiesel buses in service, seven of which are hybrid, and currently run 18 routes throughout the area, servicing more than 1.4 million riders annually.
“The city of Asheville is excited to be working with RATP Dev,” said Elias Mathes, Asheville’s transit project coordinator. “The incoming team certainly has a proven track record of successfully building and managing mass transit systems in North Carolina, and we believe they are the ideal operators to manage ART and continue our initiative to provide a more efficient, tech savvy, and greener transit system for our community.”
ART is RATP Dev’s third contract in North Carolina, the others being the Charlotte Area Transit (CATS) in the Queen City’s metropolitan area and Buncombe County’s Mountain Mobility.
“RATP Dev America is delighted to be working in more locations in North Carolina, and bring our worldwide expertise to Asheville,” said Blaine Rigler, VP of RATP Dev Bus Division. “We are honored that the city council trusts our leadership and experience to uphold and improve the fixed route bus services in Asheville and throughout Buncombe County moving forward.”
Located in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is vibrant and historic city with a thriving arts scene and easy access to North Carolina’s natural splendor. With a population of approximately 425,000 residents in the metropolitan area, and home to the University of of North Carolina at Asheville, the city has growing public transit needs and is seeking to preserve the beauty of their stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their on-going sustainable transit initiatives.