First Transit's Bradley Thomas

As we look toward 2011, the industry will undoubtedly see a focus on:

  • A continued trend toward contracting, with cities outsourcing their transportation operations.
  • Technology becoming more important than ever, with specific advances in safety and environmental sustainability.

Outsourcing Provides Options
Current economic conditions mandate efficiency. Many transit organizations are seeking to reduce budget deficits and looking for ways to provide cost-effective services without sacrificing safety and reliability. We firmly believe more will consider outsourcing their transportation services to help realize a costs savings and maximize effectiveness.

Outsourcing allows an organization to focus on its core business while the contractor manages all day-to-day aspects of service. In addition, outsourcing can help a company utilize the contractor’s purchasing power, which directly affects the bottom line. Because a contractor’s reputation rests heavily on its safety record, partnering with a service provider allows peace of mind that operations will be run to the highest standard.

In 2010, First Transit expanded its work with San Diego County’s North County Transit District (NCTD) to include its fixed route operations. NCTD was faced with possible budget deficits as a result of a $30 million loss in state funding. By contracting with First Transit, NCTD has been able to achieve a balanced budget for the 2010 – 2011 year without sacrificing safety, reliability or service.

Technology Increases Service
Technology enables First Transit to track and improve its operations. From fleet scheduling and vehicle routing to bus safety checks, we use the latest transit technology to ensure our clients receive the best service possible.

As more transit organizations seek to improve service, efficiency and environmental impact, technology that helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions will be important factors for all publicly managed transportation organizations and contracted systems in 2011.

Many new buses will utilize bio-diesel fuel and specific technologies that monitor fuel usage, idling and driver habits. This information helps companies like First Transit tailor its training programs to ensure that buses are being utilized as safely and efficiently as possible. In turn, we help the client save money on fuel and other vehicle costs.

We are proud of our talented employees throughout North America, the services we provide and the value we’ve brought to our customers this year. We look forward to continuous improvement in 2011 and wish you and your families a safe holiday season.

A 16-year transportation industry veteran, Brad previously served as president of Coach USA Transit Services, where he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s transit division. In 2003, Coach USA Transit Services was acquired by First Transit, and Brad was named senior vice president of the East Region.

In 2009, Brad was promoted to president of First Transit and First Services. First Transit employs 15,800 professionals and transports more than 300 million passengers annually on 10,800 vehicles. First Services employs 3,320 individuals and maintains approximately 43,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment throughout North America.

Brad earned a Master of Arts in political science - public policy analysis and administration at Binghamton University (New York) and a bachelor’s degree in political science at the State University of New York College at Cortland.