The board of directors for the Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (YCIPTA) in Yuma, Ariz., have unanimously awarded a three-year base term contract to National Express Transit Services Corp. for the management, operations, and maintenance of its Yuma County Area Transit (YCAT) system. The contract has a three year base which also includes seven additional one-year option years, bringing the total possible term to 10 years.
YCAT services that National Express will be operating include 11 fixed routes throughout southwestern Yuma County including the cities of Yuma, San Luis, Somerton, Town of Wellton, Cocopah Indian Reservation and unincorporated communities of Yuma County, including Gadsden, Fortuna Foothills, and Ligurta. YCAT also provides service into Winterhaven and El Centro, CA and on the Quechan/Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. The service includes the operation and maintenance of 25 vehicles and National Express will employ approximately 32 full-time and 4 part-time employees.
Since 2000, Yuma Metropolitan Planning Organization and now YCIPTA has been contracting the operations and maintenance of the YCAT system to third party organizations and companies. CIPTA has found contracting is the most effective way of providing this service due to low cost, less risk and using tools of a larger corporation to support a smaller operation.
"YCIPTA is looking forward to a new relationship with National Express and hopes to provide the residents of Yuma County a world class transit system and the contractor employees a happier place of work with less stress and controversy" stated John Andoh, Transit Director. "National Express has selected a great local management team that understands the issues and concerns and promises to foster a good relationship and take care of their new employees" said Andoh.
According to National Express Vice President for Operations Mark Foster, the transition to National Express' provision of the service is scheduled to occur no later than Sept. 1, but may occur as early as Aug. 25, if all mobilization efforts can be accelerated safely and feasibly. "We know how important the reliability of the YCAT service is to the people who use the buses every day, so we are working diligently to get all the pieces into place for a successful start-up of service as soon as possible," said Foster.