First Transit's Michael C. Murray

Nov. 26, 2018
Executive Predictions

If 2008 is anything like 2007, it will be a very memorable year. The public transit marketplace witnessed a historical consolidation of contractors when First Group, PLC acquired Laidlaw International in October of 2007. As a result, Laidlaw Transit Services became part of First Transit. The combined companies now serve more than 250 customers in 45 states, with 20,000 employees. The transit marketplace will see benefits of this fusion of talent from Laidlaw Transit and First Transit in 2008, and further as the company combines best practices from both organizations to bring additional value and services. Safety will be preeminent among these best practices.

We predict the markets in which we operate to respond favorably to:

  • Cost-effective paratransit solutions. In particular, improving the productivity of the service.
  • Transit solutions for private companies, universities and airports.
  • New strategies.

Cost effective paratransit solutions will be as important as ever in 2008. As our population ages and persons with disabilities seek increased mobility, the operational demands on transit operations will continue to grow. The vast majority of paratransit services are contracted to private companies and creative solutions for greater productivity will be a growing demand, with solutions being found through both technology and non-technological innovation.

Transit solutions for private companies, universities and airports has been a growing market. While we think of public transit as the domain of transit authorities and municipalities, there are many corporate campuses, universities and airports that require transit services for their employees, students and customers. Look for more of these private operations in 2008.

New Strategies will be given greater awareness in the markets in which we operate, where cost efficiencies and quality of service result. Examples include: (1) the efficiencies and synergy of combining traditional ADA call center management with Medicaid call center management and brokerage; (2) consideration of combined-use facilities for fixed-route, paratransit, commuter, inter-city and school bus transportation; (3) standardization of fleets, safety practices, maintenance programs and coordination of Medicaid transportation.

First Transit believes that public transit services will be in greater demand in the future and we are committed to the advancement of safe and cost-effective contracting and management solutions.

Michael C. Murray is President of First Transit, Inc, the Cincinnati-based operating subsidiary of First Group plc, the largest bus and passenger rail operator in the United Kingdom. Mr. Murray has approximately 20 years of transportation experience. He holds a J.D. from the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, a masters from Ohio State and bachelors from Xavier University.