Today, six of the largest private transit operating firms have come together to form the North American Transit Alliance (NATA). The group will help cities in North America flourish by promoting innovative transportation solutions that ensure transit is safe, clean, and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
Public transit has always been essential, but the need for transit to quickly adapt to the challenges facing North America has never been as evident as it is today. NATA will work diligently with public transit agencies to help shape a future where public transportation is personal, equitable, and highly sustainable.
“The future of our economy depends on safe, effective, reliable public transit. NATA’s members bring ideas that will help pave the way for what tomorrow’s mobility looks like, today,” said Dick Alexander, Transdev CEO and chair of NATA’s Board. “We must fundamentally rethink how transportation services are delivered for the communities we serve, and we will help do that by bringing proven solutions and a deeply-experienced workforce,” Alexander continued.
“The transportation industry continues to evolve with new technologies that create opportunities for more cost effective and dynamic modes of mobility,” said Brad Thomas, First Transit president and NATA vice-chair. “With our diverse range of experience, NATA’s members are well positioned to partner with public transit agencies in building new, efficient, and accessible operating models.”
In addition to promoting innovation in transit, NATA will advocate for its members’ workforces, which together account for 35 percent of the total U.S. public transportation labor pool with more than 154,000 total employees. During the coronavirus pandemic, NATA members’ teams have been on the front lines in cities across North America, providing transportation to first responders, healthcare workers, grocery store employees, and all other essential workers who rely on bus, rail, paratransit, and shuttle services. NATA has worked closely with its partners at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and public health agencies to advocate for transit employees and will engage with federal and state governments on behalf of members.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on public transit in North America, and NATA companies have worked diligently beside their public transit agency partners to continue to provide necessary mobility and other community services during this extraordinary time,” said Paul Comfort, NATA executive director. “Public transportation remains critical to all Americans – it provides mobility options, generates jobs, spurs economic growth, and supports public policies regarding energy use and air quality.”
Looking forward, as the world continues to change, NATA will bring expertise from over 30 countries to North America to ensure the strongest and best practices are deployed here, first.
NATA member companies include First Transit, Keolis, MV Transportation, National Express, RATP Dev USA, and Transdev. Over 19 percent of the passenger journeys, or over 1 billion trips, in the U.S. in 2018 were completed using services provided by private transportation. NATA members operate in 46 states, five provinces, and over 2,000 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
About the North American Transit Alliance
The North American Transit Alliance (NATA) is comprised of the six largest private transit contracting firms that operate and maintain critical ADA paratransit, fixed route, and other transportation services on behalf of U.S. transportation agencies nationwide. NATA was created to further transit innovation and advocate for its workforce, who serve and transport some of our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and ADA-eligible riders. NATA’s member organizations make up 35 percent of the U.S. public transportation workforce, encompassing more than 154,000 total employees. For additional information, please visit https://natransitalliance.org.