Why a former transit CEO is teaming up with a tech company

Ron ToberBlog

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I’ve spent my entire 46-year career in public transportation, seeking to make transit meet the needs of people in communities across the US. I’ve experienced firsthand what it’s like to provide a public transit system in older cities, like Boston and Cleveland, and fast growing newer urban areas, like Charlotte and Seattle, including competing against private transportation. Providing quality transit service that meets the needs of both dependent riders and those who have a choice on how they travel isn’t easy, especially when you consider how cities have evolved in our automobile-dominated society over the past 50 years.

Transit systems and other agencies providing mobility services are faced with a highly-competitive and ever-changing marketplace. Demographic changes, continued advances in technology, and the growing sophistication of people present both challenges and opportunities. Evolving land use patterns, traffic congestion problems, environmental concerns, and the desire to increase economic opportunities are factors driving public policy to increase public transit use.

However, transportation agencies face financial challenges that mandate they find ways to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in meeting travel demand. By investing in technology advancements designed to improve customer satisfaction and enhance operational efficiency, agencies can meet these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities being presented. Doing so will broaden public support and, thus, political support for public transit.

The TransLoc mission statement really said it all for me. “Our mission is to take public transit from last resort for some to first choice for all.”  In that one sentence, TransLoc had captured for me the essence of what all public transportation organizations should be striving to achieve: making their services so good, so readily accessible, and so easy to use and understand that people will look to public transit first to meet their mobility needs.

With my interest piqued by the TransLoc mission statement, I invested time and energy to learn more about the firm and its people. What I have seen and experienced is an organization made up of very talented and highly motivated people. People who not only understand technology, but also have a firm grasp on human behavior in today’s world. TransLoc is eager to learn about what makes public transit organizations work. This allows them to create solutions that empower transit agencies to provide better service, no matter their operational environments.

As I learned about the products that TransLoc had developed and was looking to provide to agencies, I became excited about what the firm could do to help agencies meet the current marketplace and political challenges. As a result, I will be assisting the talented folks at TransLoc broaden their involvement with transit agencies.

It is essential for transit agencies to take advantage of the evolving technology that is available to improve performance. TransLoc offers the tools and support that can help agencies dramatically improve customer service and increase usage, while at the same time improving the efficiency and responsiveness of service delivery. People want reliable, safe, and convenient transportation options. They make choices based on how to meet their travel needs, which help them decide where to live, work, and enjoy life. The technology products offered and supported by TransLoc can help agencies compete better in today’s mobility-focused society by taking advantage of the opportunities available and meeting the challenges head on.