Planned CRT-DVTA Transit Merger
Since September 16, 2013, the Deerfield Valley Transit Association (DVTA), which operates public transit in the Deerfield Valley, has been managing Connecticut River Transit’s (CRT’s) southeastern Vermont transit service under a management of services contract. Once the two began working together, there were many indications that the two agencies could be more effective if they combined forces. To further explore this potential, the boards and key staff from both agencies, with assistance from VTrans and a consultant, have been discussing the feasibility, benefits, and other impacts of a merger. At the most recent meeting on August 1, the boards of CRT and DVTA decided to proceed with a merger to:
- Provide a stronger foundation to improve transit service in southeastern Vermont
- Better leverage the strengths of each organization to improve service delivery and customer service
- Reduce duplicate administrative tasks, such as auditing, marketing, procurement, and grant applications
- Produce a stronger, more financially sustainable system
Many details of the merger are still being worked out. However, key elements include:
- As is currently the case with both CRT and DVTA, the new organization will be a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
- The name of the new organization has not yet been determined, but services will continue to be provided using the The Current and MOOver brands.
- The merged organization will have an up to 10-member board, with equal representation from what are now the CRT and DVTA service areas.
- Randy Schoonmaker, who is currently the General Manager of DVTA and is now managing CRT services through the Management Services Agreement, will be the General Manager of the new agency.
- The new organization will have two operating divisions–a Rockingham Division and a Wilmington Division. Some administrative functions will be merged to reduce duplication and to expand capabilities in areas such as public information, customer service, and planning. Administrative personnel will continue to be physically based at both locations. All employees will continue to be provided with the same pay and benefits.
- No personnel reductions will occur–savings achieved through efficiencies will be used to expand efforts in areas where improvements are needed.
Over the short-term, passengers will not see any changes, and they will continue to use the same buses operating on the same routes with the same names at the same times and with the same drivers.
Over time, once the new organization becomes established, it will place a greater emphasis on improving service. These changes will evolve over time and will likely involve improvements such as better coordination of Moover and The Current services, and increased service levels made possible through a reduction in administration duplication and operational efficiencies such as shifting services between bases.
CRT and DVTA intend for the new 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to begin business on October 1, 2014. At that time, CRT and DVTA will become wholly owned subsidiaries of the new organization and maintain separate finances through the end of this fiscal year (June 30, 2015). Beginning on July 1, 2015, the two subsidiaries will be dissolved and all finances, functions, and personnel will be merged into the new “parent” organization.
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