Transdev acquires First Transit in the U.S. and Canada to deliver safe, sustainable, and more innovative mobility solutions to communities

By the end of October, Transdev Group signed an agreement to acquire First Transit, Inc., creating an even stronger innovation-driven provider of sustainable mobility and public transportation services in the U.S. and Canada.

Together, Transdev and First Transit will be better positioned to provide safe, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly public transportation services across a variety of transit modes, including Fixed Route Bus, Paratransit, Shuttle, Rail, Light Rail and Fleet Maintenance. The transaction will enhance Transdev and First Transit’s ability to support public transit authorities in the U.S. and Canada in the energy transition towards decarbonization, as well as provide affordable mobility solutions to local communities.

The combined entity will benefit from the competencies and expertise of each company and be ideally positioned to capture the organic new growth opportunities resulting from the increasing need for renewed mobility solutions. Transdev intends to further invest in First Transit while providing its expertise in carbon footprint reduction.

By joining forces with First Transit, Transdev will be adding new services and expertise to its U.S. and Canada operations. This acquisition is highly complementary in terms of regional presence and solutions offered. It is also aligned with Transdev Group’s Moving Green decarbonization strategy, and shows our willingness to continue investing in operational technology and fleet decarbonization to provide even safer and more environmentally-friendly transportation services to communities in the two countries.

Thierry Mallet, Chairman and CEO of Transdev Group

Two companies with complementary positions

First Transit, with more than 60 years of experience as one of the largest private-sector operators of mobility solutions in North America, carries out 300 million passengers trips annually. It provides operation, management, and consulting for more than 300 locations in 41 states, four Canadian provinces and Puerto Rico for transit authorities, state departments of transportation, municipalities, universities, airports and private companies. First Transit employs more than 20,000 dedicated transit and maintenance professionals, has 12,000 vehicles (owned and operated) and maintains an additional 36,500 vehicles and pieces of equipment through its dedicated maintenance division, maintaining or operating some 240 Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) in total, with another 70 on order.

Transdev U.S., headquartered in Lombard, Illinois, offers public transit solutions in the U.S. With more than 12,000 employees and a fleet of 6,300 vehicles (owned or operated), of which some 100 are ZEV, serving over 200 communities, Transdev U.S. carries out 180 million trips per year. Laura Hendricks, CEO of Transdev U.S. stated: “I am excited about the opportunity to combine the talents and expertise of Transdev U.S. with First Transit. This move will greatly benefit our clients and passengers with their daily mobility needs by delivering high-quality services and allowing a faster transition to sustainable transportation. We look forward to welcoming First Transit’s employees to Transdev and showing new clients and partners how we will best deliver on safe, sustainable mobility solutions.”

Transdev Canada, headquartered in Brossard, Québec, has 2,500 employees and more than 2,000 vehicles (owned or operated) of which some 60 are ZEV, serving communities mainly in Québec and Ontario. Arthur Nicolet, CEO of Transdev Canada, added: “The association of both First Transit and Transdev teams in Canada will represent a great opportunity to answer the growing demand for shared mobility in the whole country. We are excited to associate experiences and expertise from many Canadian provinces to support the development of communities coast to coast with safe, green and innovative services.”

The new entity will have an increased presence in the United States and will expand to the western provinces of Canada. With dedicated management teams well anchored in both the U.S. and Canada, the new entity will be managed specifically for each market, with decision-making at a local level in the interest of clients and passengers.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals in the U.S. and Canada.

An improved ability to serve customers; enhanced opportunities for employees

Combining Transdev’s expertise in Fixed Route Bus and presence in Rail with First Transit’s complementary positions in Shuttle services and Paratransit will provide an enhanced public transportation offer in the U.S. and Canada and will further enable the development of mobility services within local communities in the two countries. It will also unlock further growth potential in the ongoing energy transition towards cleaner Zero Emission Vehicle fleets for the public bus sector. The new entity’s focus on innovation will notably see a growing share of electric buses, further contributing to the reduction of its carbon footprint. Transdev’s Moving Green decarbonization strategy targets, by 2030, a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 50% increase in alternative fuel fleets (gas, biogas, biofuels, electric, hydrogen) versus 2018 levels.

This transaction will also provide new professional development opportunities for employees of both companies.

Source: Transdev