First Transit, which was acquired in October by Transdev, announced it will lay off 422 Orange County employees next month.
In a notice sent to the California Employment Development Department, the company said 174 union and seven non-union workers will be laid off from its Irvine operations, as well as 224 union and 17-non-union employees in Anaheim.
The cuts are scheduled to begin June 10.
In her notice to the EDD, First Transit General Manager Lorraine Lopez said the company — which provides drivers through its contracts with various transit agencies — “recently lost a substantial service contract with a customer that was supported by multiple positions.”
Lopez didn’t provide additional details. But Mass Transit magazine reported earlier this year that the company lost its bus-service contract with Orange County Transportation Authority, which had worked with First Transit since 2015. OCTA recently switched to Keolis Transit Services in a $286.3 million contract that takes effect June 11.
That contract — which is designed to save OCTA money — has an initial term of four years, with two options to renew the contract for an additional two years each. Keolis will operate up to 40% of the fixed-route bus service throughout Orange County.
“We are committed to making this a smooth transition to keep our OC bus passengers moving safely and efficiently,” OCTA Chairman and Yorba Linda Mayor Gene Hernandez said in a statement.
Founded in 1955, Cincinnati-based First Transit transported an estimated 300 million passengers annually in North America prior to its acquisition. First Transit, like Transdev, doesn’t own any passenger buses, although it provides drivers who maintain and operate them.
The company’s Irvine location is located at 6671 Marine Way, and the Anaheim facility is at 1717 E. Via Burton.
Transdev’s newly expanded U.S. presence includes operations in 43 states, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The company now serves U.S. 400 cities and communities with 17,300 vehicles, 340 of which are electric, and has an expanded workforce of 32,000.
When the company’s Canadian operations are added in, Transdev operates, manages and maintains more than 50,000 vehicles throughout the U.S. and Canada with more than 35,000 employees.
The acquisition supports Transdev’s “Moving Green” strategy, which targets a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 50% increase in its alternative fuel fleets (gas, biogas, biofuels, electric, hydrogen) by 2030, compared to 2018 numbers.
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