Hundreds of paratransit drivers and personnel are losing their jobs next month.
First Transit is closing its Philadelphia facility this May after a contract with SEPTA was not renewed, according to human resource manager Diana Claiborne.
The company’s 340 staffers were notified about a month ago and the layoffs are expected to take effect at the end of May. Claiborne says the facility at 4201 Tacony Street will close completely after the layoffs.
The transit contractor operated more than 150 Customized Community Transportation (CCT) Connect shuttles in the city of Philadelphia for SEPTA since March 2009.
SEPTA spokeswoman Kristin Geiger says five companies, including First Transit, submitted proposals for the CCT Connect contract. Ultimately, Edens Transportation Company was given the contract.
The CCT Connect shuttles offer door-to-door transportation for those with disabilities as well as ride-sharing for senior citizens, according to Geiger. Across the five-county area SEPTA serves, almost 8,000 trips are scheduled each workday. Geiger says 420 paratransit shuttles are on the road at any given time.
Another company, MV Transit, also has a contract to operate paratransit shuttles in Philadelphia, according to Geiger.
First Transit also operates paratransit service for SEPTA in Montgomery County. The status of that contract is unclear.
First Transit bills itself as the nation’s leading bus transit provider. The Cincinnati company’s parent, FirstGroup, owns Greyhound Bus Lines.