Stagecoach and ACTR Plan to Strengthen Partnership
After three years of working together resulting in improved services, higher ridership and greater financial stability, two of Vermont’s community transportation agencies have decided that a more permanent partnership is warranted.
In January 2014, after an unexpected leadership transition, Randolph-headquartered Stagecoach Transportation Services (STSI) entered into a management agreement with Middlebury-based Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR). The primary goal was to help stabilize the STSI and set it back on a path of service growth. With that task achieved and numerous other benefits realized on both sides of the mountains, the two Boards of Directors are ready to look at merging into one legal entity.
“We weren’t sure what to expect at first but the management agreement has worked incredibly well to help Stagecoach address its leadership and fiscal stability needs in order to successfully deliver on its mission,” said Board Chair Paul Kendall. “The benefits have been so clear that continuing the relationship on a more permanent basis only makes sense.”
“ACTR has gained strength through this partnership,” stated Board Chair Adam Lougee. “It is clear to the Board that we are poised once again to meet growing community needs and we are excited that a more permanent partnership will give us a better chance to expand services.”
During the past three years, the ACTR-STSI partnership has been largely invisible operating behind the scenes without much public notice. Each agency has continued to address the service needs of its respective region and has also maintained its independent identity, all the while building new levels of administrative and financial strength. Should the merger be completed, that is expected to continue seamlessly.
“Stagecoach celebrated 40 years of service in 2016 while ACTR will reach its 25th anniversary in 2017,” remarked Executive Director Jim Moulton. “Both organizations have long histories of serving their respective communities with respected identities, and that should be built upon.”
Unlike many corporate mergers, neither ACTR nor Stagecoach anticipates any job losses. Noted Moulton, “From day one of the partnership we have been focused on efficient and effective operations. This has already resulted in shared administrative, finance, purchasing, human resources and training staff.”
The Boards have voted to launch a due diligence process, during which each organization will take a closer look at the proposal to make sure lingering questions are identified and addressed. ACTR and STSI expect this process to be complete by late spring with a final vote shortly thereafter. Both organizations expect to hold community meetings to discuss the topic. Community members are also encouraged to provide written feedback to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.