CATS plans aggressive steps to meet promises

Technology, routing, PR slots available

The Capital Area Transit System is preparing to add more workers to its staff to oversee various phases of its planned bus service expansion.

Brian Marshall, CATS chief administrative officer, said CATS will seek both direct hires and some outsourced temporary positions in the coming months.

“It’s aggressive,” he said. “But it’s aggressive in order to get things done.”

The positions are listed in a CATS implementation plan that lays out how the agency plans to achieve service improvements and expansions promised in the April 2012 election.

CATS has promised to reduce wait times at peak hours to 15 minutes, add buses, change the route structure and improve bus stops with shelters and signs.

The positions listed include a human resources manager, a public relations specialist, a procurement specialist, a route scheduler, a chief operating officer, a maintenance director and a technology specialist to monitor the tech systems in the bus fleet.

CATS also will contract with firms to oversee its bus shelter plan, to create new informational signs that will be placed in the bus stops, and to make some improvements to the CATS terminal on Florida Boulevard both inside the administrative building and in the parking lots.

CATS already has advertised a request for proposals for an 18-month program manager, responsible for the overall implementation of the service goals.

On Tuesday, Marshall presented his plans for staff additions to a committee of the CATS Board.

Initially, Marshall had proposed contracting with a firm for public relations, but board member Deborah Roe said CATS needs a full-time employee to combat the agency’s public perception problems.

Marshall agreed that CATS needs help revamping its image.

“The problem is not execution,” he said. “It’s communication.”

Marshall said he’s already been conducting interviews for some positions and additional RFPs will be going out for contracts soon.

The implementation plan says CATS is aiming to fill most of the positions before the end of June.