For immediate release: November 28, 2012
PSTA Maintenance Director is Chosen to Help Save Taxpayer Dollars!
Who:PSTA Director of Maintenance Billy Johnson
What: Named to the Florida Transit Association Finance Corporation (FTAFC) Consortium Purchasing Board
When: November 2012
Why: Due to his extensive experience and expertise in transit vehicle maintenance
The Director of Maintenance for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will now be using his expertise to improve transit operations across the Sunshine State, as well as helping to save taxpayer dollars. Billy Johnson, an 11-year PSTA veteran, with more than 30 years of experience as a mechanic, was recently appointed to the prestigious and influential FTAFC Consortium Purchasing Board. This group evaluates, selects, and negotiates bulk purchasing agreements for transit vehicles on behalf of Florida’s public transit agencies. Consortium Purchasing Board members are selected from transit agencies across the state based on their level of expertise. In short, the representatives are the “best of the best.”
As part of the consortium, Johnson will be working to ensure that Florida’s transit agencies get the best American-made vehicles at the lowest possible prices. For the next 18 months, the group will be evaluating numerous bus models from various manufactures to determine which will best serve the public. Once the list of vehicles is set, the consortium will negotiate a purchase price with the manufacturers as part of a five-year contract. The final list will include buses of all sizes and fuel sources including diesel, hybrids, and natural gas.
“This is really an honor and I’m excited about helping to select the vehicles that will shape the future of transit throughout the State,” Johnson says. Johnson is the first PSTA Director of Maintenance to serve on the FTAFC Board since its inception. “This collaborative effort gives every Public Transit agency in Florida – no matter how big or small – the chance to purchase the buses of their choice at the best possible prices. It benefits both the taxpayers and the private sector manufactures,” adds PSTA CEO Brad Miller.
The FTAFC was created in 1995 by the Florida Transit Association (now known as the Florida Public Transportation Association) as a way to reduce the costs associated with transit operators’ capital and equipment projects. An example of how the purchasing consortium works can be seen in the 12 new diesel-electric hybrid buses on order for PSTA. Due to hit the streets within the next few months, they were purchased from the state contract using federal grant funds. If you’d like to take ride on PSTA, visit PSTA.net or call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900 to plan your trip. Then, before you head out, be sure to check PSTA’s new Real Time Bus Information site at RidePSTA.net to find out exactly when your next bus will depart.