Transit Division Director

Organization: City of Danville, Va.

Location: Danville, Va.

Deadline: Application review begins Aug. 5

Salary: The midpoint of the range is 80,000 with a full range of $59,369-94,991 annually. Starting salary will depend on experience and qualifications. The City provides an excellent benefits package. Visit http://www.danvilleva.gov/286/Benefits to learn more.

Description: Danville, Va., Mass Transit seeks a passionate, customer service-oriented leader for their next Transit Division Director. This is an operations-focused position that requires someone who understands the technical demands of mass transit and has the skills to manage and motivate a workforce who provide fixed route bus, Handivan (paratransit), Reserve a Ride (dial-a ride), and coordinated Human Service Transportation operations to the community.

With a population of about 43,000 and located in the Piedmont region of south-central Virginia along the North Carolina border, Danville, offers small-town charm as well as the advantages of a city overflowing with energy. It sits strategically on the banks of the beautiful Dan River and has taken advantage of this setting by developing the Danville River District.

The area offers a wide variety of activities including festivals, special events, concerts, the Danville Braves minor league baseball team, and many outdoor activities. Danville’s history includes being a regional hub for tobacco and textiles. As those industries declined, Danville has reinvented itself to have economic diversity. The community is the home to key employers in manufacturing (e.g. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Nestle, and EBI), Finance (CIT Commercial) and Healthcare (SOVAH, Roman Eagle Memorial). Further, higher education institutions such as Averett University and Danville Community College offer continuing education and learning options in the region. View a short video about the City: https://vimeo.com/188848506.

Danville is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia and operates under a Council/Manager form of government. The City has a total budget of $287M and approximately 1100 employees working across 13 departments. The City is well managed and innovative and has staged an economic comeback through a variety of shrewd investments from financing a solar facility that saves the City hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy to an investment in the workforce to prepare them for different jobs, among other strategies.

Duties and Responsibilities: Reporting to the Transportation Services Department Director, the Transit Division Director is responsible for overall management of all Transit Operating sections, including Fixed Route services, Paratransit services, and others assigned by the Director. The Transit Division Director will also assist the Director in carrying out the vision for the department and continuing to meet the expectations of excellent service in a high demand system.

Danville Mass Transit (DMT) employs approximately 30 full- and 10 part-time non-unionized drivers, and administrative staff with an operating and capital budget of approximately $4,300,000 annually. DMT has a 30-bus, 11-route/ demand response service in the City. In 2019, DMT offered 338,614 rides with a fleet of bi-fuel propane, gas and diesel body on chassis buses. Fleet maintenance is managed in public works therefore, a collaborative, proactive approach to fleet management is a necessity.

While overall, fixed route ridership has decreased, City innovation also extends to how Mass Transit is managed. Faced with declining public demand for fixed route service, but with an awareness of the nationwide trend for on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft, Danville Mass Transit initiated “dial-a-ride” service in 2000 and expanded operations over the past 20 years in response to customer feedback. Operating 21 hours a day, Danville’s dial-a-ride service has increased by more than half despite the downturn in fixed route utilization and offers such a competitive fee, that Uber and Lyft do not have a foothold in Danville. Additionally, low rate pricing that supports families and students, has gone a long way to securing a surge in ridership.

A huge challenge and opportunity for Danville Mass Transit is recruiting, hiring and retaining drivers. While a nationwide problem, Danville’s innovative and entrepreneurial leadership approach breeds confidence that this is a solvable, if long-term challenge. The incoming Mass Transit Division Director must be skilled in transit operations and share the current Director’s passion for mass transit and customer service. The successful candidate will assist the Director in managing all DMT operations including budget and grant management, planning, personnel, government and customer relations and financial affairs. Additionally, the successful candidate has a history as a “roll up the sleeves” manager who motivates and supports staff, is a skilled partner to the Department Director, and is a detailed and systematic thinker when approaching problems.

Qualifications: The successful candidate has a background in diverse front-line transit roles and three (3) years of recent, verifiable, and increasingly responsible management within transit operations, including fixed-route, on-demand, and paratransit services as well as service development in an organization comparable to DMT at the supervisory, division manager, or assistant director level. A bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred or some combination of education and experience. A CDL or ability to acquire one is desired. Strong preference for supervisory/ management level experience within a combination of these areas and experience managing or supporting departments/functions such as training, safety, procurement, and customer service.

The successful candidate:

  • understands and demonstrates the values of the City of Danville;
  • is a skilled collaborator who easily builds collaborations among the Transit Department Divisions, other City Departments and Transit partners;
  • is an empowering leader equally dedicated to building a cohesive team throughout the department as well as the development of individual employees;
  • coaches, trains, motivates and mentors staff; and manages employee relations; manages the workflow and prioritization of projects and measures the performance of the division and all related staff and takes appropriate corrective action when necessary;
  • is creative in managing budgets, leveraging limited resources, and working effectively with Transit partners to maximize complex partnerships within a City departmental system;
  • is resourceful in finding or developing innovative solutions to pressing issues such as, scheduling and attendance;
  • is knowledgeable in transit operations including, scheduling, safety, federal and state regulations;
  • is an excellent and effective communicator, including one on one, small groups and public speaking, who confidently and persuasively engages citizens, community groups, and staff;
  • promotes a positive work environment and use a collaborative problem-solving approach.
  • is experienced with a track record of evaluating and developing best practice policies and procedures;
  • effectively negotiates and persuades using outstanding interpersonal and analytical skills’
  • is skilled in fostering a high performing AND high morale team; and,
  • is a principled leader who values accountability while holding realistic and fair expectations of self and others.

Application Procedure: To apply, please go to http://www.developmentalassociates.com and click on the Transit Division Director – Danville, Va., link on the left side of the home page. All applications must be submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT the City portal, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume but resumes and cover letters should be uploaded through the portal. Application review begins Aug. 5, 2020. Semi-finalists will participate in skill assessments virtually or in person Sep. 14-15, 2020. The City of Danville is an EOE. All inquiries should be emailed to hiring@developmentalassociates.com. Recruitment and selection services managed by Developmental Associates, LLC.

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The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.