French firm RATP Dev USA has purchased Camarillo’s Roadrunner Shuttle for an undisclosed amount, according to local reports.
On May 11, Roadrunner Chief Operating Officer Charles Sandlin told area newspapers that the family run Camarillo company was finalizing the company’s sale to RATP, the American arm of a Paris-based multinational transportation firm. He added that Roadrunner’s workforce will remain intact and unchanged.
RATP Dev USA has 5,000 employees and transports more than 1 billion passengers on buses and streetcars.
Founded in 1991 by Sandlin’s father, Desmond Sandlin, Roadrunner Shuttle, a bus and limo company headquartered at 95 Dawson Drive, has provided public transit in Camarillo for the past decade. Since 2012, Roadrunner has operated the Ventura County Transportation Commission’s bus lines.
According to Roadrunner’s website, Desmond Sandlin had named his company after the youth football team he coached, the Camarillo Roadrunners. Sandlin’s enterprise has since grown to encompass 400 drivers and 200 vehicles.
The Ventura County Star reported that in 2017, Roadrunner had accused the transportation commission of breach of contract and filed a nearly $1.4 million claim in back payments due to increased annual service hours. In April 2017, the commission agreed to pay Roadrunner a $750,000 settlement and also began paying Roadrunner an additional $70,000 in monthly operating expenses for the remainder of the firm's contract. From that entanglement came Roadrunner’s option to be bought out. On April 25, 2017, Camarillo City Council voted unanimously to transfer its Roadrunner contract to RATP upon the finalization of the former’s sale. That contract, which continues through April 1, 2019, is worth nearly $2 million.
The commission staff report said the agency would pay RATP Dev North America $4 million more than it would pay Roadrunner for the final six years of the contract. That increase will amount to $55.5 million over the previously set price of $51.3 million.
On March 1, RATP Dev North America officially began operating Camarillo’s bus seven lines, which serve approximately 800,000 riders annually and which circulate throughout Ventura County and into neighboring Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.