Babbitt began his transit career in 1977 as an intern at the first transit client, City Transit of Fort Worth. In 1981, after roles in grant administration and budgeting, he became the first general manager in Abilene, Texas. Service and ridership doubled while a new transit fleet and new operating facility were added.
In 1984, Babbitt became Vice President-Finance and Administration for the firm, and in 1987 took a similar role at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority through McDT. In 1990, Babbitt became the first McDT general manager for the Nashville, TN MTA. The MTA added customer sponsored tourist routes and magnet school routes and began what the Tennessee Titans called the “best shuttle service in the NFL” and opened two new passenger stations and a new operating facility during this time. The most cost effective commuter rail line in North America was developed from concept to funding and preliminary engineering during the period.
In 2002, Babbitt became president of McDonald Transit which today serves 31 client transit systems throughout the nation and is part of the RDMT team which serves two of the emerging streetcar operations. Seven of our clients have been selected by the American Public Transportation Association as the best of their category in North America. Babbitt reminds potential clients and new team members that our tasks of safety, reliability, schedule adherence, and customer satisfaction are not complex, they simply require a passion for execution.
Babbitt earned degrees in Political Science (BA) and Administration (PhD) from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a CPA licensed in Texas. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. He has authored and edited publications on transit, taught research methods, and been a guest lecturer at three universities and one research center.