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Metro Transit honored as System of the Year

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Metro Transit honored as System of the Year

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Metro Transit honored as System of the Year

Metro
Transit is celebrating a top national award that recognizes its record ridership and success in a
range of areas, including safety, operations, maintenance and community
relations.
 

The agency has received the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 2016 Outstanding Public
Transportation System Achievement Award.
 The prestigious
annual award, also known as System of the Year, reflects accomplishments made between 2013 and 2015. 

Those
accomplishments include growing ridership, expanding access, advances in sustainability and overall
success in system safety. Metro Transit was selected among agencies from across
North America that provide more than 20 million annual passenger trips.

“Minnesota’s
economy depends upon a robust, modern transportation network, including
transit. This need will only intensify in coming years as the Twin Cities adds
an estimated 800,000 residents and 490,000 jobs by 2040,” said
Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “This award confirms what the thousands of Minnesotans who rely on
transit already know: Metro Transit delivers consistent, high-quality service.
This recognition is well deserved, and an important reminder that Minnesota needs
to continue to expand and improve transit services if we want our economy to
stay strong.”
 

Local elected, business
and community leaders were on-hand Wednesday at the Union Depot in St. Paul to
join Metro Transit and Metropolitan Council leadership and staff as
the award was announced.  The award will be presented at APTA’s Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, Calif. in September. 

“Public
transit benefits everyone in the region, whether they use transit or not,” said
Council Chair Adam Duininck. “We know  businesses cite access to public
transit as one of the most important aspects of attracting and retaining
talent. And ridership continues to grow, with no sign of slowing down.” 

Metro
Transit also unveiled a new decal noting the award which will be added to
all of its buses and trains. The agency also announced a customer
and staff appreciation event that will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the
Target Field Station amphitheater. For updated event details visit metrotransit.org/systemoftheyear.

“Metro
Transit’s success is a reflection of the talent and dedication shown by each of
our 3,200 employees who work together to provide the essential services our
region depends on, as well as the enduring relationships we’ve built with our
customers and partners,” General Manager Brian Lamb said. “Being named APTA’s System of the Year is a humbling and high honor, and one that can
be celebrated by all who helped bring us to this point.” 

After
opening the METRO Green Line in 2014, Metro Transit saw its highest
ridership in 30 years. More than 85.8 million rides were taken in 2015.
 In
addition to record ridership, Metro Transit was recognized for successes in
system safety, reliability, community relations, workforce development,
sustainability and financial management, among other areas.
 

Growth in the Metro Transit Police Department,
enhanced operator training and highly visible safety campaigns have improved system safety. Carefully-managed
maintenance programs have doubled vehicle reliability over the last decade. And
$16 million in savings have been realized through the expanded use of
hybrid-electric buses, solar energy and other sustainability efforts. New
transit information tools, fare programs for students and expanded bus service
have also made transit more accessible.
 

As
the system has grown, so too has Metro Transit’s commitment to the communities
it serves. In 2015, Metro Transit began working with local groups to shape ongoing
bus stop improvements, launched a groundbreaking program that provides
job-seekers a path to full-time Mechanic Technician roles and formed an
outreach team to ensure residents were both heard from and involved in the
decision-making process.
 

“Winning the 2016 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award means that Metro Transit has been recognized as the top large public transit system in North America,” said Paul Skoutelas, APTA Awards Chair and National Transit Director, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff. “”This is a huge honor that reflects all of the hard work done by the 3,200 Metro Transit employees.  Metro Transit is a model for other public transit systems.” 

“Congratulations to Metro Transit!” said
Richard A. White, APTA Acting President & CEO.  “Metro Transit’s record ridership, its
emphasis on safety, its outstanding vehicle reliability and its great effort in
sustainability are just some of the reasons APTA is giving Metro Transit this
prestigious award.”
 

For
more information about upcoming activities and Metro Transit’s accomplishments visit
metrotransit.org/systemoftheyear.

Contact       

Howie Padilla, Metro Transit Public
Relations Manager, 612-349-7089,
howie.padilla@metrotransit.org.

Virginia Miller, APTA Director–Media Relations, 202-496-4816,
vmiller@apta.com

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