Kansas City, MO. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced the winners of the 2014 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards, Sunday, May 4, at the opening session of the annual APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
For the first time in the history of APTA’s Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards, one system swept both awards for their category. Cincinnati’s Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority won both the safety and security honors in the category for more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million annual passenger trips.
“The cutting-edge innovation that takes place in public transportation agencies across the country is leading the way to making a safe industry even safer and more secure for riders and employees alike,” said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. “I want to commend the winners and participants for their tremendous contribution to the public transportation industry.”
The APTA Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards recognize public transportation organizations for their innovative and proactive programs dedicated to improving safety and security for their employees, passengers, and the public. The top honor is the GOLD Award, which is given to agencies with the best overall bus safety or bus security program selected by an independent panel of judges. A Certificate of Merit is given to public transit systems in recognition of exceptional achievement in safety or security.
The 2014 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Award winners are as follows:
Bus systems with fewer than 4 million passenger trips annually
• GOLD Award for Safety – Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority, Parkersburg, WV. This agency enhanced the existing training and coaching programs to promote safety culture and employee engagement. This improvement allowed for better reporting of hazards and more efficient dissemination of safety training and policy announcements. Among other achievements, the agency created an improved accident register that tracks accident claims from start to finish.
• Certificate of Merit for Safety – Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Burnsville, MN. This agency created a travel training program that went beyond the classroom to conduct excursions and safety training for older adults, a group that is projected to represent 20 percent of the local population in the next 10 years.
Bus systems with more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips annually
• GOLD Award for Safety – Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro, Cincinnati, OH. After identifying distracted driving as the single most common contributing factor to its bus accidents, this agency initiated a comprehensive program targeted at addressing this growing issue.
• GOLD Award for Security -- Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro, Cincinnati, OH. With a multi-pronged approach stressing cooperation, awareness, and mutual benefit, this agency engaged the Department of Homeland Security and brought together a national leader in emergency response planning, its own crisis management team, and local responders in a full-scale exercise in 2013. This effort also included Metro’s own crisis management team and local responders in a full-scale exercise in February 2013, which covered a large-scale terrorist attack scenario.
• Certificate of Merit for Safety – Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY. This agency developed a new training program to improve safety performance and reduce operational costs. In addition, the authority will apply a similar process to analyzing additional safety-related incidents.
Bus systems with 20 million or more passenger trips annually
• GOLD Award for Safety – Pace Suburban Bus, Arlington Heights, IL. Pace implemented a large-scale employee coaching program that improved monitoring of, and response to, risky behaviors or actions by its bus operator staff.
• Certificate of Merit for Safety – Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC. The agency strengthened its safety culture and programs by creating a comprehensive, highly transparent initiative called Bus Safety in Motion. This program incorporates technology, real-time data gathering and analysis, training, systematic follow-up, and operator feedback.
• GOLD Award for Security – Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore, MD. The agency created the Service Safety Task Force to tackle the issue of reducing assaults on bus operators. The program is chaired by the Chief Safety Officer and comprised of operations staff, MTA Police, local government and internal/external stakeholders.
• Certificate of Merit for Security – MTA New York City Transit, New York, NY. This system implemented a program to reduce fare evasion on five BRT routes through rider education, customer service and greater enforcement. The agency added more inspectors who were highly visible at specific bus stops. In addition, they employed curbside ticket machines that issued a paper receipt passengers carried on board as proof of payment on these BRT routes..
Private companies providing contracted transportation management and services
• GOLD Award for Safety – National Express Transit, Solano County Transit, Vallejo, CA. This organization created a vision for building its safety culture and developed a safety action plan. Through this plan, the company implemented changes in their processes, allocated resources, and provided for conducting an ongoing evaluation of its progress.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.