Washington, DC – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) crowned Access Services (Los Angeles, CA) employee Iliana Mena the champion of its 2017 APTA Call Center Challenge. Iliana was selected as the winner at last week’s competition, which was held at APTA’s 2017 Marketing & Communications Workshop in Tampa, Florida.

“Call center employees are a vital part of public transit’s frontline workforce. The Call Center Challenge allows us to recognize the very best customer service practicies,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard White. “Our industry is proud to have excellent staff, like Access Services’ Iliana Mena, who keep communities informed, connected, and mobile.”

“Access Services, the ADA paratransit provider for Los Angeles County, is incredibly proud of Iliana for winning the 2017 APTA Call Center Challenge,” said Access Interim Executive Director Andre Colaiace. “We join APTA in recognizing the outstanding efforts of APTA member transit system call center personnel. Every day, our dedicated call center staff operate behind-the-scenes to address real life customer concerns and are judged on their ability to resolve each need in a friendly and professional manner. Iliana exemplifies Access’ goal of providing superior customer service to our customers so they can lead independent, fulfilling lives. Our call script ‘How can I make a difference in your day?’ resonates with our customers.”

The annual APTA Call Center Challenge spotlights the importance of customer service within public transportation call centers and to recognize individuals who excel in providing top customer service. The competition is open to APTA member public transportation call center personnel, with nearly 50 member systems competing in the first round.

Last week, five finalists competed in front of a live audience and were judged on their ability to resolve customer service scenarios. In addition to champion Iliana Mena, the four other finalists were Katie Quinonez, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA; David Backers, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA; Violet Duncan, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Portland, OR; and Melissa Barna, METRO Regional Transit Authority, Akron, OH.

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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.  

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