Bus

Arizona’s NAIPTA Honored for New Route, Cost Efficiency

Posted on October 1, 2013

The Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority’s (NAIPTA) cost-efficiency efforts and investment in a new bus route to more effectively serve its community paid off with hefty ridership increases and won it APTA’s 2013 “Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award.”

Over the past three years, NAIPTA’s ridership rose from 950,000 to 1.8 million, Jeff Meilbeck, GM, NAIPTA, says. The spike is a result of the transit system building a high-capacity transit route, Mountain Link, connecting Northern Arizona University to Flagstaff’s downtown business district and Woodlands Village, a popular shopping and residential area for students, at a cost of $6.4 million. NAIPTA launched the route in August 2011 and has seen tremendous ridership growth ever since.  

From September 2011 through August 2012, there were 631,377 trips taken on Mountain Link. From September 2012 through August 2013, that number increased to 654,892 trips, Meilbeck says.

Meanwhile, the agency employed cost efficiencies that reduced the cost per passenger from $3.47 to $2.70 per trip. As a result, the agency was able to add service hours without needing to increase indirect and overhead costs.

The increase in riders was one of the biggest factors in NAIPTA’s cost savings, with combined cost control methods and increased ridership creating significant change in cost per passenger, Meilbeck explains.

The cost per passenger drop can also be attributed in part to a newer fleet that decreased maintenance costs. Additionally, 95% of NAIPTA’s fleet is comprised of hybrid-electric buses, supplied by Gillig.

NAIPTA also saved money by reducing employee hours, eliminating overtime and moving some maintenance functions in-house.

Meilbeck says community support has been integral to enhancing the transit system. In 2008, NAIPTA went to voters with five transit initiatives and each one passed at supermajority levels.

A survey conducted by R&R Partners in February 2013 is more evidence of that support. It gauged the sentiments toward public transit in communities across the state. Statewide, the positive score was 42%, but in Flagstaff that score was 88%, says Meilbeck.

RELATED: "A campus-centered service unifies the community"

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

California's SamTrans to study express bus service feasibility

Service aims to improve mobility options and ease freeway congestion in San Mateo County and launch as a pilot in mid-2019.

New Flyer to provide 10 60-foot buses for ABQ Ride

The city issued a recommendation of award for 60-foot, articulated, five-door clean diesel buses to New Flyer under a 2016 solicitation.

ARBOC's Spirit of Equess passes Altoona Testing

Currently available in diesel or compressed natural gas propulsions, the vehicle offers many of the capabilities of a heavy-duty bus, but retains all the benefits of a mid-level vehicle.

First Transit awarded California operations, maintenance contract

Will provide the City of Visalia with day-to-day operations and oversight for 87 vehicles, employing 130. 

Montreal's STM unveils innovative design for underground bus garage

Will be the first multi-level bus garage in Canada and the first underground bus garage in North America.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation