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

Albuquerque BRT project exploring full sponsorship

ABQ RIDE is looking to model its plan after the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s HealthLine, which is sponsored through a hospital partnership. Construction on the so-called ART system could begin in May 2016 with an in-service date of September 2017.

New luxury bus service launches in San Francisco

The service, which costs $6 a ride, asks riders to download the Leap app, creating an account, uploading a photo and adding a credit card that enables them to pay via a QR code.

4ONE wins multiple bus seating orders

Agencies ordering the company's products, which are now in at least half of all new U.S. and Canadian transit buses, include L.A. Metro, Chicago Transit Authority and New York City Transit.

New Flyer awarded big Las Vegas CNG bus contract

The contract includes a firm order for 35 XN40 and 20 XN60 Xcelsior buses, with an option for another 150 XN40 and 100 XN60 over the next five years. All buses are to be powered by CNG.

Pierce Transit taps Apollo for video surveillance

The decision comes after the agency conducted an analysis and product review period. Implementation of the project began in February and all work is expected to be completed by the end of April.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close