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May 1, 2012

Ariz.'s Sun Tran wins transit, training awards

Tucson, Ariz.-based Sun Tran received the 2012 Outstanding Transit Organization and Outstanding Training Program awards from Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The awards were presented at the AZTA/ADOT Annual Transit Conference earlier this month in Flagstaff, Ariz.

“Receiving statewide recognition is an honor we share with our employees and our customers,” said Kate Riley, Sun Tran’s GM. “Sun Tran’s dedication to providing high quality, efficient transit service and innovative approaches greatly contributes to our success.”

Despite a down economy, Sun Tran realized enhanced financial performance for the current fiscal year through February 2012 as compared to the same period in fiscal year 2011. Total passenger revenue increased 30%, the farebox recovery ratio increased 19%, revenue per passenger increased 26% and ridership grew by 3.1% despite a fare increase in July 2011.

Sun Tran also unveiled the final phase of the new Northwest Bus Facility, which allows for continued expansion of transit services in the region. Phase II of this facility was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, which was the City of Tucson’s first “green” transit facility and second transit facility at the time to be built to LEED Gold standard in the State of Arizona.

Additionally, Sun Tran secured more than $17 million in grant funds for new buses, staff training, added security for the system and upgraded the CNG fueling facility.

The agency also partnered with Pima County ONESTOP, a federally funded system of organizations that provide career development services and training for individuals and businesses to improve the skills of their workforce. The partnership provided training on various subjects for local vehicle maintenance professionals, with Sun Tran employees specifically receiving training in hybrid technology and biodiesel fuel systems at no cost.

Sun Tran has won several awards from AzTA, including the Outstanding Transit Organization award in 2004. It is operated by Professional Transit Management (PTM)/Veolia and under contract with the City of Tucson.

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