Normal, Ill.-based Connect Transit has been recognized by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) as the 2015 Outstanding Public Transportation System for agencies in North America providing fewer than 4 million passenger trips annually.
Called the “best of the best” within the public transportation industry, APTA Award winners are considered to be outstanding role models of excellence, leadership, and innovation whose accomplishments have greatly advanced public transportation. Transit agencies are judged on an exhaustive set of criteria that includes services and programs, operations, safety, customer service, financial management, diversity, environmental sustainability, marketing, policy and administration, and community relations. The award is based on Connect Transit’s performance during 2012, 2013, and 2014.
“Connect Transit is very proud of the positive ways we impact the lives of so many in our community and we are truly honored to receive this award in recognition of that service,” said Andrew Johnson, Connect Transit GM. “Our success would not be possible without the dedication of our talented staff, the commitment of our Board of Trustees, the support of our customers, and everyone in the community who is invested in making Bloomington-Normal an accessible and inclusive place to call home.”
Award winning highlights include a redesigned website complete with a user-friendly trip planner, up-to-date detour information, and an interactive experience with social media; the launch of mobile bus tracking, accessible online or via a mobile phone app, that allows riders to see their buses in real time down to the minute it will be arriving at it’s next stop.
Other achievements include an increased focus on internal and external customer service resulting in better on-time performance and ride experience; participation in partnerships dedicated to safety at a local and state level; the development and implementation of a best-practice procurement policy.
The transit agency also continued outreach in the community through support of events such as “Walk In Bike Out” hosted by the West Bloomington Revitalization Project, “Light the Nite” in Uptown Normal and programs such as “One Voice” in collaboration with the Economic Development Council. These efforts have led to an increase in ridership of 40% over the last three years.
“The Board of Trustees could not be more pleased by this award,” said Bill Wilson, Board of Trustees Chairperson. “It is a testimony of the impressive efforts and accomplishments taking place at Connect Transit and truly a high honor for a well deserving and remarkable organization that positively impacts the lives and economy of Bloomington-Normal.”
Connect Transit’s vision is to be reliable and safe transportation connecting communities. By continuing to focus its efforts on customer service, employee development and technology to provide the best public transportation possible, the agency will continue to improve the quality of life in Bloomington-Normal, according to a statement.