September 16, 2010

Minn. Valley Transit Authority wins innovation award

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) received the Management Innovation Award for its Driver Assist System on Sept. 13, in a program sponsored by the Minnesota Public Transit Association (MPTA).

The MPTA Management Innovation Award is presented to "individuals or organizations that have implemented a project that is innovative to the field of transit or have established a creative new partnership or method of addressing transit-related concerns of transit users."

Improving schedule reliability and helping drivers feel confident when using bus-only shoulders on suburban highways are two of the goals of the Driver Assist System currently being implemented by the MVTA. The system uses technology developed by the University of Minnesota Intelligent Vehicles Lab and it combines GPS satellite tracking, on-board technology and specialized training in a simulator.

The system will be used in operating the state's first bus rapid transit line on Cedar Avenue, where buses will be operating on shoulders rather than on a full transitway.

Buses wrapped featuring components of the Bus 2.0 technology are operating in the Cedar corridor and will be operating in service using the new technology within the next several months.

The Award was presented at the Annual Minnesota Public Transit Association Conference taking place in Rochester, Minn.

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