April 20, 2011

Monterey, Calif. transit system honored by U.S. Army

Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) and the Presidio of Monterey were among nine teams and garrisons from Korea to California to Maryland to have earned recognition in the 2010 Secretary of the Army Quality of Life awards and the Army Community of Excellence – Exemplary Practice Award.

The awards recognize improvements in the areas of environment, services, and facilities and the overall working and living conditions of the installation and efforts to provide the best support possible to Army Service Members, Family Members and Retirees.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh has recognized the U.S. Army Garrison, Presidio of Monterey which earned the award for a small installation for successfully teaming with Monterey-Salinas Transit by utilizing the Mass Transportation Benefit Program and the Transportation Incentive Program to promote transit use to and from the base.

The garrison addressed customer requirements, alleviated parking constraints, reduced pollution and traffic congestion, helped preserve the environment, expanded transportation alternatives and created a safer, more cost-effective mode of transportation for their community.

“It gives me great pleasure and enormous pride to know our efforts to make the Monterey Military Community one of the best places in the Army to live have been recognized,” stated COL Darcy A. Brewer, Commander of the U.S. Army Garrison, Presidio of Monterey. “The awards are a well-deserved recognition of the great teamwork between the military and MST, improving the quality of life for our service members and their families.”

In July 2009 the partnership launched nine commuter routes carrying passengers from the Ord Military Community, La Mesa, several Monterey County cities and as far north as Gilroy and San Jose to the Presidio of Monterey and then home again. Since January 2010 a total of 12 routes have offered convenient access for passengers including direct links on weekends to local shopping centers.

Boardings have jumped some 330 percent since July 2009 from 8,000 to more than 25,000 per month. MST has safely and securely carried over one-quarter million officers, enlisted personnel, Department of Defense contract employees, military students, instructors, faculty and staff to the Naval Postgraduate School, Presidio of Monterey and Fort Hunter Liggett.

“MST is proud to show that transit plays a role in helping our local military personnel in the achievement of their mission,” said MST General Manager/CEO, Carl Sedoryk.

The competition was open to all Army Commands, Army Service Component Commands, Direct Reporting Units, Army National Guard and Army Reserve Units. The awards are scheduled to be presented during the Association of the United States Army Installation Symposium in San Antonio, by Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal, April 19.

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