Notable advancements for the agency include the completion of four new transfer centers, two safety awards, a 21 percent increase in ridership, the installation of nearly 200 new shelters and the beginning steps toward developing a Rapid Transit System.
El Paso, Texas-based Sun Metro, which is managed by First Transit, was named the Outstanding Transportation System of 2011 by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Sun Metro won the award in the medium-size category of transit systems that provide between four million and 30 million rides annually. APTA presents this award to a transit operation that exhibits achievement in efficiency and effectiveness.
“We are extremely honored to receive this recognition from APTA,” said Jay Banasiak, director, Sun Metro/First Transit. “This accomplishment was won as a team and I can’t say how appreciative I am of all the hard work and dedication the staff has put forward. With our aggressive plans to develop two rapid transit corridors by 2013 and two more between 2015 and 2016, we will only become an even better system.”
Sun Metro, which has been managed by First Transit since 2006, won the title in the medium-size category of transit systems providing between 4 million and 20 million rides annually. APTA will formally present the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement award to Sun Metro at its annual meeting in October.
Systems are judged on their performance over a 3-year period. The award is one of the most prestigious recognitions in the transportation industry. The award has previously been given to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (Tampa, Fla.), Intercity Transit (Olympia, Wash.) and Greater Richmond Transit System (Richmond, Va.).
The award is based on quantifiable data, as well as, qualitative performance as it relates to Sun Metro’s safety record, operating procedures, customer service, financial management, sustainable practices, workforce development, marketing, technological applications and community involvement during 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Over the last three years Sun Metro has revitalized and strengthened its operation to focus on becoming the least car-dependent city in the Southwest. Some of most notable advancements include the 2008 Texas Transit Association System of the Year award, the completion of four new transfer centers, two safety awards, a 21 percent increase in ridership, the installation of nearly 200 new shelters and the beginning steps toward developing a Rapid Transit System.
First Transit manages the operation of 232 fixed-route and paratransit vehicles, and more than 650 employees. The company has managed transit operations for Sun Metro since 2006.