May 7, 2012

APTA names Bus Safety & Security Award winners

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced the winners of the 2012 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards at the opening session of the annual APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Long Beach, Calif.

“I congratulate these award-winning public transportation agencies for implementing successful, innovative programs that serve as a model to the rest of the industry,” said APTA Chairman and Dallas Area Rapid Transit President/Executive Director Gary C. Thomas, who presented the awards. “Through the work these systems did, and continue to do, they demonstrate their dedication to improving safety and security for the employees, passengers, and the public.”

The APTA Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards recognize public transportation organizations for their innovative and proactive safety and security programs. It also provides value to the industry by benchmarking successful programs so other public transit systems can adopt them and derive similar benefits.

Nominations are evaluated on four criteria: effectiveness, benefit level, innovation, and transferability. The top honor is the GOLD Award, which is given to organizations with the best overall bus safety or bus security program. A Certificate of Merit is given to organizations in recognition of exceptional achievement in safety or security.

The 2012 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Award winners are:
Bus systems with more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips annually.

Safety Excellence Award:
• GOLD Award for Safety – Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) – Monterey, Calif. MST has a comprehensive safety culture program that has improved safety in a variety of ways. One innovative approach to improve bus and pedestrian safety during left hand turns is the use of an outward-facing camera mounted in the “A-pillar” of the bus, to eliminate blind spots.

Security Excellence Award:
• GOLD Award for Security – Pierce Transit – Lakewood, Wash. By reconfiguring three divisions of its Department of Public Safety (Transit Police, Uniformed Security, and Physical Security) and adopting a regional approach to transit security, Pierce Transit reduced crime and saved the agency money.

Bus systems with 20 million or more passenger trips annually

Safety Excellence Awards:
• GOLD Award for Safety –VIA Metropolitan Transit – San Antonio, Texas. VIA’s Comprehensive Safety Program, strengthened its safety culture through four major areas: communication and recognition; training and education; equipment and infrastructure; and analysis and investigation. These efforts resulted in reduced accident rates as well as fewer liability payouts.

• Certificate of Merit for Safety – Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) – Cleveland. GCRTA implemented a Safety Management System (SMS) that reduced bus collisions through innovative technology, including the development of a voice alert for left-hand turns as well as an LED “stop” indication which illuminates when the brakes are applied.

Security Excellence Awards:
• GOLD Award for Security – New York City Transit (NYC Transit) – New York, New York. NYC Transit deployed a fare evasion unit to enforce passenger fare compliance. Fare evasion decreased from 13 percent in 2008 to 4 percent in 2011. The “EAGLE” teams not only ensured passenger compliance with the agency’s fare policy and code of conduct, but also actively educated riders on the proper procedure of paying fares on the new, off-board ticket machines, and other safety and security-related topics.

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