Marin County Transit District (MCTD) is the 2012 recipient of the California Transit Association’s (CTA) Transit Excellence Award for its seasonal Muir Woods Shuttle program.
The award recognizes an outstanding small transit operator for innovative service concepts, effective problem-solving techniques, and promoting a positive image of transit in the community. Over 50 regional transit authorities operating hundreds of service lines are eligible for this award.
The award was presented at the CTA’s annual meeting, held in Palm Springs, Calif. Accepting the Award on behalf of Marin Transit was David Rzepinski, GM, and Marin County Supervisor, Kate Sears, who also serves as a board member of MCTD.
Sears said she is particularly pleased about the shuttle’s positive environmental impacts. “When the Muir Woods parking lot fills, as it often does by 9 a.m., it results in illegal parking and roadway runoff. The shuttle has taken cars off the road, helping to ease traffic congestion and improve air quality without limiting access to the park.”
Prior to 2012, rising popularity of the shuttle often resulted in long lines to board. MCTD added trip frequency and created an improved waiting environment with redesigned circulation at the primary shuttle stop. The resulting 56,000 trips surpassed the prior all-time ridership high of 47,572 annual trips. The shuttle now carries more than 20% of park visitors on peak summer weekends and holidays.
Rzepinski promised that MCTD is not done with improving shuttle service. “Next year we will install equipment to provide real-time bus arrival information via smartphones,” said Rzepinski. “We will continue to improve so that even more visitors will choose the shuttle option to visit Muir Woods.”
The MCTD operates the Muir Woods Shuttle in partnership with the National Park Service. It was originally funded as a demo project in 2005 through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, responding to a need to alleviate parking and traffic issues at Muir Woods.