The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced the winners of the 2016 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards, Sunday, May 15, at the opening session of the annual APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Charlotte, N.C.
The winning systems are chosen based on four criteria: project effectiveness, benefits accrued directly from the positive impact of the program, innovativeness, and finally project transferability that allows other systems to replicate the success.
“In a time when public transit systems are challenged with limited local and federal investments, these systems are great examples of how our industry works to keep their riders and employees safe and secure,” said APTA Acting President/CEO Richard White. “I congratulate them for their focus on making a safe industry even safer. These winners showcase a tremendous passion for safety and security on a daily basis and I thank them for their dedication.”
The APTA Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards recognize public transportation organizations for their innovative and proactive programs dedicated to improving safety and security for their employees, passengers, and the public. The top honor is the GOLD Award, which is given to agencies with the best overall bus safety or bus security program selected by an independent panel of judges. A Certificate of Merit is given to public transit systems in recognition of exceptional achievement in safety or security.
2016 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Award winners:
Systems with more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million bus passenger trips annually
• GOLD Award for Safety – Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, Mo. – Phased in a program to keep pedestrians and passengers safe. As a result of this program, the agencies bus crash rate dropped nearly 10 percent from the year before.
• GOLD Award for Security – Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, Mo. – Implemented a multi-pronged approach to strengthen security for it’s operators. It focused on a number of solutions, including adding new equipment, increasing police enforcement, offering enhanced training and lobbying for legislative solutions.
Systems with 20 million or more bus passenger trips annually
• GOLD Award for Safety – Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA), Baltimore – Created the new Bus Operator Canidate Training Program which was dedicated to improving safety while reducing accident claims and costs.
• GOLD Award for Security – Maryland Transportation Authority, Baltimore – Instituted the “Police Technology Program: Reducing Part I Crime.” This program led to a dramatic 49 percent decrease in Part One crime between 2007 and 2015 and no homicides, rapes, or shootings on MTA’s systems in 2015.
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT WINNERS
Systems with fewer than 4 million passenger trips annually
• Certificate of Merit for Safety – Southwest Transit, Eden Prairie, Minn. – Instituted changes in their safety culture that led to zero lost days as result of injury and a chargable accident rate less than .63 per 100,000 miles driven. Additionally this led to an on-time performance of 99 percent.
• Certificate of Merit for Security – Southwest Transit, Eden Prairie, Minn. – Modified APTA, DHS, FTA, and NTI documents to specifically tailor them to their operation to create a plan that is useful for day-to-day activities without outside funding.
Systems with more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips annually
• Certificate of Merit for Safety – Fort Worth Transit Authority, Fort Worth – Collected information about the causes of incidents/accidents using historical data to trend specific issues and drill down for key areas of improvement.
• Certificate of Merit for Security – Fort Worth Transit Authority (The T), Fort Worth – Strengthened their relationship with local first responders and created a “crisis” template that agencies can use to decide how to best utilize the system during critical events or in time of crisis. This included crisis situations both involving The T and utilizing The T to help resolve situations.
Systems with more than 20 million passenger trips annually
• Certificate of Merit for Safety – Metropolitan Transportation Authority/New York City Transit, New York City – Implemented the “EAGLE Team Fare Evasion Unit” which ensures passenger compliance with paying fares, and educating on use of fare machines. Their presence for fare enforcement has also decreased harassment of passengers and minimized operator assaults.
• Certificate of Merit for Security – Pace Suburban Bus, Arlington Heights, Ill. – Expanded training programs for local fire and police departments on the workings of their buses and operations at no cost to the first responders.
• Certificate of Merit for Security – MV Transportation DBA Fairfax Connector, Fairfax, Va. – With many advancements in technology they implimented a number of innovative tools, a few of which included: wireless data communications, computer-aided dispatch, on-board surveillance, and automated vehicle announcements.