The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) awarded the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) with its 2019 APTA Innovation Award for the world–renowned “MCTS Excellence” program.
MCTS Excellence began in late 2016 as a video series posted on the company’s website and official social media accounts. Each video, which is produced in-house by the MCTS marketing department, uses bus surveillance footage to tell a unique story that highlights an employee’s act of kindness or compassion.
Recent videos have shown bus drivers finding lost children, helping riders who are visually impaired cross the street, assisting passengers suffering from medical emergencies, pulling a crash victim from a burning car, and helping connect a homeless man with a new place to live.
“MCTS Excellence is a testament to the hard work, heroism, and humanity that our employees bring to the job every day; not only to get riders from Point A to Point B, but to ensure all of our residents are safe and secure,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.
Videos highlighting MCTS employees regularly go viral and have been viewed hundreds of millions of times thanks to the broad reach of social media, TV, radio, newspapers, and other media outlets.
Dozens of celebrities have shared MCTS Excellence videos online and extended special invitations to MCTS employees. One bus driver was flown to a taping of the Ellen DeGeneres Show and later participated in an on-stage Q&A session with singer Kelly Clarkson. Another driver was asked to be a contestant on a nationally televised game show.
A driver was featured as an “Everyday Hero” in Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” edition and later named “Hero of the Year” by the American Red Cross of Southeast Wisconsin. Other employees have received honors, awards, and commendations from MCTS, the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, the State of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bucks, trade organizations, and even from the animal rights group PETA.