2010 Awards

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Each year, VTA recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions by individuals who are working to advance public transportation in their community; VTA also recognizes innovative, effective programs by our public transportation providers.

The Virginia Transit Association presented the following awards at its 2010 Awards Luncheon to recognize outstanding service by individuals and exceptional transit programs, and to advance and expand public transportation in the Commonwealth.

 Legislator of the Year Award
 Public Official of the Year Award
 Distinguished Service Award
 Outstanding Program Awards
 Outstanding Public Transportation Marketing Award

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Legislator of the Year AwardPhoto of Delegate Patrick Hope

Delegate Patrick A. Hope sponsored HB 421 which gives the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) needed flexibility to maintain transit service during the unusual years when state operating revenues are declining.

During the 2010 General Assembly Session, Delegate Patrick Hope sponsored and successfully passed House Bill 421 which gives the Commonwealth Transportation Board authority to shift funds when needed to maintain transit service during the unusual years when state operating revenues are declining.  Although a freshman legislator, Delegate Hope did an excellent job of explaining the complexity of transit funding and persuading sometimes skeptical colleagues of the need for this Code change. The bill, along with companion budget language, gives the Commonwealth Transportation Board the authority to shift up to 20 percent of transit capital funds to transit operating as needed when state funds for transit operating are less than the prior year.  The Code change will be used in the upcoming fiscal year as the Six Year Plan proposes to shift $800,000 from transit capital to transit operating to maintain transit service across the state.

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Public Official of the Year AwardMayor Richard Ballengee

Mayor Richard (Dick) Ballengee is a strong champion for transit as a way to enhance quality of life in his community and region.  He realized that Christiansburg needed a different kind of service.  Their needs would be better met if a more flexible and frequent transit service could be designed that would allow everyone in Christiansburg easy access to in-town destinations and  connect to Blacksburg. The Mayor took the lead in crossing “the jurisdictional aisle” to work with the Town of Blacksburg and their transit provider, Blacksburg Transit, to redesign and expand transit service tailored to the population and needs of Christiansburg. His vision of transit, enthusiasm, leadership and hard work built support for a new transit program with both town councils and among his citizens.

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Distinguished Service AwardPhoto of Chip Badger

Charles “Chip” Badger has devoted his entire thirty seven year career to multi-modal transportation and has been instrumental in advancing transit across Virginia.  Until January when he joined Wendel Companies as Project Director in the Public Transit Group.  Chip was a lynchpin in the operations of DRPT—a source of stability, institutional knowledge and encouragement to Virginia transit providers.

Over his career at DRPT (culminating in agency Director), he was instrumental in advancing the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. Chip also assisted with the development and financial planning for the Virginia Railway Express, Northern Virginia’s commuter rail system; The Tide, Hampton Roads Transit’s light rail; the establishment of over 30 new  transit systems; and Virginia’s first state sponsored intercity passenger rail service.

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Outstanding Program Awards—Small Transit SystemPhoto of Mayor Ron Rordam and Mayor Richard Ballengee

Blacksburg Transit (Christiansburg Expansion) – While adding new service or redesigning existing service is something many transit systems do on a regular basis, the grass roots/community basedprocess used to develop, plan and implement the Christiansburg service was truly outstanding. Over the course of two years the redesign of the Christiansburg bus service incorporated many aspects, from surveying every Christiansburg household to developing a working group for decision making and incorporating grass roots marketing tactics. As a result, the Christiansburg bus service has boosted ridership and better meets the needs of the town.

 

Outstanding Program Awards—Large Transit SystemJohn Lewis, CEO, GRTC

GRTC (TransitTalk.com) – In January, 2009, GRTC Transit System, and its RideFinders subsidiary, partnered with the Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) Got Transit? Committee to support public transit by developing public awareness and advocacy.  With a self-produced viral video as the initial core, print ads based upon the video, TV ads, a web site, use of social media using Facebook, YouTube and Delicious, plus banners on Yahoo, the campaign started an advocacy group that continues to grow and be a voice for public transportation in the Richmond Region through individual voices.

After only nine months of existence TransitTalk.com is advancing its newest campaign, Voices 4 Transit Choices, with additional partners, Partnership for Smarter Growth, Richmond, Boomer, and Style Weekly magazines plus a membership that has grown to nearly 1,800.  Advocates will be trained in how to approach and influence decision makers to support the use and expansion of public transit in the Richmond Region

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Outstanding Public Transportation Marketing Award

Charlottesville—Customer and Community OutreachPHoto of Kristen Gleason

(Rider-Focused Website Upgrade) –

Charlottesville Transit Service (CTS) has completed a rider‐focused website upgrade to charlottesville.org/transit that has increased views by 35 percent. The user‐friendly format makes information more readily accessible. Reorganized menus simplify browsing of CTS information, and prominent links place real time trip planning and facts on routes, schedules, and fares literally at riders’ fingertips. A new How to Ride section provides important basics on reading transit maps, schedules, and bus stop signage that were not previously available. Schedule and route information has been redesigned to improve access for persons with disabilities.

(Bus Lines Community Poetry Initiative) –

A collaboration between Charlottesville Transit Service (CTS) and graduates of the City of Charlottesville’s Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI), the Bus Lines Community Poetry Initiative engages area poets from schools and within the community through a unique opportunity to display their work publicly. Since Summer 2009, Bus Lines has installed 228 poster cards featuring 89 original poems by 81 local poets on board CTS buses. Promotion for Bus Lines has been non‐paid, and CTS has experienced no budgetary impact for participating in the initiative.

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