2017 Awards

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, business partners, and governmental leaders.

The Virginia Transit Association presented the following awards at its 2017 Awards Luncheon to recognize outstanding service by individuals and exceptional transit programs, and to advance and expand public transportation in the Commonwealth.  

Click here for the presentation


The Helen Poore Transit Professional Distinguished Service Award is given to transit professionals who have made outstanding contributions to advance transit in their region and who have been actively involved in VTA. Al Harf is retiring from long and distinguished transit career.

Sandy Modell-- CEO---Alexandria Transit/DASH

Sandy Modell began her transit career in college driving a bus part time in Harrisonburg, VA, which started off a 38 year career in the Transit industry. During her time at DASH, ridership increased from a million riders to just over four million. She increased the service miles by over a million miles annually and improved efficinieces and effectiveness, operating one of the highest operating ratios , passengers per hour, and miles between road calls in the region and the industry. Since leaving DASH, Sandy has opened the first and only canine academy and learning center in Alexandria. 

The Distinguished Legislative Leadership Award

Senator Frank Wagner

Senator Rosalyn Dance

Delegate Betsy Carr

The Distinguished Public Official Award

The Honorable Aubrey Layne; Virginia Secertary of Transportation

Jennifer Mitchell; Director of DRPT

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

The Honorable Gary Skinner; Member of the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors

Mr. Skinner ran on the promise to bring the VRE to Spotsylvania, and he delivered! The station opened in November of 2016 attracting additional riders and easing parking at other stations. 

Outstanding Community Program Award

Hampton Roads Transit--Student Free Pass!

The 'Student Free Pass!', allows all riders 17 and under to ride HRT for free. Program is aimed at encouraging young riders to develop early and positive habits for using public transportation. 

Marketing Award

Blacksburg Transit-- Drive for BT!

Blacksburg Transit faced a driver shortage issue and wasn't able to meet the need of their customers, they solved this by using a unique social media campaign and strategically targeting three different age groups. BT was able to increase their staffing by 22% in just 5 months. 

Arlington Transit—“Let ART be your Weekend Ride”

"Let ART be your Weekend Ride", was a successful initiative that increased the awareness of the ART bus weekend service. The campaign boosted weekend ridership on four specific bus routes, by sending residents coupons for two free rides. 

Outstanding Public Transportation Safety Award

Harrisonburg Transit--"Data-Driven Safety" 

The programs goals: reducing close calls and reportable accidents, were met through a combination of targeted training, implemenation of new technologies, and public outreach.