The Washington, D.C.-based American Public Transportation Association named the TCAT bus system a 2011 Outstanding Public Transportation System in North America. TCAT was one of three bus systems in the country to win the award.
TCAT won in its category of buses that provide fewer than four million annual trips. The award was based on both quantitative and qualitative data the bus company submitted in April to APTA for 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to a TCAT press release.
“I am constantly amazed at the level of professionalism and talent demonstrated at TCAT,” TCAT General Manager Joe Turcotte said in a press release. “This incredible honor bestowed upon us by the American Public Transportation Association validates what we do day in and day out at TCAT, and gives us even more incentive to continuously work at giving the Tompkins County region the best public transit system possible.”
Representatives from TCAT traveled to New Orleans to receive the award on Oct. 4. Other transit agency winners were the Santa Monica, Calif., Big Blue Bus, in the more than 20 million annual trips category and the El Paso, Texas, Sun Metro in the more than four million but less than 20 million annual trips category.
“As the ‘best of the best,’ the 2011 APTA award winners serve as role models of excellence to everyone in the public transportation industry,” APTA’s outgoing President William Millar said in a statement. “Their work in public transportation has made lasting contributions, not only for transit riders, but for the entire transit industry.”
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement praising the TCAT system.
“It’s my honor to congratulate TCAT for receiving this national recognition,” he said in the statement. “TCAT’s effective policies in safety, workforce training and customer service have earned them this great distinction. The hard‑working men and women of TCAT are well deserving of this great honor.”
In 2010, TCAT reported record ridership with 3.58 million trips, a 7.8 percent increase from the 3.31 million annual trips in 2008. Year‑to‑date data shows that TCAT’s ridership is up by around 13 percent.
In the statement, Turcotte and Hank Dullea, TCAT board chair, attributed the win to TCAT’s bus operators, mechanics, bus handlers and custodial and administrative staff. They also credited the partnership TCAT has with its three principal local sources of funding, Cornell University, Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca.
Original Author: Sun Staff