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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis June 17, 2011
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Virginia Transit Association Honors Agencies for Marketing, Other Programs

The Virginia Transit Association (VTA) recognized the marketing and promotional efforts of six public transportation agencies in the state at a recent event in Portsmouth, VA.

Arlington Transit (ART) received the Outstanding Public Transportation Marketing Award for its “Car-Free Diet” campaign. According to ART, the Car-Free Diet is a lifestyle that encourages people who drive alone to try alternative transportation options such as public transportation, biking, bike sharing, walking, carpooling, vanpooling, car sharing, and teleworking—all of which can help them save money, improve their health, and clean up the environment.

Honorable mentions went to the Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) and Virginia Railway Express. GLTC received recognition for efforts including its “Go Green! Ride Blue! With GLTC” branding campaign and creation of a Universal Access Pass Program for Lynchburg College students. VRE’s “Security is No Accident” program—reminding riders to be vigilant about suspicious objects or behavior—includes posters at stations and on board trains, a luggage tag, a die-cut bookmark used as a seat drop, and cling decals for the windows inside the trains.

VTA selected Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) as the recipient of the Outstanding Program Award for a Large System for its “Light Rail Safety Starts With You!” program. HRT introduced the campaign in August 2010 to educate the public about safe interactions with The Tide, Virginia’s first light rail system, set to open later this year. It includes outreach to places of employment, civic leagues, and schools, as well as online and broadcast public service announcements.

Blacksburg Transit (BT) received VTA’s Outstanding Program Award for its BT Bus Stop Database: a query-driven program that allows agency staff to access important information about any of the 239 bus stops in the system. Information contained in the database for each stop includes bus stop location, photo of the actual stop with identifying landmarks, historical ridership data for the stop, BT routes serving that stop, condition of the BT sign, stop amenities, and pedestrian amenities.

Loudoun County Transit (LCT) and ART earned honorable mentions in the program category. The planning process for LCT’s Loudoun Tysons Express, which connects Leesburg to Tysons Corner, incorporated two public meetings and an online survey. ART’s “ART Grows Up” effort dealt with increased demand for service through a complete change of fleet, route adjustments and additions, a bus safety educational campaign, and an aggressive customer complaint reduction program.

VTA presents the awards annually. The marketing awards honor public transit systems for implementing significant or exceptional marketing campaigns, while the program award notes agencies for programs that improve public transportation or the services or processes of the system.

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