June 23, 2017
» The city of Tempe, AZ, Public Works Department/Transportation and Traffic Engineering Division seeks a transit manager. [More]
» The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority, operating as San Francisco Bay Ferry, is looking for a public information and marketing manager. [More]
» Los Angeles Metro requests proposals to procure a system of 542 live video monitors for transit buses. [More]
View more Classified Ads »
TO PLACE AN AD: E-mail the requested date(s) of publication to: ptads@apta.com. Mailing address is: Passenger Transport, 1300 I Street NW, Suite 1200 East, Washington, DC 20005. Ad copy is not accepted by phone. DEADLINE: 3 p.m. EST, Friday, one week prior to publication date. INFORMATION: Phone (202) 496-4877.

MTA: Many Jobs, One Goal of Excellence

Employees of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) described the “Four Cornerstones of Transit” that underlie their efforts—safety, efficiency, reliability and world-class customer service—at the Host Session during the Rail Conference.

Acting Administrator Kevin Quinn began by presenting an overview of MTA as both the multimodal public transit provider for the Baltimore region and a state agency that provides $100 million in capital grants to agencies throughout Maryland. The MTA has an $820 million operating budget and a $3.1 billion capital program and, at the time of the conference, was days away from launching BaltimoreLink, an overhaul of bus operations in the city.

MTA Police Chief John Gavrilis described his force’s extensive community outreach efforts as part of its mission to protect the system and its users. “Our officers interact every day with thousands of riders,” he said, “so we get to know what’s good for them.”

The police force hires only the top applicants, he said—only 2 percent of candidates become officers—and MTA has had the lowest reported number of major crimes among the 12 largest U.S. public transit agencies for the past three years, with no homicides, rapes or shootings during that time.

Gavrilis also reported on the agency’s use of computerized statistics to manage incidents, its police monitoring facility that allows officers to respond immediately and increased training in investigative efforts.

In describing the agency’s maintenance initiatives, Erich Kolig, deputy chief operating officer, described MTA’s shutdown of the center of the 34-year-old Baltimore Metro Subway for 21 days to overhaul three major ­interlockings and make additional repairs. “We planned the shutdown hour by hour,” he said, including hiring a contractor to operate a bus bridge to keep customers moving.

Another MTA maintenance priority is keeping track workers safe. Michael Ollinger, project manager, said the system has begun to install train detection and alert modules, subsidized with an FTA research grant, which will send notifications to workers who will receive the information through wearable devices.

MTA employees also discussed:
* Staff education to result in improved on-time service and call center operation;
* Mandatory customer service training for all employees, leading to a 75 percent decrease in complaints over a two-year period;
* Maintaining a light rail fleet up to 25 years old and a 35-year-old subway fleet while improving reliability and increasing durability; and
* Media outreach including an MTA-operated radio station that provides system information, traffic news and features interspersed with smooth jazz; podcasts; social media; and a monthly local television program.

MTA Police Chief John Gavrilis addresses the Host Session.

« Previous Article
Return to Top
Next Article »
© Copyright American Public Transportation Association
1300 I Street NW, Suite 1200 East, Washington, DC 20005
Telephone (202) 496-4882 • Fax (202) 496-4321
Print Version | Search Back Issues | Contact Us | Unsubscribe
Twitter Flickr Blog YouTube Facebook