The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now accepting applications for the 2009 “Success in Enhancing Transit Ridership Awards.” The awards recognize FTA-funded public transportation providers that innovatively boost public ridership.
FTA is encouraging qualifying transit agencies to get their applications in early. “If we can get transit agencies to think outside the box and come up with fresh ideas to increase ridership, we certainly want to do our part to reward them for that,” said FTA Administrator James S. Simpson.
Criteria for the ridership awards are based on creativity of the innovation and the level of increased ridership. Winners will be selected from four population categories ranging from under 50,000 to over 1 million.
Initiatives submitted for the award must have been implemented in the 2006 or 2007 calendar years, and must have contributed to a net, system-wide increase in transit ridership of at least 5 percent over the previous year, as reported to the National Transit Database. For agencies with over one million people in their service area, the net increase must be at least 3 percent. Agencies are encouraged to show the use of surveys and performance measures to improve service. Also, initiatives cannot include major capital projects, but can include routine vehicle and facility replacement and refurbishment strategies.
Past winners have used innovative approaches in fare structure, collection, and media; marketing, advertising, and communications; partnerships with employers, educational institutions, and developers; and operating routes/schedules and customer service.
Over the past two years, Administrator Simpson has presented the “Success in Enhancing Ridership Award” to 22 agencies that have been creative in their efforts to attract riders. Awards are non-monetary.
Applications must be submitted by the grantee’s CEO or general manager by November 6, 2008. Award selections will be announced at the American Public Transportation Association’s Legislative Conference in March 2009. Application forms can be found on the FTA Ridership website at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/RidershipAwardsApplicationform2009.pdf.