ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa – July 2, 2018 – Transit systems from Bettendorf, Davenport, and Dubuque have been honored by the Iowa Department of Transportation for their accomplishments during the 2017 fiscal year. Each year at the Iowa Public Transit Association Conference and Annual Meeting, the Iowa DOT recognizes one regional transit system and one urban transit system for the ratio of change in ridership compared to the change in operating costs. Iowa DOT also recognized an individual transit manager for contributions to the improvement of public transit in Iowa.
Bettendorf Transit won the award for Most Improved Urban Transit System of the Year. Ridership at Bettendorf decreased 20 percent while the operating costs decreased 36 percent. City of Bettendorf Public Works Director, Brian Schmidt stated, “With a decrease in ridership, we focused on re-designing our routes to address lower performing areas of our network to provide more efficient services. We also purchased smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Since these changes have been implemented, we’ve seen ridership stabilize and have also realized a significant reduction in operation, maintenance, and fuel costs.”
River Bend Transit regional transit system based in Davenport won the award as the Most Improved Region Transit System of the Year. The Region 9 system provides demand response service in Cedar, Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott counties. Headed by Transit Manager Randy Zobrist, River Bend Transit posted a 21 percent increase in ridership with a 20 percent increase in costs. According to Zobrist, River Bend Transit’s increase in ridership was primarily due to increases in non-emergency medical transportation trips and resuming the Davenport Community School District transportation contract for special needs pre-school children. River Bend also renegotiated numerous service contracts to reduce operating costs including IT support services, cellular/data and telephone support, temporary employment agency fees, office equipment support, and professional service fees. Service routes were also consolidated to gain greater performance efficiencies, reduce driver labor costs, and minimize vehicle miles.
The award for Transit Manager of the Year was given to Candace Eudaley-Loebach of the City of Dubuque transit known and The Jule. According to Iowa DOT Transit Programs Administrator, Ryan Ward; “Candace has a great vision for the future of public transit in the city of Dubuque and the state of Iowa. She is always accurate and consistent regarding reporting, statistics, and deadlines. In her tenure as The Jule’s transit director, she has led several projects to construct modern and efficient transportation facilities that not only aid the riders of The Jule and Jefferson Lines intercity bus but also improve the look and functionality of downtown Dubuque.”
The awards were presented at Arnolds Park during the annual awards banquet co-sponsored by the Iowa Public Transit Association and the Iowa DOT.
For more information on public transportation in Iowa visit: http://www.iowadot.gov/transit/index.aspx
Contact: Ryan Ward, Iowa DOT Transit Programs Administrator at 515-233-7877 or firstname.lastname@example.org