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July 1, 2013

Iowa DOT Honors Public Transit Systems

AMES, Iowa – June 29, 2013 –Transit systems from Dubuque and Carroll have been honored by the Iowa Department of Transportation for their accomplishments during the 2012 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 highest percentage increase in ridership coupled with a decrease or lowest increase in operating costs.

The Western Iowa Transit System – Region XII Council of Governments, providing demand-response and subscription services in the counties ofAudubon, Carroll Crawford, Green, Guthrie, and Sac, won the award as the Most Improved Regional Transit System of the Year. 

The city of Dubuque’s transit system, The Jule, won the award for Most Improved Urban Transit System of the Year. The awards were presented in Ames during the annual awards banquet cosponsored by the Iowa Public Transit Association and the Iowa DOT.

The Western Iowa Transit System, headed by Transit Director Tom Feldman, posted a 2 percent gain in ridership. This helped reduce the operating costs by 8.6 percent during fiscal year 2012. Feldman explained that ridership saw increases due to businesses eliminating service vehicles and turning over more transportation to Western Iowa Transit and a general overall increase in demand in many areas. The system was able to decrease costs by focusing on efficient ride scheduling and driver usage and streamlining spending in many areas. This is the first time Western Iowa Transit has received this award.

Ridership on The Jule increased 11.8 percent, while operating costs only increased 4.9 percent. Jodi Johnson, interim transit manager with The Jule, stated that througha partnership with the local colleges, offering free rides to IBM SmarterTravel Study research participants, and more effective marketing of their fixed routes, The Jule was able to increase ridership on their existing fixed route service with limited increases to their costs of operation.This is the second time Dubuque has received this award; the first being in 2010.

Michelle McEnany, director of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Public Transit, states:“Iowa’s 35 transit systems play a vital role in the mobility of Iowans. It is great to be able to recognize those systems that have experienced a large increase in ridership. By providing more rides and increasing efficiencies, public transit systems can take Iowans where they need to go in an affordable and safe manner.”

For more information on public transportation in Iowa visit: http://www.iowadot.gov/transit/index.aspx

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Contact: Ryan Ward, Iowa DOT transit programs administrator at 515-233-7877 or ryan.ward@dot.iowa.gov