Iowa DOT News

Iowa DOT honors public transit systems

AMES, Iowa – June 30, 2014, Transit systems from Ottumwa, Burlington, and Decorah have been honored by the Iowa Department of Transportation for their accomplishments during the 2013 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. Beginning this year, an individual transit manager will be recognized for their contributions to public transit in Iowa. The awards were presented in Davenport during the annual awards banquet co-sponsored by the Iowa Public Transit Association and the Iowa DOT.

SEIBUS , Region 16 Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, providing demand response and subscription service in the counties of Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Louisa won the award as the Most Improved Regional Transit System of the Year. Headed by Transit Director Bob Kuskowski, the system posted a 24.4 percent increase in ridership while costs only increased 15 increase. Kuskowski explained that ridership saw increases due to the acquisition of Lee County Workshops and working hard to keep buses at full capacity in order to provide maximum cost benefit on the new routes. This is the third time SEIBUS has received this award.

The city of Ottumwa’s transit system — OTA – won the award for Most Improved Urban Transit System of the Year. Ridership at the OTA increased 17.4 percent while operating costs only increased 0.4 percent. Dave Silverio, transit director with the OTA, stated that ridership was increased by listening to the needs of the passengers and adjusting routes while costs were kept relatively the same by reviewing vehicle idle times, route efficiencies, and internal expenses.

Earl Henry, transit director of Region 1 Northeast Iowa Community Action in Decorah, won the award for Transit Manager of the Year. Henry has always been an outspoken advocate for transit in Iowa, a visionary for new ways to mobilize the public, and is very well respected by the Iowa DOT and his transit peers. While Henry was not able to attend the award ceremony, it was very clear he was the appropriate awardee by the applause from his transit peers when his name was read as the winner.

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Contact: Ryan Ward, Iowa DOT transit programs administrator at 515-233-7877 or


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