GRTC Transit System picked up the Virginia Transit Association’s Unsung Hero and Outstanding Public Transportation Marketing Awards, with an Honorable Mention for Outstanding Community Program, as announced last week at the 2019 Annual Transit Conference in Portsmouth, VA hosted by the Virginia Transit Association.
GRTC Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Adams says, “These accolades are well-deserved by our team for their incredible efforts in Greater Richmond in customer engagement, responsiveness to the needs of the communities we serve, and communication.”
GRTC’s Travel Training Instructor Kelsey Calder is recognized with the Unsung Hero Award for her outstanding work teaching a variety of riders with varying abilities how to use public transit safely and independently. Through travel training people can develop the skills necessary to travel with flexibility and self-reliance within the community. Kelsey has been particularly helpful for introducing public transit to people with disabilities, youth or older adults who are hesitant to try transit alone. It is also estimated that Kelsey’s efforts have saved GRTC $125,280 from paratransit customers transitioning to traditional fixed route bus service.
Kelsey has her Travel Training Instructor Certification through Easterseals and the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research and was also the first nationally certified travel trainer.
GRTC’s Outstanding Public Transportation Marketing campaign “GRTC Pulse: More Time For Life.” was a multilayered and multimedia marketing effort supporting the successful launch of the new GRTC Pulse (Bus Rapid Transit – BRT) service in the City of Richmond and Henrico County during Summer 2018. The Pulse links to many exciting and essential destinations along its 7.6-mile route and is jointly sponsored by Bon Secours Richmond Health System and VCU Health System.
The goal of the GRTC Pulse marketing campaign was to inform, educate and energize people about the new service. This award-winning campaign translated technical BRT features into understandable and relatable messaging, placed in targeted locations to reach riders and Greater Richmond residents. GRTC Pulse had an astounding debut week, welcoming nearly 57,000 riders aboard.
GRTC also received an Honorable Mention for Outstanding Community Program for its “CARE On-Demand” service, which provides GRTC’s paratransit (CARE) customers the option to use a same-day, direct, non-stop trip. This premium, innovative program responds faster to service needs by tapping into the flexibility of the on-demand transportation market, matching available drivers with customers when they want to travel with little notice.
Because the cost to GRTC for a CARE On-Demand trip is less than traditional paratransit, GRTC estimates it has saved approximately $382,000 since launching in August 2017. With on-time-performance consistently higher than 95% on this premium, direct service, customer satisfaction with On-Demand is understandably high. GRTC now exceeds its monthly goal of completing at least 10% of its CARE trips through On-Demand, shifting more than 2,000 CARE trips per month to On-Demand.