The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) recently beat numerous bus and rail systems around the U.S. and Canada to win the 2020 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award.
It is the first time in LAVTA's 35-year history of winning the annual award, which is for transit systems providing up to 4 million passengers trips annually and "acknowledges excellence among public transportation providers in North America."
Agencies are evaluated by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), which issues the award, using a "combination of qualitative and quantitative criteria" including safety, ridership, customer service, community relations, cost effectiveness, road call data, and diversity and inclusion.
While announcing the award, APTA Chair Nuria Fernandez said, "This is a prestigious and well deserved honor for your organization. It also spotlights your outstanding leadership, working with your board, your team members and your community. Your success is a model that our industry can emulate.”
Some achievements that resulted in LAVTA's selection for the award include a 12% ridership increase over a two year period (2017 to 2019), funding unlimited transit passes for all Las Positas College students, and launching a shared autonomous vehicle (SAV) pilot program to provide first- and last-mile connections between local jobs centers and the eastern Dublin-Pleasanton BART Station.
LAVTA was also lauded for its initiation of Go Dublin, an on-demand mobile platform for Dublin residents by forming a unique partnership with Uber and Lyft, and partnering with the city of Livermore to relocate and renovate the historic Southern Pacific Railroad train depot, which has found a new life as LAVTA's Livermore Transit Center sales and operations building.
In a statement, LAVTA Board Chair Bob Woerner, who also serves as vice mayor of Livermore, commended the agency for both its current and past achievements, including being named Transit Agency of the Year in California by two separate organizations and selected as the top transit agency of its size in North America.
“These honors are truly a testament to the quality of our small staff and the effective collaboration between that staff and our Board of Directors," Woerner said. "In the midst of the current pandemic, during which our employees are busy providing an essential service to the residents of our region, it is nice to be able to take a moment and reflect on all we have accomplished recently as an organization.”
LAVTA and the other award winners will be honored next month during an APTA virtual meeting, then again at the annual APTA TRANSform Conference in March.