The awards season has been good to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, showering the agency with awards for fostering a regional approach to transit and excellence in communications.
The KCATA made history this month when for the first time it was named Transit Service of the Year in Kansas.
The Kansas Public Transportation Association lauded the KCATA for introducing the new regional RideKC brand bringing all four transit agencies in the Kansas City area together under one umbrella.
Launched late last year, RideKC will move the Kansas City area toward a unified transit system that’s seamless and can be used with ease regardless of where anyone lives in the region.
RideKC will mean a new look and logo for public transportation throughout the area. It also will mean a single regional Web site for riders seeking information about transit regardless of where they live or their destination.
The regional initiative was already highlighted by new agreements turning over management of the transit systems in Johnson County, Kan. and Independence, Mo. to the KCATA. Work also is under way to streamline the fare structure and simplify access to paratransit services across the Kansas City area.
The Kansas Public Transportation Association also gave its highest honor – the William M. Murry Award – to Chuck Ferguson, the KCATA’s chief planning officer. Ferguson has been involved with public transit in the Kansas City area for more than 25 years, first starting at the KCATA before moving over to Johnson County where he helped grow the system into an award-winning suburban service.
Returning to the KCATA this year as the agency’s top planner, Ferguson is intimately involved in the efforts to build a seamless regional transit network. He served one unfulfilled term as president of the Kansas Public Transportation Association and was later elected president twice.
The KCATA’s communication and marketing efforts received national recognition when they won first-place awards this month from the American Public Transportation Association in the annual 2015 AdWheel competition.
The KCATA won first place for promotion of a new compressed natural gas fueling station and a series of brochures explaining the bus system for prospective riders. The KCATA distributed more than 10,000 of the colorful, glossy brochures in less than six months after they were published in 2014.
The prizes are awarded for five main categories and are evaluated by industry peers, based on the following parameters: target audience, situation/challenge for creating the entry, strategy/objective of the entry and the results/impact of the entry. KCATA competed against transit systems between 4 million and 20 million riders per year for the award.
The KCATA will be officially honored at the American Public Transportation Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco in October.
From the Special Event unveiling the KCATA CNG fueling station: Guest Speakers Susan Marx (MGE/Laclede Gas), Mokhtee Ahmad (Regional Admistrator for FTA Region 7) and Peter Grace (Clean Energy), helped demonstrate the monetary and environmental savings the KCATA will save per year by converting clean diesel buses to CNG buses.