Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - December 1, 2015
REVISED December 1, 2015 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #3

Fleet & Transit Florida Public Transit Association Awards


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Michael J. Brennan, CEM
Fleet Services Division Manager
Ext. 7359

William Steele
Transit Division Manager
Ext. 7440

Action Requested

Recognition of individual and Team awards received from the Florida Public Transit Association (FPTA) and the Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) at their annual conference on October 26-28, 2015. These awards recognize the outstanding achievements accomplished throughout the past year in support of our community.

Individual staff awards received are as follows: Nick delaRosa, Sr. Fleet Maintenance Technician, FPTA Transit Technician of the Year Award; David Simpson - FPTA Operator of the Year; James Hamilton - CTD Operator of the Year; Towanna Pompey - CTD Dispatcher of the Year. Team Awards received - “How to” videos - FPTA Marketing Award and Para Transit Prepaid Fare – CTD Innovation Award.

Enabling/Regulating Authority


Background Discussion

The Florida Public Transit Association is comprised of members from transit agencies located across the State of Florida. Annually, member organizations meet to discuss the ever changing landscape of public transportation, issues and concerns, and recognize various agencies, teams, and individuals whose efforts and accomplishments clearly demonstrate the most outstanding, innovative and staff dedication to the transit industry. Over the past year our Manatee County Area Transit Team was recognized in many areas as the best of the best in 2015. These individual and team awards are as follows:

Fleet Services Division

Nicholas delaRosa, Senior Fleet Maintenance Technician, was recognized on October 26, 2015, as the 1st Place winner in the 2015 Florida Public Transit Associations (FPTA) Transit Technician Competition. Nick is an outstanding technician, and an invaluable asset to our Team and to Manatee County.

The scope of this competition includes approximately 1,000 transit technicians employed by transit agencies across the State, in which a team of judges from several transit agencies, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida ranked Nick the number 1 Transit technician in the State.

Transit Division

At the Joint 2015 Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) and the Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) Conference and Expo, Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) received the following awards:

Operator of the Year: Mr. David Simpson, MCAT Fixed Route Transit Operator, was selected by the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) as the State of Florida's most outstanding Transit Operator in 2015. The selection of the winner is undertaken by an FPTA committee and those selected must be very safe operators over a long period of time and demonstrate an excellent attendance record and a commitment to community service. Mr. Simpson excels in all these areas, and is a 40-year Transit veteran; in fact, he was runner-up in 2012.

First Place FPTA Award for Best Electronic Media/Audio-Visual Marketing effort for the “How-To” Video series. In spring 2015, MCAT developed a series of educational videos that help make the bus riding experience more enjoyable for new or occasional users. There are four videos that cover topics such as Bikes on Buses, How to Ride, Passenger Code of Conduct, and Riding with a Disability. All have been well received and are posted to the MCAT website, the County YouTube channel, and are used in presentations and outreach events.

Operator of the Year: Mr. James Hamilton was selected by the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) as the CTD Para Transit Operator of the Year for 2015. The CTD staff reviews submittals for this prestigious award from CTD Operating Systems around the State, and recognizes the winner at the CTD Annual Conference each year. Criteria for this selection includes a superior safety and attendance record, commitment to passengers served, and community service. Mr. Hamilton, like the FPTA Operator of the Year Mr. David Simpson, is highly regarded by the Public Works/MCAT team for his dedicated service; he consistently demonstrates a commitment to quality public transit service and goes beyond the call of duty to serve passengers. Mr. Hamilton for many years has worked the inter-county runs serving our Veterans on travel to and from area Veterans Administration clinics in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Dispatcher of the Year: Ms. Towanna Pompey, Dispatcher for MCAT Para Transit Operations (i.e., Handy Bus) was selected by the CTD as Para Transit Dispatcher of the Year for 2015. The CTD staff reviews award submittals from around the State, and recognizes the winner at the CTD Annual Conference each year. Criteria for this award includes work attendance and the ability to facilitate all aspects of Operations (open passenger pick-
ups, late trips, vehicle breakdowns, accidents, medical emergencies, etc.) on a consistent basis. Ms. Pompey is a dedicated employee who facilitates quality Handy Bus service provisions on a daily basis, and even addresses customer calls while working radio communications. This is a very prestigious honor and Ms. Pompey is a deserving recipient.

Service Delivery Innovation: Each year para transit Operators submit their service innovations to the CTD, and the CTD staff selects a winner.  The winning Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) is recognized at the Annual CTD conference. Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) was recognized in 2015 as the Innovation Award winner for the implementation of a Pre-paid Fare Program. This program allows passengers to pay in advance for their travel and have their fare payment deducted from their pre-paid account when they ride; this allows passengers to travel without having to carry a cash fare, expedites the boarding process, and facilitates budgeting for travel needs, especially for repetitive trips. The Operators identify Pre-paid fare trips and customers using the Mobile Data Terminals on their buses. Kevin Hoyt, Transit Operations Chief, and Benita Zarr, Para Transit Operations Superintendent, spearheaded this effort from the concept of operations, development of a test pilot, procedure development, and then the launch of the Pre-Paid program to all Handy Bus passengers, effective November 2, 2015. This is quite an accomplishment for MCAT and demonstrates the commitment of staff to innovations that benefit the customer, and utilization of on-board technology to further improve operations.

State of Florida Transit Rodeo – This competition was held in St. Petersburg on April 10th and 11th, 2015. The Rodeo competition includes safety and operational knowledge evaluation via a written test, vehicle inspection, and street driving skills, including navigation of a very difficult obstacle course with required completion in a specified timeframe. Mr. Boyer tied for 1st place in the written exam portion of the competition, and placed second overall in the Paratransit competition also receiving recognition with "Rookie" honors for his excellent performance as a first-time participant in the State Rodeo. Transit Operator Stacy Meeth also participated in the Rodeo in the Fixed Route division and represented the County very well. The Manatee County Fleet Division Team finished in 1st place in the written exam portion for Transit Vehicle Maintenance and 4th  in the overall competition for Maintenance Teams. The Fleet Division team was comprised of Matt Case, Nick De la Rosa, Don Feichtinger, and Fred Jaekel.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Please send a stamped copy of the Agenda to Fleet Services Admin, karie.maloney@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs