Friday, January 12, 2007

The MOD Award - Spokane Transit Authority

Spokane WA - The Spokesman Review tells of increased ridership on the Spokane Transit Authority (STA). What's especially nice in reading this story is that the ridership increases were from focusing on the basics of public transit rather than some marketing department campaign that does little except waste money.

From increasing service where needed and improving connections to offering more fare options for its riders, the STA increased it's overall ridership by 9.5% over the course of the year since the route changes went into effect.

The STA increased overall service by 13% overall. While this may seem high, the increased ridership shows it is working. The increases to service were well planned and done in areas that needed and wanted service. As word spreads of the new services and as long as the STA provides convenient and reliable service, the ridership increase will exceed the overall service increase.

The transit system has more changes ahead in its service to improve on the good job they already have done. They have a goal of 22 riders per revenue mile and are already up to 20.2. Those numbers are better than many larger operations in the country who are much more focused on the marketing image of the system rather than the service the system provides.

The basics of public transit is something all systems need to do. Too many public transit operations are focused on marketing an image rather than providing good service and where is it getting them? Nowhere and fast. At least the STA has woken up to the fact that the basics work and hopefully other transit systems will follow the STA's lead.

The Spokane Transit Authority wins a MOD Award for moving back to the basics of providing good service. As it can be seen in Spokane, public transit can work well if it is run properly.

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