Breckenridge transit director wins administrator of the year
summit daily news
Earlier this year, Breckenridge’s Free Ride transit director Maribeth Lewis-Baker leveraged a federal grant to implement an on-board tablet system for town buses that digitized the laborious task of tracking ridership numbers.
Now, Lewis-Bakers solution is being marketed across the country and Breckenridge will receive a royalty on the sales.
The system helped win her the title of Transit Administrator of the Year, awarded by the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA).
“How awesome to be innovative enough to not only think of a solution to your problem, but that also become a solution to problems for rural agencies around the United States,” said Ann Rajewski of CASTA. “It’s really innovative.”
Lewis-Baker was selected from a pool of four total candidates for the award.
A press release announcing the award called her “a cutting-edge, knowledgeable and skilful transit manager.”
The tablets, which are locked into the buses, allow drivers to punch in the number of people picked up at each stop and automatically file the information, saving staffers valuable data-entry time.
The $35,000 grant-funded system is expected to save Free Ride approximately $50,000 a year in staff time.
“This is a huge win for the Free Ride,” Lewis-Baker said. “We’re saving all of this time, and now we can use all of those resources to do driver observation and training.”
The tablet system isn’t the only technological upgrade planned for Free Ride.
She is also preparing to implement a new bus tracking system in time for the winter season that will allow riders to see where their buses are on a route map displayed on a flat screen at Breckenridge Station. If the program works, the town may look at adding additional screens at other locations.
CASTA also recognized the Southern Ute Indian Tribe with the Friend of Transit Award, Amber Blake of Durango for the Employee of the Year Award, and the Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council’s Angela Schreffler with the Transit Champion Award. Mountain Metropolitan Transit won the open category award for mobilizing and contributing to the evacuation process during the Waldo Canyon Fire. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority won Large Transit System of the Year.
The awards are handed out annually to individuals or agencies across the state that have made notable contributions to transit, according to the CASTA statement.
The winners are selected from a pool of nominees by a committee of their peers.
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