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MTA Flint Wins Outstanding Urban System of the Year

The Flint Mass Transportation Authority (Flint MTA) was named the 2019 Outstanding Urban System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) at its annual EXPO. The EXPO was held
this year in Palm Springs, Calif., and the award is in recognition for the winner’s efforts to cultivate local support for its innovative and responsive mobility options.

The award, presented annually at the Association’s national EXPO, honors a CTAA member in an urban area that has distinguished itself both in the level of service it provides and innovative ways of doing business. Dan Wedge, Secretary of the Association’s Board of Directors and Executive Director of Allegan County Transportation in Allegan, Mich., noted that Flint MTA has created a national model for non-emergency medical transportation service in urban areas through its Rides to Wellness program. Partnering directly with healthcare providers in its region, the program connects patients with on-demand service to reach appointments, growing from a couple dozen daily riders in September 2016 to now more than 1,000 each day. “

Rides to Wellness compliments the agency’s 13 fixed routes, regional demand-response and paratransit services and other specialized programs serving seniors, foster parents, people with disabilities, veterans and low-income workers, reinforcing the system’s commitment to mobilizing its communities through innovative, responsive options tailored to specific needs,” said Wedge in presenting the award.

“We are very honored to receive this award from the Community Transportation Association of America,” said Ed Benning, General Manager and CEO at Flint MTA. “Over the past several years, we’ve expanded services to provide a better on-demand service model for all those living in our community. It’s with great pleasure that we are able to receive this award today.”

The Community Transportation Association, established in 1989, is a national non-profit, membership association committed to removing barriers to isolation and improving mobility for all people. The Association provides informational resources, technical assistance, training and certification, and many additional resources to communities, transportation providers, and other groups to increase mobility and improve the quality of community and public transportation.

The Flint Mass Transportation Authority was founded in 1971 and is based in Flint, Michigan. Flint MTA provides public transportation services across six counties, also operating a number of specialized services. Rides to Wellness is a comprehensive non-emergency medical transportation program that provides mobility management, door-to-door service, and same day service to riders going to medical or other health and wellness-related appointments. Using cutting-edge technology and a ride-hailing-like model, Rides to Wellness is provided through service agreements with local agencies and medical providers.

TheRide Introduces New, Innovative Solution to Secure Wheelchairs on Buses

ANN ARBOR, MI -- The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is proud to announce the first installation of QUANTUM, a virtually autonomous wheelchair securement station manufactured by Q’Straint. QUANTUM is redefining transit safety by combining securement expertise, intelligent technology, and the latest in modern design. It is the only wheelchair securement system available that gives complete independence to passengers with mobility devices.

The new wheelchair securement stations are made possible because TheRide was awarded $187,000 of grant funds from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) as part of their Michigan Mobility Challenge grant initiative. “This initiative uses technology and innovation to address mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans in Michigan,” said Jean Ruestman, MDOT Administrator of the Office of Passenger Transportation. The grant funds awarded to TheRide are being used to install Quantum Wheelchair Securement equipment on ten of TheRide’s buses.

“Everyone at TheRide is very excited about being able to provide new advances in mobility for our riders with disabilities. We are especially grateful for our partners; the Center for Independent Living, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Kiel, and Q’Straint, for their support during this nine month pilot,” Julia Roberts, Project Lead at TheRide said.

Thanks to a PlanetM grant and Mcity’s support, individuals who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices were given a chance to try out the Quantum wheelchair securement system on Monday, March 26. As part of the installation, TheRide motor coach operators (MCOs) are being trained to help answer rider questions and will aid passengers if needed.

According to Mike Laidlaw, Q’Straint Senior Regional Manager, the virtually autonomous wheelchair securement provides more autonomy for individuals with disabilities, provides greater protection of the individual’s head and neck, speeds up boarding and allows for less maintenance on the vehicle.

To learn more about the QUANTUM wheelchair securement station visit TheRide.org/AboutUs/Initiatives/New-Mobility.

The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours is available in the Ride Guide, at (734) 996-0400 and on TheRide.org.

MTA Announces Arrival of New CNG Vehicles

Flint’s Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) has received 13 new compressed natural gas 40 foot coach vehicles. Twenty-two more vehicles will be arriving within the next 10 months. These 35 vehicles will replace 24 year old diesel coaches well beyond their useful life (normally 12 years).

Within the next 30 days these new advanced design alternative fuel vehicles will be placed throughout the fixed route system serving the greater Flint area.

The new CNG fleet will be fueled at the newly built public/private fuel station owned by Consumer’s Energy. The station is located at the MTA’s Grand Blanc Service Center. Over the past several years, the MTA has reduced its use of fossil fuel diesel from 1.4 million gallons annually to an expected low of 300,000 gallons. This reduction provides for a sustainable future while operating in a clean energy environment for our community. “We are extremely proud of our progress to attain a 100% alternative fuel fleet, while working to reduce the carbon footprint and creating a clean operating environment,” MTA General Manager/CEO, stated.

Congratulations to MPTA Member, Ed Benning

Flint Mass Transportation Authority's General Manager/CEO, Ed Benning was presented with the Robert P. Gerholz Award last night at the Flint and Genesee Chamber 's Art of Achievement Awards. The award is presented to organizations and individuals who show exemplary community leadership and give more than what's asked.

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