The American Public Transportation Association has awarded Metro Transit the 2016 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, also known as the System of the Year recognition.
“Metro Transit has been recognized as the top large public transit system in North America,” Paul Skoutelas, APTA awards chair and national transit director, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, said in a press release Wednesday. “Metro Transit is a model for other public transit systems.”
The award recognizes the agency’s ridership growth, expanded access, sustainability initiatives and system safety between 2013 and 2015. Each year, APTA selects a transit agency that provides more than 20 million rides annually for the award.
Local officials met at Union Depot on Wednesday to announce the recognition, though the award will be formally presented in September. Metro Transit will also host a public event to accept the award at Target Field Station on Sept. 24 starting at 4 p.m.
“Metro Transit’s success is a reflection of the talent and dedication shown by each of our 3,200 employees who work together to provide the essential services … as well as the enduring relationships we’ve built with our customers and partners,” General Manager Brian Lamb said in the release.
The agency on Wednesday also released a new decal that will be added to all of the agency’s buses and trains to acknowledge the award.
More than 85.8 million riders were taken on Metro Transit buses and trains in 2015, the first full year the Green Line light rail transit route was open. The agency also expanded its use of hybrid-electric buses and solar energy, which has saved the organization $16 million, according to the release.