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Longview Transit picks up safety award

By Peggy Jones
March 27, 2012 at 11 p.m.

A little more than nine years ago, Longview Transit became the city's designated public transportation provider and Councilman Daryl Williams was there, serving on the newly-created Public Transportation Advisory Committee.

Williams was there Tuesday for his final PTAC meeting.

Because of term limitations, the senior city councilman is not seeking re-election.

Williams received accolades from members of the advisory committee, led by Chairman Steve Crane, who said Williams was a driving force in the creation of Longview's public transportation system.

"Thank you," Crane told Williams, "for all you have done."

As part of recognizing the ninth birthday of Longview Transit, Director of Operations Taquita Mumphrey told committee members the transportation system was recently awarded McDonald Transit's first place safety award for operating the company's safest paratransit system in 2011.

McDonald Transit manages Longview Transit for the city, according to Mumphrey.

The company manages public transportation systems in 16 states.

"The McDonald Transit Safety Award is an incredible achievement," Crane told the committee members. "It is quite an honor."

As part of Longview Transit's focus on safety, PTAC members approved implementation of a Safety Incentive Buy Back Plan for employees.

Mumphrey said the buy back provides incentives for bus operators to look for safety issues around the entire system and to offer solutions.

"For example," she said, "if an operator sees an unsafe bus stop or broken curbs, they can be rewarded for bringing this to management's attention. We will try to fix the problems they see."

Longview Transit has an existing financial incentive plan for employees who demonstrate on-the-job safety and attendance. Those incentives are awarded each November for employees with meritorious driving safety records and attendance records.

The Safety Incentive Buy Back Plan would be open to all employees, including those who have lost their financial incentive eligibility due to illness or accident. By observing, reporting and proposing solutions to safety issues in the field, those employees are eligible to "buy back their financial incentive."

"It gives them further incentive to think safety," Mumphrey told the committee.



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