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NYSDOT Bestows Awards

Wed August 28, 2002 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Joseph H. Boardman, commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and chairman of the Public Transportation Safety Board, announced the recipients of the 2002 PTSB Safety Awards. He commended the award recipients and all public transit companies for their efforts to provide the public with safe, affordable and efficient transportation.

The awards were presented June 13, at the State Transit Management Conference in Kerhonkson, NY. The conference was co-sponsored by the NYSDOT and the NYS Public Transit Association. The theme of the conference was “Security and Safety.”

The 2002 award recipients are:

• MTA Long Island Bus, Garden City, NY, received the Excellence in Transit Safety Award.

The MTA Long Island Bus implemented a Safety Awareness Program which requires each department to develop safety goals and monthly safety themes. Themes have focused on driving procedures, passenger safety, and awareness of construction projects.

A bus card posting program has been initiated on buses to address passenger safety.

During the past year, Federal Transit Administration reportable accidents have decreased 57 percent and customer injuries have been reduced 45 percent.

• Birnie Bus, Rome, NY, received the Transit System Safety Program Award.

Birnie Bus has an exceptional, proactive system safety program plan.

The plan’s elements include accident investigation procedures, aggressive driver training, strong preventive maintenance procedures and policies, accident prevention program, and safety committees. It has consistently maintained a low out of service rate on NYSDOT periodic safety inspections and a low accident rate.

Birnie Bus, a medium-size operation with 42 buses used in transit service, is located in the central region of upstate New York.

• Lawrence S. Reuter, president, MTA New York City Transit, New York, NY, received the Leadership in Transit Safety Award.

Since 1966, Lawrence Reuter has led the largest transit system in the country to an exemplary safety record, for both subway and bus operations.

Reuter has successfully established a safety culture within an organization of more than 48,000 employees.

During his tenure, there has been continued and steady progress in reducing the frequency and severity of employee and customer injuries and accidents in all facets of NYCT’s operations. In addition, the subway customer injury rate has decreased 26.5 percent, and the bus customer injury rate has decreased 31.3 percent. Equally important has been the focus on employee safety.

Since 1996, NYC Transit has experienced a 55-percent reduction in its lost-time and restricted-duty injuries.

• James Lodge received the Leader in Transit Safety Award.

Lodge is the supervisor of safety of Capitol Trailways, Harrisburg, PA, which operates extensively in New York State. He successfully implemented a program to improve drivers’ habits and behavior to prevent accidents.

This program is the core goal of every safety program. The program includes a voluntary inspection of the office and garage facilities to ensure OSHA standards are met, on-board driver checks, roadside observations, and terminal checks.

As a result, of Lodge’s efforts, Federal Transit Administration reportable accidents were zero for 2001 and non-reportable accidents decreased by 12.5 percent.

• Linda Lange, manager of Monroe Dial-A-Bus, Monroe, NY, received the Leadership in Transit Safety Award.

Lange has implemented enhanced driver and maintenance programs to improve safety.

The program’s elements include weekly driver meetings, timely bus repair procedures, driver and mechanic refresher courses, a compliant register, seminars, and continual adherence to pre-trip bus inspections.

The system has a very low accident rate and Lange has continually made herself available to assist other operators and professional associations in transit safety.

The Public Transportation Safety Board Awards recognize public transit systems and individuals in New York State who have demonstrated excellence in safety. The awards, instituted in 1996, are open to all bus and rail systems which receive State Transit Operating Assistance.

The awards are sponsored by the Bus Association of New York, the New York State Public Transit Association, the NYSDOT and the PTSB.

Award selections were approved by PTSB board members based on recommendations from the awards selection committee. The committee was responsible for reviewing and evaluating each award application.

The committee consists of representatives from the transit industry and the NYSDOT. Industry members of the 2002 committee were from the MTA Long Island Rail Road, Monroe-Dial-A-Bus and Queens Surface.

The 2003 PTSB Awards competition packages will be mailed during January 2003, to all eligible public transit systems.

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