In conclusion, the RTC is committed to including our community in our successes and we’re equally open to feedback on how we can serve our community better. Our vision — a safe, convenient and effective regional transportation system that enhances mobility and air quality for citizens and visitors — can only be achieved through this type of involvement.
Chief Executive Officer
Snohomish Community Transit
With a name like Community Transit, you have to be involved in your communities. That is something I have always stressed throughout my 13 years as the CEO of Snohomish County’s transit provider.
One of our core values is “respect for the communities we serve.” As an agency we show that every day by providing much-needed transportation throughout our service area. As individuals, we show that respect by volunteering in our communities, and being generous with our time and personal financial contributions.
Our employees drive many of the projects in which we participate. At Community Transit, throughout the year our Employee Association sponsors food drives, clothing drives, several blood drives and a toy drive during the holidays, all of which are run by employees who volunteer their time.
In addition, teams of employees get involved in other projects, including the United Way and the Snohomish County Relay for Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society. In addition to supporting the annual local United Way campaign, our employees volunteer for the United Way’s annual “Day of Caring,” working with local school children and doing hands-on projects at local parks or social service agencies. Our Relay for Life team just completed its effort for 2007, raising more than $5,100, beating its goal by more than 20 percent. Most of that came from donations made by employees who supported their coworkers on the team.
As an agency, we also strive to assist our communities. About seven years ago, our agency lost a major funding source and had to eliminate all weekend service and reduce our other service. Many of the most impacted people were those who depended on the service to get to work, medical appointments or social services. To continue to help these people, Community Transit created the Van GO program, where we donate surplus vanpool vehicles to community non-profit groups, which then use the vehicles to help community members. While we have been fortunate to have our funding restored through a public vote, we have continued the Van GO program. This August we will grant 10 more vehicles to local 501(c)3 groups, bringing our totals to 66 vans and 18 mini-buses donated in the past seven years.
We also reach out to young members of our community through our Student Transit Education Program (STEP). We have our STEP coordinator on staff to visit local schools, libraries, camps and clubs to explain to children about safely riding the bus. After a fun-filled session in the classroom, the coordinator takes the students for a ride on a Community Transit bus, where they can practice the safe-riding practices they just learned. This program reaches more than 10,000 children each year.
We also have a very popular mascot, Oxy Gene — the defender of truth, justice and really clean air — who participates in dozens of community events each year, from parades to holiday tree lighting events.
Community Transit also is very involved in local Chambers of Commerce, with agency staff serving on vital committees and providing their individual talents to these community-leading organizations. Members of our staff also participate in public service organizations such as Rotary, and serve as volunteer board members for a variety of groups that support children, youth, troubled teens, adults in need and senior citizens. Many others participate as adult volunteers with Scouts and other youth organizations, and as coaches for youth sports.
Whether it’s the agency donating a van to a social service agency or a coach operator who helps with his daughter’s softball team, community involvement is a critical part of Community Transit’s service to the people of Snohomish County. We’re proud of the good work we do for Snohomish County.
Central New York Regional Transportation Authority