I was wrong. It turned out we were next-door neighbors. Three weeks later, we were taking the #20 again, and Matt asked me out on our first date.
We are getting married in July. Thanks, TriMet!”
Winners like Matt and Danette were revealed on Valentine’s Day at a special event designed to generate media coverage. The event took place from 6 to 7 a.m. to take advantage of morning news and live broadcast remotes.
It was friendly and inviting — even, perhaps, a bit romantic. During the event, several couples shared their heart-warming stories and were on hand to talk to the media. The event was covered with live remotes by two of the area’s four television stations, two radio stations and the daily newspaper. All the coverage was positive, generating high-value public relations.
But perhaps most important, the stories reminded riders and others that meeting people is a benefit of using transit. You may meet the love of your life — kind of hard to do that when driving to and from work alone in your car!
A downtown Portland hotel donated lodging as the grand prize.
First Transit Properties Participate in Holidays in a Variety of Ways
First Transit manages and operates public transportation systems in 236 locations across the U.S. and Canada. In many of our locations, First Transit local staff and managers participate in community events for the holidays. Here are some of the activities we have been involved in.
Denver RTD — Longmont, Colo.
For the past few years, our operations has coordinated with the Colorado National Guard to identify a military family in the service area that we can help at Christmas time. The family provides a list of gifts they would like for the family members. We typically buy gifts for all of them, plus additional gift cards to cover the cost of dinner, etc.
Last year, a family in Longmont became our focus. The husband is a wounded warrior, who has had seven surgeries to correct various problems with his vision as a result of an IED explosion in Iraq. He cannot work and the family had limited income that did not stretch far enough for a respectable Christmas. They have three children. One of the operators dressed up as Santa Claus and another as an elf and delivered gifts to the family on Christmas Eve.
Pierce Transit — Tacoma, Wash.
Last year our team at Pierce Transit in Tacoma, Wash., adopted four families from a local public elementary. We provided food baskets and gifts to these families in the community.
Manchester Transit Authority (MTA) — Manchester, N.H.
The Manchester Transit Authority gives a Holiday Light Tour every year. Every year we partner with the Manchester Police Department to bring a group of passengers around to see the Christmas lights over the city. The police officers direct the buses through a route to showcase the best lights in the city, and then bring everyone back to spend some time at the station, eat snacks, drink cocoa and meet Santa.
First Ride — Denver, Colo.
First Ride, serving seniors in Denver and Arapahoe Counties, conducts a free Christmas light tour annually for their customers. We have a great time singing Christmas carols, having hot chocolate, cookies and First Ride provides a gift for everyone.
Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS) — Muncie, Ind.
Each year the Muncie Indiana Transit System sponsors the “Tour of Lights” for groups of senior citizens and for the general public. The Tour of Lights includes private and public holiday light displays around Muncie.
It was first offered in 1990 for residents in area nursing homes. In the mid-90s it was expanded to the general public and it has become increasingly popular over the years. There have already been calls asking if we’re doing it again this year. The YMCA is considering making it one of their senior group activities in December.
Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) — Duluth, Minn.
The Duluth Transit Authority starts off the holiday season with the Port Town Trolley in the annual Christmas City of the North Parade. The DTA and the Greater Downtown Council team up for the event, which is held in downtown Duluth a week before Thanksgiving.