University wins statewide transit system award

The award recognizes the efforts of Parking and Transportation Services.

by Andre Eggert

The University’s Parking and Transportation Services was awarded Transit System of the Year this week.

It was the second year the University had applied for the award, given out by the Minnesota Public Transit Association, which recognizes “outstanding” transit programs, according to a PTS press release.

“We’re very excited and proud to have been given this honor,” PTS spokeswoman Jacqueline Brudlos said. “The Minnesota Public Transit Association is a great group that reinforces a lot of our ideals and mission.”

The entry for the award showcased the free campus shuttles, carpooling options and Nice Ride, the city bike-sharing project, Brudlos said.

Transit systems must be nominated before competing for the award. This year, the nominees were the University and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority.

The University won because it has put together a very competent transit system over the years, said Dana Rude, the co-chair of the awarding committee and a project administrator at Metro Mobility.

“Fundamentally, the University is a small city locked inside a couple of larger cities,” Rude said. “They provide a very comprehensive service for … everyone over at the U that carries a lot of people.”

Last year, the University had more than 3.9 million riders and sold more than 41,000 U-Pass cards. Students using these services reduced overall vehicle travel by about 50,000 miles every day, PTS said in a press release.

Previous winners of the award include the Duluth, Eden Prairie and Bemidji transit systems.