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For Immediate Release:

MTA Wins 2016 APTA Bus Safety & Security Gold Excellence Award 
as one of North America’s Top Public Transit Systems

MTA Bus Operator Also Earns 1st Place Award in Customer Service Challenge

May 26, 2016

BALTIMORE, MD (MAY 26, 2016) – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) recently received several top national honors for safety, security and customer service at the 2016 American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards ceremony. 
The MTA captured both the prestigious Gold Award for Safety and the Gold Award for Security, which were given to agencies with the best overall bus safety or bus security programs, selected by an independent panel of judges at APTA’s Bus & Paratransit Conference in Charlotte, N.C., May 15-18.
The MTA won in the highly-competitive large transit system category for systems with 20 million or more bus passenger trips annually.
APTA also crowned MTA Bus Operator Bennie Williams the first-place winner of the Customer Service Challenge Award. This competition was extremely competitive and featured operators in the large transit systems category. The contest judged professionalism, customer service skills and problem-solving creativity.
“It is extremely gratifying for the MTA to be recognized as an industry leader in several key performance areas,” said MTA Administrator and CEO Paul Comfort. “The changes we have implemented are clearly delivering results. The MTA has dramatically improved our performance in providing safe, efficient and reliable transit with world-class customer service. And clearly, our peers are recognizing it.”

The APTA Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards recognize public transportation organizations for innovative and proactive programs dedicated to improving safety and security for their employees, passengers and the public.
MTA Bus Operator Williams, who received the first-place Customer Service Challenge Award, began working for the MTA in 2000 as a part-time bus operator and now works as a full-time operator out of the Bush Division. Williams has won the MTA’s Bus Rodeo competition for drivers three times. 

“Mr. Williams is a terrific example of the MTA’s commitment to deliver the highest levels of customer service,” Comfort said. “He exemplifies the professionalism and dependability that all of our operators are committed to achieving and truly serves as a model for other operators to demonstrate what excellent customer service looks like in action.”

The Customer Service Challenge Award competition tests the customer service skills of bus operators as they face real-life scenarios. Contestants are judged on their ability to resolve each scenario. The contestants’ customer service skills are judged by an esteemed panel of transit professionals.
About the MTA
The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation and one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MTA operates Local and Commuter buses, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service, and a comprehensive Paratransit (Mobility) system. MTA also manages the Taxi Access system, and directs funding and statewide assistance to Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City. The MTA’s mission is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. To learn more, visit, check us out on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @mtaamaryland.
About APTA
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes transit systems; planning, design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.
Media Contacts:

Sandy Arnette
Ryan Nawrocki

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