Alpena, MI: Thunder Bay Transportation Authority (Dial-A-Ride) celebrated their one millionth rider, Robert Timmerick, on Friday, August 1, 2014, according to General Manager Billi Edmonds. TBTA merged into the Authority in October, 2006 after formally operating under Thunder Bay Transportation Corporation since 1981, and the City of Alpena's Dial-A-Ride system since 1974.
Robert received his ride from Paul Wyman, who has been a Dial-A-Ride driver since 2011. Robert was surprised to receive a TBTA tote filled with gifts, local business gift certificates and over forty (40) free ride vouchers. Robert said he is looking forward to using the vouchers for rides to enjoy some good food, get his groceries and shop at the local businesses.
On behalf of TBTA, Edmonds welcomed the opportunity to show long-time rider Robert how much TBTA appreciates his loyalty and patience with the system especially on the busy days such as today, being the 1st of the month. As the ridership for Dial-A-Ride continues to grow each month - averaging over 6% growth or 700 more calls per month, Edmonds says that the reason that they continue to be successful is due to the excellent team of drivers, dispatchers and support staff that show professionalism and pride in their work each and every day in both TBTA & DART. "Without our staff working so hard, day in & day out, we would not be able to do what we do each day - come rain, snow or extreme heat. They are the back-bone of our organization and we greatly value their hard work and efforts."
Reaching this substantial milestone has been a great accomplishment according to Edmonds. "We recognize that the community - our riders - have a lot of confidence in us as shown by the increase in ridership over the past couple of years. We work hard to provide quality trips for a low rate and get people to their destination safely. We know that our biggest challenge is getting people picked up as quickly as possible but with the increased ridership, it has the tendency to cause a longer wait time. We are working on that every day trying to get our wait times down to 45 min or less." Edmonds said. "We recognize that our loyal customers, like Mr. Timmerick, are the reason that we are successful - they have a lot of confidence in us and we are thankful for that every day. We will continue to move forward with our great staff, safe & clean buses, a new route this fall, a new facility next year and lots of happy riders, like Robert, along the way." Edmonds added that TBTA is always looking for individuals willing to join their team as drivers & dispatchers - people who are willing to make a difference in the community helping riders like Robert who depend on the buses each day.
Posted August 7, 2014