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MetroLINK Named America’s Best Transit System

The American Public Transportation Association has selected the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK) as the 2012 Outstanding Public Transportation System for all agencies in North America carrying between 1million and 4 million passengers annually. MetroLINK carried 3.5 million trips in Fiscal Year 2011.

Called the “best of the best” in the industry, APTA presents the award to just three transportation systems annually who have served as outstanding role models of excellence, leadership, and innovation over a three year period. The 2012 award was based on quantifiable performance data related to MetroLINK’s operational and financial management, safety record, customer service delivery, ridership growth, innovative and sustainable practices, workforce development, and community involvement during 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Jeff Nelson, General Manager, says, “MetroLINK staff has worked tirelessly to push the bar of expectation and innovation to achieve greatness in all we do. We are thrilled to be chosen as one of the best transit systems in North America, and attribute our success to the support of a progressive Board of Trustees and the hard work of an amazingly talented team of committed people.“

Standout accomplishments include:

In 2010, over 70% of MetroLINK’s fleet became Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered buses and currently three capital infrastructure projects are being designed to achieve LEED Certification. MetroLINK’s award winning “Save Something Green” campaign continues to educate individuals on ways to lower their environmental impact.

Since 2008, MetroLINK’s ridership has grown 29% and 2012 data indicates growth has continued at a monthly average of 11% over 2011. This growth puts MetroLINK on target to hit nearly 4 million riders in 2012.

Customer Service
In 2011, MetroLINK conducted a “total quality service” survey to capture customer perceptions. When asked to provide an overall rating of MetroLINK’s services, 86% of respondents rated MetroLINK service as “good” or “excellent”.

Through the proactive programs of MetroLINK’s Safety and Security Team in partnership with the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department, MetroLINK continues to advance its security measures. Examples include, purchasing a K-9 proficient in the detection of explosive devices and the installation of portable Automatic Electric Defibrillators (AED) in major transit centers.

An investment in MetroLINK’s GPS/AVL system, known as INIT, is the first step in a complete system upgrade that will incorporate the latest generation in hardware and software for operator communication and data statistics to better serve riders.

Community Involvement
MetroLINK’s continued commitment to creating strong community partnerships has led the organization to be the recipient of several community awards over the past three years. MetroLINK received the Moline Dispatch “Radish Award for Green Transportation” in 2009; was named Rock Island’s 2011 “Citizen of the Year” in the business category; the Association of Retarded Citizens named MetroLINK their 2012 “Community Partner of the Year”; and The Network: Young Professionals of the Quad Cities recognized MetroLINK with their 2012 “Multi-Modal Award” for MetroLINK’s efforts in creating a more livable community for young professionals.

APTA is the leading force in advancing public transportation, whose members are public organizations that are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne passenger services, and high-speed rail. Members also include large and small companies who plan, design, construct, finance, supply, and operate bus and rail services worldwide.