OmniRide Receives VTA Outstanding Community Program Award
The Virginia Transit Association (VTA) honored OmniRide with the Outstanding Community Program Award on Thursday, June 2 at the VTA’s annual meeting in Richmond.
OmniRide is the operating name for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC). Prince William County Supervisor and PRTC Chair Victor Angry and OmniRide Director of Planning Perrin Palistrant accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Several staff members from OmniRide and Keolis were in attendance. OmniRide contracts with Keolis to operate and maintain OmniRide’s bus service.
The award recognized OmniRide for the organization’s 360° Outreach Program, which targeted reaching the public regarding OmniRide’s new microtransit service in Manassas Park. Before the Board was to vote on the proposed service, OmniRide initiated a comprehensive outreach plan to regional stakeholders, current riders, and potential new riders, to provide information on the need for the new service and to collect feedback on the proposed service.
Similar to Lyft or Uber, microtransit allows riders to book a ride through their phone or by calling OmniRide’s Customer Service office. Instead of OmniRide’s traditional bus service, riders are transported in vans. Upon request, a van would be dispatched to pick-up passengers and deliver them to their destination. The new service goes into effect in December 2022.
“OmniRide is honored to receive this award. It represents the hours of work spent listening to our passengers, employees, and community to create the types of services that expands ridership and impacts lives, said OmniRide Executive Director Bob Schneider. “While this award was focused on the Manassas Park microtransit project, we’ve already applied some lessons for our planned Sunday service expansion, planned for August 2022.”
OmniRide Chief Development Officer Joe Stainsby said, “We are trying more than ever to focus our efforts on effectively listening to our riders. We are making ourselves available for longer, in more places, in more languages, and more mediums than before and we have found that meeting people where they are allows us to get that critical level of feedback that we need to improve our service.” Stainsby continued, “This is just the beginning for this program, and we hope to continue to build on this approach in the years ahead.”
Founded in 1977, the VTA provides public education and legislative advocacy to support public transportation systems throughout the Commonwealth. The VTA has 57 total members which include 24 transit properties, and 33 business and associate members.
This is the second award OmniRide has received from VTA in the last year. The VTA honored OmniRide with the Exceptional Safety Award at a ceremony in September at a ceremony in Tysons Corner. The award recognized innovation and success in the development, implementation, and measurement of a safety culture.
The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), operating as OmniRide, provides commuter and local bus services as well as ridesharing services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. It also co-sponsors the Virginia Railway Express in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.