With the year rapidly drawing to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the significant events of the past year. Here are a few highlights that come to mind, and some thoughts about what we’re looking forward to in 2016.
We’ve had several transitions on the Via leadership team this year, including new Fleet and Facilities Manager Mike Collins, new Grants and Contracts Manager Lisa Curtis, and new Finance Director Bill Patterson. All have hit the ground running and have made significant contributions in their initial months on the job. We’re so glad to have Mike, Lisa, and Bill at Via!
Our biannual Employee Opinion Survey showed continuing commitment to our mission and high job satisfaction from a large majority of Via employees. Leadership awareness of employee concerns and overall employee communication were identified as areas for attention. Members of the leadership team have been attending driver meetings, and our employee newsletter will be revamped in 2016.
Via is recognized statewide and nationally as a model community transit agency, and we hosted several site visits this year, including groups attending national conferences in Denver (rural and small urban transit providers). Additionally, groups from Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Colorado Springs visited to see how Via is meeting community needs with a variety of mobility management strategies and transportation options. We also hosted the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) spring conference, giving technical tours of our call center and maintenance facility.
Our Board of Directors held its annual strategic planning retreat in October, focusing on the big issue of organizational sustainability. Staff developed a number of financial projections and scenarios, and the Board came away feeling confident that we have planned for contingencies and that our future is not in jeopardy.
2016 is right around the corner, and we are looking forward to expansion of the HOP to ten vehicles in regular service and addition of new Call-n-Ride services in Superior and Broomfield. Our Volunteer Driver Program will roll out in January, and we anticipate some VPT service expansion in partnership with TRU Community Care in the fall, in a new program designed to help frail seniors remain in their homes. We are also one of three agencies in the country to be awarded an FTA technology development grant to build on our successful project in Longmont coordinating service between Via Paratransit and Call-n-Ride. We hope to expand this model to other communities in 2016.
It’s been an exciting year, and 2016 promises to bring new challenges and opportunities. Our continued success is due entirely to the exceptional team of people who work here, and I am grateful to work alongside you. However you celebrate the holidays, I wish you and your loved ones the very best. Happy New Year, and I hope to see you at our annual employee party in January!
Executive Director from 1991-2016