The past five months have been an incredibly busy time for all of us here at Via. Candidly, a change in a leadership position is never entirely easy. In our case, my appointment was more of a transition–from seven years on the board, two as president, to the CEO role.
What has impressed me most is just how complex Via is. We are not simply another worthy not-for-profit, nor are we a private transit company – we are a bit of both!
Many people recognize our white buses with our colorful logo. What might not be as obvious is that these vehicles constitute only a small portion of the services we offer – Via Paratransit, the original heart and soul of Via Mobility Services. The common theme throughout all of our services, however, is our mission of connecting people, especially those who might otherwise become isolated in life, with their community.
Our mission services (Paratransit, Travel Training and Mobility Options) are a costly, though vital, endeavor. Apart from our fundraising efforts, government grants, corporate partners and special events, we rely on revenue from earned income contracts, such as Access-a-Ride, Call-n-Ride and the HOP fixed route service, to help offset this cost.
If you only think of the white Via buses you are likely to miss the fact that you may encounter Via many times throughout the course of your day. What may appear to be a small, localized not-for-profit entity is actually a 300-person operation, serving people in five counties in the Denver-Boulder-Longmont metropolitan area.
We have been working on several important projects in these past few months, and it is vital that we become an organization that is more diversified in terms of revenue. Pursuing additional earned income contracts that are consistent with our mission will only make Via a stronger and more nimble entity.
We have in essence grown up with the region over the past few decades, and we plan to be around to serve the needs of our community for many years to come. I am eager and excited to be working with my team and the board to bring this to fruition. Thank you for your support—it is often said, but nonetheless true: we cannot do this without you!
Frank W. Bruno