Thunder Bay Transportation Authority Dial-A-Ride celebrated their one millionth rider, Robert Timmerick who received his ride from Paul Wyman, Dial-A-Ride driver since 2011 on Friday.
Timmerick was surprised to receive a Thunder Bay Transportation Authority (TBTA) tote filled with gifts, local business gift certificates and over 40 free ride vouchers. Timmerick said he is looking forward to using the vouchers for rides, to enjoy some good food, get his groceries and shop at local businesses.
TBTA General Manager Billi Edmonds welcomed the opportunity to show long-time rider Timmerick how much TBTA appreciates his loyalty and patience with the system especially on the busy days.
As the ridership for Dial-A-Ride continues to grow each month, averaging over a 6 percent growth in calls per month, Edmonds says that the reason for continued success is due to the excellent team of drivers, dispatchers and support staff that show professionalism and pride in their work each day.
"Without our staff working so hard, day in and 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," Edmonds said.
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 minutes or less," Edmonds said.
She said that TBTA is always looking for additional drivers and dispatchers who are willing to make a difference in the community by helping riders like Timmerick who depend on the buses each day.
"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 and clean buses, a new route this fall, a new facility next year and lots of happy riders, like Robert, along the way," she said.
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.
For further information call Billi Edmonds at 354-2487.