MTM Transit Sarasota Brings Home APTA’s 2021 Bus Safety Gold Award

MTM Transit is honored to announce that the American Public Transit Association (APTA) has named us the winner of its 2021 Bus Safety Gold Award! Every year, the APTA Bus Safety and Security Excellence Awards recognize fixed route bus and paratransit systems that have implemented initiatives to successfully address specific safety and security topics. The awards are presented in five categories, with one agency or company taking home the top prize of gold in each category:

  • Public transportation systems providing fewer than four million annual passenger trips
  • Public transportation systems providing between four million and 20 million annual passenger trips
  • Public transportation systems providing more than 20 million annual passenger trips
  • Private companies providing contracted transportation management and services to public transportation systems
  • Bus COVID-19

MTM Transit was awarded the Bus Safety Gold Award in the private companies providing contracted services category for the safety improvements we brought to our operations in Sarasota, Florida. In Sarasota, MTM operates the Sarasota County Area Transit Administration’s SCAT Plus system, an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service. During the two years prior to 2020, the Sarasota operation suffered from less than ideal employee morale and an accident rate of 1.8 accidents per 100,000 miles, which is higher than we strive for.

We quickly took action to fix these issues, hiring a seasoned General Manager and an experienced Safety Manager who built a safety culture following our Safety Management System (SMS) building blocks. Using best practices like the Heinrich Model, introducing a new training program called “SMS – Building the Safety Culture,” installing on-vehicle cameras and behavior monitoring systems, and creating an engaging safety program called Zero Accident Philosophy, or ZAP for short, the MTM Transit corporate leadership team and Sarasota management team quickly improved engagement and safety results.

Based on these initiatives, from 2019 to 2020 MTM Transit Sarasota achieved the following outcomes:

  • 62% reduction in accidents/incidents
  • 100% reduction in employee injuries
  • 50% reduction in overall accident costs
  • Improved employee morale
  • Better customer service
  • Elimination of at-risk behaviors

Based on these results and criteria like effectiveness, benefit level, innovation, and transferability, the APTA selection committee awarded MTM Transit its Bus Safety Gold Award. MTM Transit and other Gold winners in the remaining four categories were honored at the APTA Awards Ceremony and Breakfast on November 9 as part of the 2021 APTA Expo in Orlando, Florida.

“Every year, the APTA Safety and Security Excellence Awards recognize public transit providers and contractors for their innovative and proactive safety and security programs,” MTM Transit’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Balogh said. “I am incredibly proud of our corporate safety team, as well as our local Sarasota management team, for making safety a priority and creating initiatives that we can leverage in other areas of operation. The accomplishments our Sarasota team has contributed to the SCAT Plus paratransit service truly drive home our core values of deliver value and align with clients. Congratulations team Sarasota!”

“Most importantly, safety is now the culture and lifestyle at the MTM Transit Sarasota operation,” added Scott Lansing, MTM Transit’s Sarasota General Manager. “Our team’s ongoing commitment to safety can now serve as a model of excellence not only for MTM Transit, but for the transit industry as a whole. We are honored to join APTA’s prestigious list of Safety Gold Award winners!”

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