Budget cuts are prevalent in the transit industry but unexpected budget cuts due to unforeseen economic disasters – not so much. That begs the question: how would a transit agency bounce back and level up their transit system?
It seemed like a daunting task but Craig Blewitt, Director of Mountain Metropolitan Transit (MMT), told us how they managed to rise from the ashes like a phoenix within a turnaround time of just five years.
Trapeze: MMT was doing pretty well prior to the 2008 recession. Can you tell us a bit more about what happened post ’08?
Craig: In 2010, we really did have a bare bones transit system. We only operated Monday to Friday, 255 days a year. Most routes also had a headway of 60 minutes.
Trapeze: That was definitely a tough time for you and your team. But MMT went from a bare bones transit system to the next level since then. What contributed to such success?
Craig: We had a long range regional transit plan that we stuck with and it helped us set our priorities. Also, Trapeze was huge in terms of having information available to help us make informed decisions. Working with the data, we know the productivity and OTP of routes and it was using those pieces of information that were key to us in going forward and serving the community right. Our IT and planning staff worked through all that information and helped synthesize that for our ultimate decisions going forward.
Trapeze: We’re glad to help MMT move forward and become an award-winning transit agency.
Craig: The reason we received the Large Community Transit Agency of the Year award from CASTA is because of the amount of service that we were able to add. It’s exciting when you have an opportunity to grow and that you do it right.
Trapeze: Where do you see MMT going for the next 5 years?
Craig: We want to help support the development of the downtown area and grow with the city. MMT is hoping to establish partnerships to expand services areas, working with higher education institutions to establish a student fee program for commuting to classes and jobs. At the end of the day, we want to better service our community.
That sounds like an amazing plan – thanks for sharing Craig! Learn more from MMT and see how your agency can become an award-winning one from this one-page summary.
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