IPTA’s 2017 Fall Conference, hosted by Sangamon Mass Transit District in Springfield, has something of interest to everyone. Ecolane, our conference headline sponsor, has helped to create an event that you won’t want to miss
To kick off the conference on Monday, September 18, we offer a choice of either the Looking for Lincoln tour or IPTA’s annual Tom Ashby Golf Outing. The Looking for Lincoln tour features Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield home, the Old State Capitol where Lincoln served in the state legislature, and Lincoln’s Tomb, as well as the historic Edward’s Place. The Tom Ashby Golf Outing, held at the Rail Golf Course in Sherman, IL, is often cited as one of the top courses in central Illinois. The Rail’s, a beautifully manicured championship golf course with 82 sand bunkers and 5 lakes, was rated a 4-star golf course by Golf Digest and played host to the LPGA State Farm Classic from 1976-2006. A box lunch is included in both events. Monday evening, experience Illinois culture, natural resources and heritage at our Welcome Reception at the Illinois State Museum. The reception will feature farm-to-table selections along with Illinois Wines that won’t disappoint.
Tuesday’s keynote speaker, Andrew Evans, is a National Geographic Travel Writer. He will share his 12,000 mile journey from Washington, D.C. to Antarctica, which he experienced primarily by bus. The conference will also offer such topics as Transit Asset Management, Transit Oriented Development, and Succession Planning. Attendees can choose to participate in three of 11 different roundtable discussions with their peers. The vendor showcase will feature products and services from nearly every facet of public transportation. Tuesday evening features live music by Madd Hoss Jackson at Southern Bus and Mobility’s Party by the Lake.
Finally, join us for IPTA’s Annual Meeting and important updates from IDOT, FTA Region V, CTAA and APTA. Register today by visiting the 2017 Conference page on IPTA’s website.
The Spotlight is on Amy Brown, CEO for CRIS Rural Mass Transit District
How did you get started in rural transportation?
I was fortunate to be appointed to the position of CEO of CRIS Healthy-Aging Center in 2000, and along with those responsibilities came a fleet of vehicles and people all over the county who needed rides.
If you didn’t have a transit background, how did you learn the ropes?
Fortunately, RTAC was available for training regarding the operation of the buses and organization. The conferences became my professional networking tool. An enormous amount of reading had to take place so that I could become acquainted with rules, policies and accounting responsibilities.
Toughest day-to-day operational problem
The toughest day-to-day operational problem seemed to be record keeping and scheduling rides. I was relieved when we were able to acquire funding through IDOT and purchase transportation software.
What’s a typical day like?
A typical day is full of unexpected surprises. Trying to head those off with excellent routine, preventative maintenance, and a strong staff is the best case scenario. We will always have our riders with their unexpected situations, such as changes in appointment times, etc. that we strive to stay in front of.
What’s your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement has been the establishment of a Mass Transit District for our community.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by the needs of the riders. Their situation and destination needs drive our service.
What do you do to motivate your staff?
The staff seems to enjoy their work; I especially appreciate the feedback I get when I make the time to meet with every employee individually a couple of times a year. I learn things about them and their families that I would have never known unless I sat down and had that time with them. I always start with “Tell me something about you I don’t know.” The meeting takes on a life of its own after that.
How has your system grown, and why?
Our system has grown due to the marketing we have done in the community. It helps people realize they can be a CRIS rider.
Kristoffer Taylor joined the Rides Mass Transit District staff in January 2017 as a safety and training supervisor. The Vandalia native graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While in Carbondale, Kristoffer met his wife, Michelle. The couple have been married for 13 years and have two daughters, Ally and Zoe.
Kristoffer has worked for more than 14 years in human services, as dean of students at the United Methodist Children’s Home in Mount Vernon and in the prevention department for a community-based behavioral health care provider.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the largest rural public transit provider in Illinois,” said Kristoffer, adding “The compassionate staff at Rides truly cares about the general public and getting people where they want to be.”
In his spare time, Kristoffer enjoys watching baseball and cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals.