November 8, 2013 at 12:31 PM
The DTA has many internal events that allow for interaction and communication between staff. With more than 150 employees, it is not always easy to get everyone together in the same room. Therefore, management develops events that are ongoing throughout the day so that employees can participate as they come and go from the Operating Center.
One example of this is the annual DTA "Soup Sampler" which raises money for the United Way of Greater Duluth. Staff members from all departments are encouraged to bring their favorite family recipes for soups and stews into the driver's lounge for everyone to try. For a donation of only $5, DTA employees get to sample all of the soup and stew recipes they can eat. This is a great team-building event that everyone enjoys.
On October 11th, there were 16 different soups for DTA staff to sample. The recipes ranged from chicken wild rice all the way to red stag stew. The event raised $200 for the United Way.
September 5, 2013 at 4:27 PM
As a college student, your focus should be on studying and figuring out what you want to do with your life. Getting from point A to point B should not be a priority or major concern. However, when you’re in a new town and your family is far away, finding transportation to class, a part-time job or even the grocery store can present a challenge.
During UMD's Welcome Week, DTA staff members have been providing information on how to ride the bus in Duluth for both freshmen and upperclassmen. Many of the students have never used public transportation before as they are from rural communities or suburbs of the Twin Cities. Having a table with detailed maps provides an opportunity for the students to ask questions and learn about the DTA's safe and convenient service.
"It has been a real pleasure talking to the students this week," said Heath Hickok, DTA Director of Marketing. "Many of these young people are enthusiastic about the opportunity to ride the bus for free to campus, work or the mall."
The program is so successful at UMD, that in 2012 the DTA recognized its 5 millionth U-Pass passenger. Just for comparative purposes, total ridership at UMD for the 2007-2008 school year was 420,292 and in 2011-2012 it was 569,361. As ridership continues to outpace enrollment, clearly more students are choosing to leave the car at home and ride the bus. These young people are the public transit passengers of the future.
The future of public transit in Duluth is bright. As the DTA’s system grows and evolves, the U-Pass program will be a key component. If student ridership continues to increase at its current pace, the DTA will be recognizing its 10 millionth U-Pass passenger in no time.
July 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM
It had been more than 10 years since the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) held its own Bus Roadeo event. That all changed last Sunday, June 23rd at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center when the DTA held a bus roadeo as a qualifying event for the MN State Roadeo. The top two drivers qualified to participate in the 2013 MN State Bus Roadeo being held in Rochester on July 19th and 20th.
The bus roadeo is a driving skills competition that provides bus operators the opportunity to test themselves on a course of obstacles off of the main streets and routes they’re used to driving. There were 9 drivers competing in the qualifying event this year. Paul Mattson won the First-Place Award, Rick Roser won the Second-Place Award and Ruth Hoadley won the Third-Place Award. Both Paul and Rick will now compete in the MN State Roadeo in July.
Tom Szukis, DTA Director of Safety, coordinated this event and is pleased to see this DTA tradition get reestablished. “With the availability of a lot for the course at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center, after ten years we decided to start up the local roadeo competition again and use it as a qualifier for the state roadeo,” said Szukis. “The new course along with the rain we experienced on Sunday changed the complexion of the event, but after being involved with over 25 other bus roadeos over the years, I can say this was a success.” continued Szukis.
June 7, 2013 at 3:50 PM
The Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) went to the Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss today and presented information on how to ride the bus for people who are blind or have visual impairments. The presentation consisted of a historical overview of the DTA, a discussion about fares, and a review of bus riding policies.
STRIDE information was also presented and applications were provided. Once the group had an opportunity to ask DTA staff questions, they took a tour of a bus provided by the DTA. This “Touch the Bus” demonstration allowed the students to practice how to get on and off a bus. The demonstration included using cash and fare cards with the fare box and how to find a seat safely.
The DTA’s Web Watch internet tool for monitoring where a bus is along its route and the Google Map and Ride system that shows how to get from point A to point B even if a passenger has to transfer to another bus were also discussed. Text recognition software helps assist people with vision impairments to use these efficient and effective tools for riding the bus.
“This is all about community outreach and education,” said DTA Director of Marketing, Heath Hickok. “We want to ensure that all of our riders have access to information about our public transit system and understand how to best utilize this resource,” continued Hickok.
Other community and social groups are encouraged to contact the DTA to schedule their own Bus Riding 101 presentation. These events are offered to the public for FREE and provide a lot of valuable information for riders. FREE fare passes were also distributed to the Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss for training purposes.
Form more information, contact DTA Director of Marketing, Heath Hickok, at 218-623-4314 or email@example.com.
April 10, 2013 at 3:10 PM
Tis the season for planning big events, taking trips as groups, maybe even a field trip as part of a child care group. In this plan, consider us!
We do ask you take measures beforehand as they are very important to us as well as you. Trip planning can be established by using Google Plan and Ride, you can also call in to verify you are indeed taking the most economical plan we have by dialing 722-SAVE.
Another thing to consider is can we accommodate. We are here to help, simply call and talk to us about your date, time, how many your planning to go and if you are planning a return trip as well. Again, we are making sure our regular ridership is not already maxed out during your time so planning is our best way to get you and your group there together.
We have a planning form for more convenience below:
March 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Days are getting longer, the weather is changing and we are getting our summer schedules ready.
With plans of Tall Ships, Grandma’s Marathon our detour planning is in full swing as well. Make sure you stay posted by signing up for RSS feeds, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
March 6, 2013 at 7:09 AM
That is why we rely on our backup systems we have had in place for years.
Tools help us get data faster, in a more sustainable fashion. But what do we do when they are down and our data is not at our fingertips, we resort to old school, picking up the phone and calling for information.
With technology growing so fast, the applications are trying so hard to accommodate all the mobile devices such as IPhone, Android, Galaxy, Blackberry. But each having their own proprietary operating system it is hard to accommodate all of them.
We are experiencing this now, and even though our goal is to accommodate, it may take a little while to get there, this is when you may have to use the old school system.
February 5, 2013 at 7:45 AM
And it’s only February.
With a technology upgrade we have found a few problems and are still addressing these. Some of these have to do with our passenger amenities and we do apologize as they were not planned.
The electronics world has switched our roles from paper products to a more diverse product. As with every product, competition builds different operating systems, mobile devices, and we have to support them all which is difficult.
We strive to get accurate, on time information to our passengers in a timely fashion and will continue to do so.
Back to work I go….stay tuned.
December 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM
As the year draws to a close, we just wanted to say thank you. As a company, we strive to provide you with safe, affordable, and efficient public transportation, and I think we have been very successful in this mission. We truly appreciate your confidence and loyalty and we will continue to work hard every day to maintain this.
This year we carried nearly 3 million passengers and traveled nearly 2 million miles and we look forward to the exciting things that the near future will bring. From all the folks here at the DTA, we wish you Happy Holidays and a very merry New Year!
December 13, 2012 at 8:32 AM
The EZ-Card promo is back! With any fare purchase you get the smart card fee waived this month.
Rechargeable, fast, easy and affordable, why not? Check it out today!