2020 KPTA Virtual Annual Meeting Wrap-up
The KPTA Board of Directors determined that the "new normal" for 2020 was to hold a virtual annual meeting, and a series of interactive webinars in the weeks after rather than a face-to-face meeting this year. KPTA contracted with the University of Kansas Transportation Center to coordinate, facilitate and host this series of meetings. Thank you to KU Transportation Center for assisting in making our virtual meeting a reality. We had a very productive meeting this week. Thanks to Anne Smith KPTA Chair (pictured here) for moderating.
August 18 Meeting:

Delivering World-Class Customer Service: Lessons From The Mouse First we heard from Dennis Snow that customers have more choices than ever, and that differentiating your service is the key to attracting and retaining customers. Look at your service through the lens of your riders. Its the experience. Pay attention to the details - everything speaks. Look at behaviors that distract from your agency and correct. Here is the pdf. from his presentation:

Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)  Executive Director Scott Bogren discussed what's happening in Washington. He commented that the Invest Act commits to spending that Congress does not have, so this legislation probably will not be enacted. Bus capital grant amounts have increased and agencies need to apply for these funds. KPTA is a member of CTAA. CTAA has four top priorities for this reauthorization legislation: • stable, predictable investment emanating from the traditional federal-state-local partnership that has built the current transportation network;2• investment programs that take into account new metrics of success like cost savings/avoidance in the health care industry, land values, and/or emissions reductions;• right-sized regulations for small city, rural, tribal and specialized transportation systems that maintain accessibility, safety and quality while providing these smaller systems with the room to innovate and grow; and• increased dedicated bus and bus facilities investment, to support the needs of systems to replace aging vehicle fleets.

Region VII FTA staff discussed issues of current industry concern at the federal level.
We heard From Administrator Mohktee Ahmad that FTA has been working remotely for the last few months and is doing so now. Shannon Graves (a 30 yr FTA veteran) indicated Kansas got $70 mil Cares Act funding, 30.2 mil to 5307 and 37.8 mil (mostly thru KDOT) for 5311. . Regular funding )approx #14 mil) is usually: 11.7 mil for 5307, $592 thousand for 5311; $3000 thousand for 5309; and $539 thousand for 5309. We also heard from Logan Daniels, Bill Kalt, regional engineer Cynthia Moses who noted there are projects at OVVK, Nemaha and Coffey counties. Planning director Kathy Monroe told us "You have a great advocate with KDOT." Also presenting were Ava Steinman and recent KDOT employee Jason Pollock.

KDOT - Issues of current industry concern at the state level. Jon Moore,Cory Davis and Matt Messina presented the attached:

The Willie M. Murry Award is KPTA's highest honor. It is named for Rev. Willie M. Murry of Coffeyville. Rev. Murry was a dedicated community leader and a major supporter for Kansas public transportation services. He was a member of the KPTA board from its beginning in 1981 until his passing in January 1994. KPTA established the Willie M. Murry Award in his honor. It honors an individual or organization that has carried on in Rev. Murry's spirit by providing distinguished service to the entire Kansas public transportation community for a sustained period of time. The 2020 Willie Murry Award is presented to:
Barbara Lillyhorn, Reno County RCAT.
As the Hutchinson Magazine stated: “Barbara Lillyhorn is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to transportation and senior services in Hutchinson.” Originally from Nebraska she came to Kansas to study at KSU. She obtained her masters oif public health thru KU School of Medicine. Her work has taken her to Ft Scott, Great Bend, Lawrence and Hutch. She has assisted a number of transit services in Kansas this year dealing with the public health crisis. She also in years past has rescued through adoption wild mustangs which she describes as “gentle, intelligent and gorgeous.” Barbara, director of Reno County Department of Aging & Public Transportation, learned this year that Fairfield USD 310 in the western part of the county needed help getting food to the families of their students (67% of students are on free and reduced lunches). The United Way of Reno County held a food drive, and RCAT made the deliveries. She is a worthy recipient of the Murry award.

Transit Agencies of the Year
.“Public transit providers in Kansas are dedicated, caring, and hard working professionals providing critical transportation services that positively impact the economic development and quality of life in the communities we serve.
During the last six months, our nation has faced an exceptional challenge in the Covid-19 pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen by our country in over a 100 years. During this time, public transportation services have been a literal lifeline connecting people to front line essential jobs and critical services. As transit professionals, we have had to improvise, adapt and overcome challenges like never before. We have been innovative in how we protect our Drivers and Riders, we have implemented service changes to continue to serve our communities, and our staffs have often been unsung heroes helping to keep our communities connected during these difficult times.
The Kansas Public Transit Association would like to recognize all of the transit providers in Kansas with the 2020 KPTA Transit Systems of the year. We want to recognize all of you and the work you have done and are doing every day to keep Kansans everywhere, connected to critical services and jobs during these challenging times.” -- Anne Smith

Innovation of the Year Awards are made to:
OCCK, Topeka Metro, Dodge City and KCATA for their use of free fares. This is a way to provide social equity and greatly appreciated by the transit dependent. Certificates will be made to each system.

KPTA Appreciation Award is awarded to:
KU-RTAP’s Interim Director Lisa Harris, who is the Program Manager for Kansas LTAP and RTAP programs. And who will be retiring soon and passing the baton. Her areas of specialty include transportation safety, transportation planning, community planning, communications, and partnership development and she has been a positive force for public transit in Kansas.

Region 1  Laura Machala, MARC, Kansas City
Region 2  Anne Smith, Flint Hills aTa
Region 3  Wade Kruse, Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas
Region 4  Kara Reynolds, Coffey County Transportation
Region 5  Terri Bolte, McPherson County Council on Aging
Region 6  Sarah Krom, Sunflower Diversified Services Inc., Great Bend
Josh Powers, Johnson County Transit
Dick Jarrold, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
Adam Weigel, Lawrence Transit
Justus Welker, Unified Government Transit Department
Michael Tann, Wichita Transit
Robert Nugent, Topeka Metro
Ann Lowder, KU Transportation Center
Shelby Fry, TARC, Topeka
Kandance Bonnesen, Sedgwick Co. Dept. of Aging
Kristy Haden, Wabaunsee County GPT
Brenda Martinez, Dodge City Public Transportation


  • Session 2: Leading in Tough Times • August 25th, 2020 • 9 AM – 12 PM
  • Session 3: Emergency Planning for Public Transportation • September 1st, 2020 • 9 AM – 12 PM
  • Session 4: Customer Service • September 8th, 2020 • 9 AM – 12 PM