Transit Supports Community
KRT serves the community through many other functions. The American Public Transit Association (APTA) has a formula which shows that for every dollar spent on transit, three dollars in business revenue are generated. Based on this formula, KRT’s financial impact on the community over the last thirty years is over $250 million dollars. Additionally, one of the essentials for many new businesses often is dependability of public transportation. KRT attracts new business by providing transportation to business districts and manufacturing facilities.
KRT helps provide the community with emergency preparedness by making available buses and operators for evacuation purposes by transporting supplies and volunteers to distressed areas. Also, the KRT Evacuation Team, a group of volunteers trained to evacuate citizens to a safe location in the event of an emergency. Their response procedure has been tried, tested, and has proven invaluable in a crisis.
In addition, the Kanawha Alternative Transit (KAT) provides service to individuals who have special transportation needs and require assistance. The curb-to-curb van service is available to disabled riders who are not able to drive and do not have access to other transportation.
The Authority also provides gasoline distribution to other county agencies, including emergency vehicles and the ambulance service, saving local taxpayers approximately $100,000 per year.
People Moving People
The tradition on which public transit in the Kanawha Valley is based would be nonexistent without the dedicated employees of KRT, particularly the bus operators.
In town, bus stops are generally marked; however, on stretches between communities, things are less clear cut. After driving a while, the operators learn the different signals people use. As one operator put it, “You brush up on your mind reading course.” Many of these operators have formed friendships that go back several years. Some speak of watching passengers grow up on the various routes and of giving them advice as the years pass. Often it has been said “All the therapy some people need is someone to listen. Sometimes it’s the bus driver.”
“When you’re on one route for a long time you get to know people by their name, get to know their habits, where they get on, where they get off. Some of them are quite friendly!”
But there is more to the job than just being friendly as the passengers board the buses for their destinations. KRT’s destination is always SERVICE!
Part of that service usually unseen by the general public is the KRT Maintenance Department whose skilled Mechanics and Maintenance Service Personnel keep the buses moving across the Kanawha Valley. The office staff is also a vital part of the daily operations at KRT.
KRT is more than just a bus system – it’s People Moving People!
The Next 20 Years
Public Transit is an important part of the Kanawha Valley’s future. Increasing traffic, aging highways and tight budgets make public transit an important alternative for many of today’s private car commuters.
The KRT systems management and the authority’s board of directors are constantly looking at ways to plan for the future, while realistically accessing the ability of the system to finance changes for continued and expanded operations.
The future is filled with possibilities and hope for new cost efficient ways to serve the community. Many are simply dreams; however, KRT is constantly striving to find new ways to serve passengers, and offer clean, safe and efficient service in every case.