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232 233 PREFERRED VENDOR n Clever Devices www.cleverdevices.com THE ALEXANDRIA TRANSIT COMPANY atedthe“StudentRideFree”initiative.“Our strategic partnershipsetupaprogramfor all highschoolers inAlexandria touseour services freeof charge,” Bakernotes.“Byshowingtheir student I.D.,theycan rideanywhereat anytime.That’sbeenan incredibly successful programthatwe’reveryproudof.” DASH’sbus fleet iscomposedof full-sizedtransit buseswitha rateduseful lifeof12years.“Wepride ourselves inhavingaverywell-maintainedfleet withhighreliability,”saysBaker,“andweattempt toreplacebuseswhentheyreachtheir12-year mark.Weanticipate thatbytheendof2019,we will havecompletedourmost recent roundof fleet replacements inanendeavor toget all of ourolder stylebuses that arehighpollutersoff the road,and reduceour carbonfootprint.” Severalyearsago,inanearlier replacement round,ATCbeganorderinghybridelectric/diesel transitbuses.“Adiesel enginepairedwithanelectric drivetrain,much likeahybridcar,”Baker explains. “Butwehave foundthat the technologydidnot prove itself tobeasefficient aswewouldhave liked, and it resulted in increasedcostsof operationsand maintenance,whichhavenotbeenoffsetbythe minor improvement infuel economy.So,instead,we turnedour focus toreducingour carbonfootprintby purchasingnothingbut clean,low-emittingdiesels toreplace theolddiesels thatdon’thaveanypollu- tioncontrols. “Andwe’vesetourselvesa long-rangeplanto move toa fullyelectricfleet.Infact,we recently didademonstrationof a fullyelectricbus for a full week.We ran itonour routes;wecollectedthedata fromit tounderstandthe feasibilityof future im- plementationof that technology.Fullyelectricbusesare expensive,butwehavebeenonthe forefrontof tryingto implement that technology.I believe thatwe’re lookingat 2021totryandstartgettingelectricbuses inthe fleet.” Baker,whocameonboardasCEOinearly2017,be- lieves that a lotofwhat thecompanyhasaccomplished over the last fewyears,andwhat it intends toaccomplish goingforward,hasbeendue to itscorporateculture.“Peo- plewant toworkherebecause it’sa family-orientedenvi- ronment,”heclaims.“Weseeeveryoneas important.We’re not thehighest-payingsysteminthe region;wemaynot have thegreatestbenefitsof anybodyinthe region; but whatwedohave isadedicatedworkforce thatbelieves inwhatwedo.Andmuchofwhatwedo internally,from amanagement standpoint,inorder to foster that,is spendingtimewiththeworkforce tounderstandwhat is important tothemandhowwemakesuremanagement supports them.” “We’vecreatedaculturewhere theemployees feel that theyhaveavoiceandthat they’reheardwhentheyhave concerns,”assertsTeevan.“Managementdoesaverygood jobofmotivatingandappreciatingemployees.Andthey’re dedicatedtoDASH.Andwearecustomer-focused.Every- thingwedo,wedowiththemindsetofwhat isgoingto improve the ridershipexperience.” TheAlexandriaTransitCompany–WelcomeAboard.
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