Dakota Transporter
Volume 17, Issue 3Spring 2004

Building on a Strong Foundation

Picture of Ron BaumgartRon Baumgart, River Cities Transit
Dakota Transit Association

Over the years, leaders and members have built a secure foundation for the Dakota Transit Association (DTA), using their perseverance and dedication to create an organization rich in experience and focused on the future of transit in the Dakotas. What would the members of today do without that? Now, when it's time to use that foundation as our springboard into the future, DTA is in the best position possible to meet tomorrow's challenges.

So far this year, the DTA Board of Directors has met twice to look at these challenges and determine just how the association can meet and exceed them. Thanks to the assistance of Bruce Fuchs, North Dakota DOT, and Bruce Lindholm, South Dakota DOT, we have a clear idea of where the road ahead lies.

It is inevitable that changes will come. We feel those changes will only enhance the work done by our predecessors.

While good training is provided at the annual DTA convention, we have decided to build upon that opportunity by offering two additional training sessions per year. One session will be held in the western parts of North and South Dakota while the other will be held in the east. This plan will provide the latest information and training to both directors and drivers.

The board will also take a more active role in lobbying state legislators and Congressional delegations. Part of the salary for an executive director who will assist in lobbying in North Dakota will be funded by DTA funds. In South Dakota, a lobbyist will be hired to represent our voices at the Legislature and the U.S. Capitol. We have earmarked $5,000 a year per state for this effort.

We're planning for some fun, too. A Bus Roadeo will be held jointly for both states in Minot this fall. During the weekend of August 28-29, the Roadeo will be held Saturday and two training sessions will be held on Sunday. This is an opportunity to test your skills as well as network with other drivers and directors.

Don't forget the Driver of the Year awards. Start thinking about who you wish to nominate for this honor. Nomination forms will be distributed and will be available on our website by May 1. The deadline for returning entries is June 1.

Finally, our newsletter and web page is going to be managed by the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, a part of North Dakota State University in Fargo. Jill Hough and Gary Hegland will head the project. In the future, forms, sign-ups and other information will be available on the Internet. More news about this as it becomes available.

Remember that our membership drive is on. Send in those DTA dues for 2004 as soon as you can.

I'd like to thank the other members of the Board of Directors for their great ideas and assistance. We will meet again in May.

Safe driving.

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