Dakota Transporter
Volume 19, Issue 1Summer 2007

Cline Named 2007 Community Transportation Manager of the Year

Scott Bogren, Director of Communications
Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)

Picture of Barb ClineBarbara Cline, CCTM, director of Prairie Hills Transit in Spearfish, SD, was named the 2007 Community Transportation Manager of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) at its annual Awards Banquet in Reno, NV. The award was given in recognition for her efforts in building Prairie Hills Transit into a successful and award-winning transit operation.

The award, presented annually at CTAA's national EXPO, recognizes excellence by managers of community transportation systems in serving the needs of people in their communities. Association Board Member Dave Marsh said in presenting the award, "Barbara Cline of Prairie Hills Transit in Spearfish, South Dakota, has long understood that the service her operation provides is so much more than just a ride; it's a chance to improve people's lives, build the local economy and to make a difference."

In accepting the award on behalf of her colleagues at Prairie Hills Transit, Cline said, "It was a great honor to accept this award. This is something that you don't win by yourself. It's because of my many dedicated staff at Prairie Hills Transit who serve many people in a service area that's so big. I strive to be a reflection of the people we serve; to remember that Prairie Hills makes a difference in people's lives every day. The basics are to use good judgment, and to maintain high standards for myself and for the people on my team. I continue to challenge, empower and inspire the people who work with me. Be ethical, but most importantly be a reflection of the people you work with and allow them to be a reflection of you."

"Congratulations Barb! We're proud of you."

New NDDOT Director Addresses Mid-Year Conference

Picture of Francis ZieglerThe attendees at the DTA Mid-Year Conference in Oacoma, SD, were pleased to welcome the new director of NDDOT, Francis Ziegler, as he gave the keynote address to begin our "Transit by the River" Spring Conference.

Ziegler began his remarks by speaking of public transit as "a very important part of the overall transportation picture." It was evident from his remarks that he has the work and life experiences with public and rural transit services to understand the needs and challenges that transit providers face. Starting work with the NDDOT 36 years ago, Ziegler first worked in the Fargo DOT office before transferring to the Special Projects division of the central office. He was appointed director in October of 2006. Growing up in Zeeland, ND, he rode rural school buses. Later, his dad rode rural public transit for appointments. Ziegler is aware how difficult it can be at times to provide transit services to senior citizens, and he feels "this service is critical" at a time when the population is growing older in the Dakotas.

Ziegler highlighted some of the transit issues on which he will be working as director. Locally, he will be pushing for the North Dakota Legislature to appropriate additional public transit funding for the next biennium, and he is also working on a state-wide strategic plan on freight and personal mobility. On the federal level, director Ziegler will be working on the new Highway bill, and to this end, he will be speaking on "Rural Transportation in America" at a meeting in St. Paul, MN.

In his closing remarks, Ziegler said he wanted to "commend DTA for their efforts on behalf of people with transit needs in North Dakota and South Dakota," and he said he also looks forward to working with DTA and Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute as they partner to bring quality transit services to the Dakotas. Based on DTA members' responses concerning director Ziegler's remarks, our membership is also looking forward to working with him and his staff to improve our transit services in the Dakotas.

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