The Alexandria Transit Company has been awarded the Virginia Transit Association (VTA) 2020 Outstanding Community Program Award while DASH’s Senior Planner/Scheduler Tristan Cunningham has also been selected as VTA’s 2020 Transit Employee Unsung Hero.
The VTA Outstanding Community Program Award is a recognition of exceptional or innovative projects that improve transit services, networks or systems. Winning agencies play a decisive role in the projects, and those projects produce tangible results that significantly impact communities and riders.
During the summer of 2019, DASH increased its fleet size by more than 60%, and its overall staffing levels by more than 65% to operate the Blue Line Shuttle. This unprecedented and ambitious investment in the region’s public transit infrastructure was met with creativity and dedication to the community. DASH created and implemented shuttle strategies and schedules while leveraging industry leading innovative methods and ultimately expanded its fleet and operations team to move hundreds of thousands of commuters displaced by the closures. Over the 108-day project, the Blue Line Shuttle transported over 485,000 riders within and connecting to the Alexandria community.
“On behalf of the entire DASH team, I am honored to have the opportunity to accept the Virginia Transit Association’s award for Outstanding Community Program. I am so proud of our entire workforce whose countless hours of hard work and dedication made us stand out in meeting the needs of our community. This was an unprecedented regional project that was successful in keeping all passengers moving during the 2019 platform improvement project.” said DASH CEO and General Manager Josh Baker.
DASH Senior Planner/Scheduler Tristan Cunningham is the recipient of VTA’s 2020 Transit Employee Unsung Hero Award. This award is in recognition of his service and commitment to providing the highest quality of transit service in Alexandria. This award demonstrates how Tristan has distinguished himself through exemplary dedication and professionalism. Tristan leads by example through his outstanding teamwork, dependability and adaptability.
“Tristan Cunningham’s expertise and dedication were vital to helping us meet several unprecedented challenges in 2019, including the operation of the Blue Line Shuttle during WMATA’s 2019 Platform Improvement Project and major service improvements on the AT-1 PLUS and AT-9 routes,” said DASH Director of Planning and Scheduling Martin Barna.
Cunningham met the challenges of these projects with professionalism, creativity and a steadfast focus on customer service. All of this while maintaining his regular duties leading service planning and scheduling efforts for DASH. Cunningham has served in a variety of positions since he first joined DASH as a service planning intern while he was still a high school student in Alexandria.
To see all of 2020's VTA Award winners, visit: https://vatransit.com/VTAAwards.