Region’s Transit Agencies Honored

Publish Date

Olympia WA -- Community Transit, Intercity Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit were each recognized nationally this month with a combination of Grand Prize and First Place honors at the 29th Annual American Public Transportation Association AdWheel Awards for excellence in marketing, communication, advertising and promotions within the public transportation industry. 

The awards, considered among the most prestigious within the public transportation industry, were presented October 6 at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2008 Annual Meeting and International EXPO.  Nearly 750 entries were submitted in this year’s competition and eight of the 107 honors went to local transit districts.

These transit districts, and many others, have been challenged by record ridership demands during a prolonged period of unprecedented fuel costs.  Helping transit riders understand how to use transit services, marketing to new customer niches, providing updates and operational transparency to the taxpaying public and news media, and coordinating community partnerships are all in a day’s work for the marketing and communications professionals working behind the scenes of transit operations.  The AdWheel Awards spotlights some of these endeavors. 

Specific awards were presented to the following Puget Sound agencies:

Community Transit, Snohomish County – 1 award

Community Transit received a First Place AdWheel award for effectively reaching the teenage youth market through age-specific messages in and targeted distribution of a popular Skateparks map. The map shows how to get to various skateboarding parks throughout Snohomish County by bus and lists amenities at the parks, such as nearby eateries. Community Transit distributed 14,000 maps last year.

Intercity Transit, Thurston County – 2 awards

Intercity Transit received a Grand Prize and a First Place AdWheel award.  The Grand Prize award was given for the agency’s Youth Climate Challenge event, which engaged middle and high school students and teachers from all four area school districts in discussions about climate change and local solutions involving public transportation, energy consumption and conservation.  The event involved a visit from a noted New York Times journalist and author, Andrew Revkin and was a collaborative effort between Intercity Transit, the City of Olympia and Puget Sound Energy. The First Place award was given for the agency’s Smart Moves Youth Education Program, which reached an estimated 7,500 youth and 2,400 educators, community leaders and citizens during the first year of the program through classroom presentation, field trips, community events and activities.

Pierce Transit, Pierce County – 1 award

Pierce Transit received a First Place AdWheel award for its original design of a fully wrapped 40-foot “daffodil bus” depicting kids in an expansive field of yellow daffodils beneath a brilliant blue sky.  The bus appeared in the community’s Junior Daffodil and Grand Floral parades and operates daily throughout the Pierce Transit service area.

Sound Transit, King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties – 2 awards

Sound Transit received a Grand Prize and a First Place award in the AdWheel competition.  The Grand Prize award was given for the agency’s “City of Destiny” promotion and outreach campaign.  The effort resulted in more than tripling rider use of its Seattle-to-Tacoma commuter train reverse commute run.  The First Place award was given for “Anyway, Thanks for Riding,” an interior bus card ad campaign targeting existing bus riders.

“APTA is pleased to honor the winning entries of the 2008 AdWheel Awards, this competition showcases the best of the best in public transportation marketing and communications,” stated William W. Millar, APTA President. “These individuals and organizations have done an outstanding job in helping to further promote the public transportation industry.”

Link Transit in Wenatchee and Tri Met in Portland were also honored.

For a complete list of all 2008 AdWheel Award winners visit

For Information

Community Transit, Martin Munguia, 425-348-2348

Intercity Transit, Meg Kester, 360-705-5842

Pierce Transit, Lars Erickson, 253-984-8218

Sound Transit, Linda Robson, 206-398-5149


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APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 member organizations including public transportation systems; planning, design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; and state associations and departments of transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical public transportation services and products. APTA members serve more than 90 percent of persons using public transportation in the United States and Canada.