RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK (March 18, 2021) – N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette joined GoTriangle today to honor the heroism and dedication of the agency’s frontline workers who have selflessly transported essential workers to critical jobs and neighbors to food and health care during an entire year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, held on National Transit Operations Appreciation Day, included remarks from Boyette, Interim Director of NC DOT’s Integrated Mobility Division Ryan Brumfield, GoTriangle Board Chair Michael Parker and GoTriangle President and CEO Charles E. Lattuca.
"NCDOT recognizes and honors all of our transit workers,” Boyette said. “We are so thankful for the many ways they have responded to this pandemic and worked tirelessly and courageously to meet the needs of so many people here in the Triangle and in communities across the state.”
The event kicked off at 9:30 a.m. and ran through early afternoon at GoTriangle’s Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Morrisville with Transit Operations staff members treated to a lunch, giveaways and a visit from the Durham Bulls mascot Wool E. Bull.
“Our amazing transit operations team has gone above and beyond this year, continuing to show up and mask up to keep our buses and paratransit routes running and providing stability during an unprecedented crisis,” Lattuca said. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year it’s that the public transit you provide is more than a convenience for commuters or more than a tool for economic strategy and development. Public transit is an essential thread in the very fabric of our lives, and we can’t thank you enough for your dedication this year.”
Lattuca recognized the many ways GoTriangle’s Transit Operations team has excelled since the pandemic began:
- Through a partnership with Durham County Emergency Management, GoTriangle operators in April 2020 transported people sheltering at Urban Ministries of Durham to an area hotel to help with social-distancing.
- GoTriangle’s Maintenance team designed and installed driver shield barriers on the paratransit vehicles and buses. In addition, the team instituted more extensive cleaning and disinfectant protocols for our vehicles and added new signage as well as mask dispensers and hand-sanitizer to the whole fleet.
- Through a partnership with Greenlight Ready, GoTriangle paratransit operators transported passengers to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
- Today, under a new State Department of Transportation initiative, GoTriangle operators are helping to provide free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites within our service area for those who have appointments.
- Our Safety, Security and Training team continued to find new, safe ways to train and graduate new operators during the pandemic.
“On behalf of the GoTriangle Board of Trustees, I want to thank the dedicated and brave women and men – drivers, mechanics, cleaners, dispatchers and everyone else in Transit Operations – who kept us moving during these extraordinary times,” said GoTriangle board Chairman Michael Parker, mayor pro tem of Chapel Hill. “All of you went above and beyond to help your fellow residents get to their jobs, seek health care and continue their educations. You are all heroes, and we are truly, truly grateful.”
In addition, GoTriangle became one of only three transit agencies in the nation in 2020 to receive the Transportation Security Administration’s prestigious Baseline Assessment of Security Enhancement Gold Standard Award. That award recognizes high standards in providing a safe transit experience and a strong security program.