Newport Beach, California – April 4, 2018. Karl Parker, Mobility Programs Coordinator for Paratransit Services, was presented with a CalACT 2018 Outstanding Coordination Award by Lake Transit Authority General Manager Mark Wall at the CalACT Spring Conference and EXPO Annual Awards luncheon held on April 4 in Newport Beach, California.
CalACT is a California statewide, non-profit professional organization that has been in existence since 1984. Its stated mission is “to promote professional excellence, stimulate ideas and advocate for effective community transportation.” Paratransit Services, a nonprofit company based in Bremerton, Washington, has operated Lake Transit from a facility in Lower Lake, California, since 2007 under contract with Lake Transit Authority (LTA).
In the Spring of 2015 LTA initiated a new program with Paratransit Services to assist County residents with their Non-Emergent Medical Transportation (NEMT) needs. Mr. Parker, who at that time was a driver for Paratransit Services, became a great choice to lead the new “Lake Links” project as the “Mobility Programs Coordinator.”
Through his efforts, a volunteer driver-based ride assistance program (“Pay Your Pal”) was started, and over $700,000 in federal grant funding has been secured to develop mobility programs and expanded NEMT services for County residents.
As he continues to move the Lake Links program forward, Mr. Parker has become an active participant in community forums representing alternative transportation options, and he is a strong advocate for enhancements to services in Lake County for seniors and people who have disabilities.
In nominating Karl Parker for the Outstanding Coordination Award, Mr. Wall noted that the Transit Authority’s objective in starting Lake Links is “to create a collaborative, human services oriented adjunct to the transit system that can reach out to the community, create partnerships, and encourage investment by private and non-profit sectors in the specialized services that go beyond traditional public transit,” and that as the Mobility Programs Coordinator “Karl has worked tirelessly to develop the Lake Links program.”
Mobility Programs Coordinator Karl Parker (left) with LTA General Manager Mark Wall
Olympic Valley, California – April 25, 2017. Paratransit Services, a nonprofit public transit contractor based in Bremerton, Washington, operates public transit systems in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Our goal is to manage these systems in ways that reflect well on the agencies who have placed their confidence in our transit expertise. It is very gratifying to us when the systems we operate are recognized by the transit industry for service excellence. This was the case when Lake Transit was honored at the CalACT Spring Conference and Expo with a 2017 "Outstanding Rural Program" award at a ceremony held April 25 in Olympic Valley, California.
Paratransit Services has operated the Lake County public transit system, from a facility in Lower Lake, California, since 2007 under contract with Lake Transit Authority. Lake Transit provides Fixed Route service in the towns of Clearlake and Lower Lake; Dial-A-Ride service to several communities on the perimeter of Clear Lake; regional “Flex” service within the county; and Inter-Regional service to neighboring Napa and Mendocino Countie
In presenting the award, CalACT officers cited Lake Transit’s service to the community despite three years of natural disasters, including the wildfires that ravaged the county in 2015 and the intense flooding that struck the area this past winter. These events displaced hundreds of residents and made travel impossible through the hardest hit areas of the County. Paratransit Services Lake Transit staff responded to these adverse conditions by helping with evacuation efforts, assisting with setting-up shelters, and adjusting transit routes until conditions returned to normal.
This was the second "Outstanding Rural Program" award given to Lake Transit by CalACT during Paratransit Services’ tenure; the previous award was presented in 2009 at the CalACT conference in San Diego
CalACT is a California statewide, non-profit professional organization that has been in existence since 1984. The "Outstanding Rural Program" award honors a rural transportation program that has demonstrated exceptional achievement in the areas of safety, operations, customer service, financial management, community relations, policy and administration.
Wenatchee, Washington – September 18-21, 2016 . Paratransit Services General Manager Betsy DeSpain and her staff in Longview, Washington, were named to the 2016 Wall of Fame at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) 40th Annual Public Transportation Conference held September 18-21 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.
Ms. DeSpain has been General Manager for Paratransit Services’ RiverCities LIFT operation since 2005. RiverCities LIFT is the ADA public transit complement to RiverCities Transit, the fixed route system (operated by the City of Longview) serving the cities of Longview and Kelso.
In receiving Wall of Fame honors, Ms. DeSpain was acknowledged for her emphasis on the “values of safety and positive, supportive professionalism,” as demonstrated by her outstanding efforts to keep her buses running last winter during weather conditions so harsh that Governor Inslee declared a State of Emergency. During heavy rains, flooding, landslides, and road closures, Ms. DeSpain was the first to arrive and the last to depart the transit command center, playing a pivotal role in minimizing disruptions to the ADA transportation system that provides a vital service for people with special needs.
In addition to Ms. DeSpain’s individual award, her RiverCities LIFT staff was honored as well for their work during those severe winter conditions. As stated on their award plaque, they “rose to the challenge of keeping RiverCities LIFT running as smoothly as possible. They knew their work provides an important community connection for seniors and people with disabilities, and they did not want to allow the weather to break that link.”
Paratransit Services, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) company based in Bremerton, Washington, has provided accessible public transportation in the Longview/Kelso area under contract with the City of Longview since 1997.
Paratransit Services General Manager for RiverCities LIFT, BetsyDeSpain (left, holding awards); RiverCities Transit Manager Amy Asher.
La Jolla, California – March 29, 2016. Paratransit Services, a nonprofit transportation services company based in Bremerton, Washington, was recognized during the CalACT 2016 Spring Conference and Expo for outstanding work done by the company’s California staff during the wildfires that raged throughout the northern part of the state last summer and fall. The Conference was held in La Jolla, California, March 28 – 31.
Paratransit Services operates public transit systems in Calaveras and Lake Counties in California, and the company’s drivers and other personnel based in the communities of San Andreas and Lower Lake worked with first responders to move people threatened by the fires to safe locations.
As a result of these evacuation efforts, and assistance provided in setting up shelters and helping people who were displaced, Paratransit Services, Calaveras Transit, and Lake Transit Authority received Q’Straint “2016 Above and Beyond" Awards at a March 29 Conference luncheon. In addition, Wanda Gray, Paratransit Services’ General Manager based in Lake County, received a CalACT "2016 Transportation Manager of the Year Award."
CalACT (California Association for Coordinated Transportation) is a statewide California nonprofit trade organization representing “small, rural, and specialized transportation providers.” Paratransit Services has been a member since 1989.
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