Angie Jones Transit Award

People Mover Executive Director Angie Jones of John Day, left, accepts the Transit Manager of the Year award, presented by Oregon Transit Association President Allan Pollack Oct. 30 in Salem.

Grant County People Mover Executive Director Angie Jones was awarded Outstanding Transportation Manager of the Year Award in Salem.

Oregon Transit Association President Allan Pollack, who is general manager of Salem-Keizer Transit, presented Jones with the award at an Oct. 30 Oregon Public Transportation Conference.

Jones, a John Day resident, said she was honored, surprised and thankful to receive the award.

“We have a really good team,” she said. “We all work hard to make good things happen for Grant County.”

Jones has been executive director of the People Mover, headquartered in John Day, since March of 2011.

She was recognized for running “an ambitious, innovative, and often one-woman transit shop with a mission to change the rural world,” Pollack said at the meeting. “As a Special District that has historically declined to levy a tax, she consistently surpasses the expectations about what can be achieved on a shoe-string budget.”

He said the Grant County Transportation District was quick to adopt the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund.

“Angie used it to launch a route deviation system in the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2019, serving the four communities of Prairie City, John Day, Canyon City, and Mt. Vernon,” he said. “The combined population of the cities weighs in at under 4,000 souls, but by the close of its sixth month, Angie’s new service recorded an average of almost 1,100 monthly boardings — and it’s growing.”

Jones said that having the free local bus service has “definitely increased access to transportation for the public.”

A Dial-A-Ride service to intercity destinations can also be reserved a day ahead of the time, and out-of-town routes run five days a week to six locations, including Bend, Pendleton, Walla Walla, Ontario, Baker City and Burns. Both of these services have a cost.

“Overall, the progress really has grown by leaps and bounds, and we have a robust program that we can be proud of,” she said.

Jones’ team includes 10 drivers, a dispatcher, board of directors and People Mover bookkeeper Karin Barntish, who is a licensed tax consultant.

“Karin has done an excellent job for us,” Jones said.

Drivers include: Frank Bingham, Doug Boyer, Roger Hartwick, Terry Hartwick, Lonnie Coizil, Ray Proper, Rod Strang, David Davis, Lisa Johnson and Patrick Wasiluk. The dispatcher, who also drives part time, is Diana Smith.

The board of directors are: Deronda Lallatin, Bryan Nelson, Ron Smith, Blaine Huffman, Jim Jerome, Peggy Molnar and Linda Cook.

Pollack said Jones is a “key asset to the entire region,” noting that she serves on the Southeast Area Commission on Transportation, ODOT’s Public Transit Advisory Committee and the National Rural Transit Assistance Program Review Board.

“She’s the regional point person on intervention for human trafficking and an active alternate on the STIF/STF Consolidation Advisory Committee,” he said. “Her generosity with her time and expertise has been a critical part of capacity building with all the new talent coming online in east and central Oregon. She is a standing line item contributor to the monthly Region 5 Conference Call, where her colleagues have mostly fixated on learning her technique for maximizing value from capital dispositions.”

For more information, call 541-575-2370 or visit grantcountypeoplemover.com.

Reporter

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at angel@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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