The Kansas Public Transit Association (KPTA) recognized Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation General Public Transportation with the Innovation of the Year Award and the Willie M. Murry Award at the KPTA Annual Meeting.
The Innovation of the Year Award—also called the KPTA Innovative Service Award—is presented in recognition of innovative service initiatives that reflect service to their community and a technology or technique that may be transferable to other Kansas communities. PBPN Transportation was recognized for its program which accepts donations of new household items as payment for rides. During the presentation of the award, KPTA mentioned Rachel McCoy’s work with the Donations for Rides program. “This was Rachel’s baby,” Celeste Weber, PBPN Transportation Coordinator, said of the award-winning program. McCoy passed away while working for PBPN Transportation, but her leadership ensured the continued success of Donations for Rides.
KPTA also recognized PBPN Transportation Coordinator Celeste Weber with the Willie M. Murry Award for her extraordinary dedication and her contributions to public transit by providing distinguished service to the entire Kansas public transportation community. The Willie M. Murry Award is KPTA’s highest honor. It is named for Rev. Willie M. Murry of Coffeyville, who was a dedicated community leader, a major supporter for Kansas public transportation services, and a member of the KPTA board. KPTA established the Willie M. Murry Award to honor an individual or organization that has carried on in Rev. Murry’s spirit by providing distinguished service to the entire Kansas public transportation community for a sustained period of time.
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation General Public Transportation provides transportation service to all residents of the PBPN Common Land, Jackson County, and Shawnee County with three or more wheeled devices accessible lift minivans, which provides specialized transportation, and one back up 12-passenger bus. PBPN General Public Transportation transports the public for medical, nutrition, recreation, and employment-related activities. The vehicles are each equipped with cellular telephones for dispatching as well as providing emergency communication in inclement weather or where the need arises. PBPN General Public Transportation strives to encourage the improvement, efficiency, and use of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Public Transportation system within the common land, Jackson County, and Shawnee County in order to enhance access of employment, health care, recreation, and public services for the general public. It is the policy of PBPN General Public Transportation to provide the most effective, efficient, safest, and uninterrupted transportation service to all the residents of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Common Land, Jackson County, and Shawnee County.
The Kansas Public Transit Association was founded in 1981 by individual persons and Kansas transit systems interested in promoting public transportation in Kansas. KPTA has grown from 10 original members in 1981 to over 160 today. The Association has taken a leading role in working with state and federal government for equity in regulation towards public transportation. KPTA takes an active role nationally and is a member of the American Public Transit Association, the Community Transportation Association of America, the Southwest Transit Association, and Kansas Economic Lifelines.