The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC), the bus system contracted by Liberty University, recently received the 2009 Outstanding Transit System Achievement Award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
GLTC has made the impossible possible at Liberty. Since January 2007, GLTC buses have reduced LU’s traffic congestion, providing rides for the school’s growing student body, which now stands at 11,900. The 13-bus fleet includes six brand new Gillig low floor buses and one hybrid diesel-electric bus operating a 10-route system.
Because of the transit system, LU was also able to house students off campus at The Lynchburg Inn. GLTC also transports students to retail and grocery stores, movie theaters and other attractions that allow students to participate in Lynchburg’s commodities.
“We have a great mass transit system at the lowest possible cost, and our students can travel anywhere in the city by simply showing their Liberty ID,” said Lee Beaumont, Liberty’s Director of Auxiliary Services.
He said Liberty has approximately 2 million riders on GLTC buses annually, representing about 65 percent of all ridership in the city.
“As a result of this partnership, the student body can traverse the town in an environmentally friendly manner while reducing cars on university roads and in university parking lots,” Beaumont said.
Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine said GLTC is setting an example in the industry, “as we work at the state and local levels to ensure a greener, more sustainable transportation system in Virginia.” He said GLTC’s use of hybrid-electric buses and local partnerships with universities “have the potential to increase ridership while reducing traffic, greenhouse gases and fuel consumption.”
Beaumont said in fiscal year 2008, GLTC’s impact for Liberty was 557,000 miles reduction in driving, resulting in a 727,000-pound reduction of CO2 emissions.
The APTA assesses transit systems around the country for their achievements in efficiency and effectiveness, specifically in the areas of safety, operations, customer service practices, minority leadership and community relations.
William Millar, APTA president, called GLTC “one of the national leaders in the North American public transportation industry.”
For more information about LU’s bus routes and transit hours, please visit the LU Transit Web page.