Blacksburg Transit was recognized last week with two awards from the Virginia Transit Association at their annual conference.
Blacksburg Transit’s Operations Manager, Harland Brown, earned Virginia Transit Association’s inaugural Transit Employee Unsung Hero Award for his dedication to Blacksburg Transit during the organization’s driver shortage in 2015-2016. With supply of drivers at an all-time low and the demand for increased service at an all-time high, someone had to manage the situation. Harland Brown and his team of supervisors sacrificed family time and normal work duties to keep bus service on the road. In the end, it was Harland’s leadership, compassion and integrity that kept his team and Blacksburg Transit together during this tough time.
Blacksburg Transit also earned the 2017 Outstanding Public Transportation Marketing Award for their “Drive for BT” advertising campaign. In the submitted campaign, Blacksburg Transit highlighted their unique social media advertising efforts that helped to solve their driver shortage issue. By adding social media to their advertising mix and strategically targeting three age groups with intriguing creative, Blacksburg Transit increased staffing by 22 percent. Blacksburg Transit’s goal was to bring in 200 applications over a 12-month period; they met and exceeded this goal with these ads in just five months.