November 19, 2019 — During the November 18, 2019, Wilsonville City Council meeting, the Oregon Transit Association recognized Wilsonville’s South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) as the 2019 recipient of the Public Transportation System Innovation Award. Originally presented at the association’s annual conference, Oct. 27-30 in Seaside, the award honors a public transportation system that has demonstrated innovative concepts or effective problem-solving techniques not previously applied in transit industry.
SMART was recognized for being the first small urban transit agency in Oregon to acquire and fully implement the operation of two battery-electric (EV) buses. SMART was the only transit agency in Oregon to be awarded a $1.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration’s in 2017’s “Low or No-Emission Bus Program” for EV buses. SMART’s growing fleet of alternative energy buses, which also includes CNG and hybrid diesel electric buses, advances SMART’s goal to rely entirely on alternative energy sources by 2028.
No actions were taken by Council during the brief session.
During the work session prior to the meeting, SMART staff sought Council’s direction on suggested improvements to the City’s Dial-a-Ride service, which provides on-demand transit services to seniors and people with disabilities. A 12-person steering committee developed several recommendations after a year-long review of operations, recommending numerous improvements that include service expansions, simplified application processes and more flexible pick-up windows.
Additionally, City staff provided a virtual tour of public art in Wilsonville. A thorough inventory of City- and public-owned art is being photographed, archived and mapped on the City’s website to allow residents to more easily discover and interact with more than 35 pieces currently displayed throughout town. Council encouraged the project be expanded to include all art on public property.
Source: Press release. City of Wilsonville. 11.19.19