Aug. 6—The East Texas Council of Governments' rural transit system, GoBus, is a recipient of the South West Transit Association's 2022 Spotlight Awards.
"The SWTA Spotlight Awards represent a great and long-standing tradition in the SWTA Nation in recognizing the outstanding work our members do in communicating their services, events and innovations while reinforcing that transit matters everywhere, especially in our part of the country," said SWTA Executive Director Rich Sampson. "We were pleased to present these awards for 2022 and hear the winners share the details of their award-winning campaigns."
ETCOG received three awards for campaigns or materials produced in promoting its new GoBus mobile app, updating a five-year Regional Transportation Plan, and announcing the return of trip fares in the fall of 2021.
Awards received include:
—Spotlight Campaign — Category 1 Systems
—Hit The Spot Award: Electronic — Category 1 Systems
—Hit The Spot Award: Event — Category 1 Systems
"This is a very exciting win, and the Communications team is delighted to be recognized in this way," said ETCOG's Communications Director, Lindsay Vanderbilt. "Staff has taken great measures to enhance the GoBus customer experience with new technologies and involve East Texans in regional transportation planning. We enjoy finding unique and creative ways to bring these messages to the public."
A member of the ETCOG communications team joined other award recipients and marketing experts to share details on their award-winning campaigns and projects at the SWTA Summer University Conference held in July in Rogers, Arkansas.
The awards, reviewed and judged by marketing and communication professionals at transit agencies and private marketing firms, are among the oldest awards recognizing marketing campaigns and projects in the public transportation industry, first awarded in 1990. SWTA's membership covers Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
ETCOG's rural transportation system, GoBus, is available for all rural residents to access safe, reliable, and friendly public transportation. GoBus provides daily local service within Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Harrison, Henderson, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties, and the non-urbanized areas of Gregg and Smith Counties.
GoBus has about 30 vehicles on the road making between 500 and 800 trips a day. It provides demand/response service, taking customers where they need to go, such as work, school, grocery store or medical trips.
It launched its phone app in August of last year.
ETCOG is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts, and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region. ETCOG assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development.
Established in 1970, ETCOG, either directly or through its contractors, provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers and job seekers.
ETCOG and its contractors also build the 911 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services, and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs and environmental grant funding for the region.