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DHRD Transportation Program awarded for outstanding service

By Adriana Fehrs

Corky Sias, DHRD Transportation Program Transit Manager, smiles as he sits with the two awards the department recently were awarded. The Montana Transit Association awarded DHRD for their exemplary safety and efforts coordinating with other Montana transit systems. (Adriana Fehrs photo) Corky Sias, DHRD Transportation Program Transit Manager, smiles as he sits with the two awards the department recently were awarded. The Montana Transit Association awarded DHRD for their exemplary safety and efforts coordinating with other Montana transit systems. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

PABLO – The CSKT Department of Human Resource Development (DHRD) Transportation Program has recently been awarded for their exemplary services.

In late February, Corky Sias, DHRD Transportation Program Transit Manager, applied for the Montana Transit Association (MTA) ‘Exemplifying a Commitment to Safety’ Award, with the urging from Lynn Hellegaard, MTA Executive Director. “Lynn [Hellegaard] told me to apply for the award, she seemed really adamant about it,” says Sias.

The MTA safety award goes to only one Montana transit system each year, to transit systems that go above and beyond standard safety measures. Any transit systems that have zero accidents in a calendar year can apply.

“It was our first time applying,” says Sias. The program put in their application for the award in February, and at the MTA Spring Training Conference in Bozeman on April 23, the CSKT DHRD Transportation Program was presented with the ‘Exemplifying a Commitment to Safety’ award for zero preventable accidents in the over 767,543 miles driven in the 2013 calendar year. Out of all of the Montana Transit systems, CSKT DHRD travels the most miles, Sias explains, “We usually do around 700,000 miles, and we have the same number of riders as the Richland County transit in Sydney, but they do not do as many miles.”

The celebration didn’t stop there. Corky Sias was also presented with an Orval Meyer Award for Transit Excellence. An award Arlene Templer, DHRD Director, won in 2007. He says the award is based on his collaboration with other transit systems.

On April 23, the CSKT DHRD Transportation Program was presented with the ‘Exemplifying a Commitment to Safety’ award for zero preventable accidents in the over 767,543 miles driven in the 2013 calendar year. Corky Sias, DHRD Transportation Program Transit Manager, was also presented with an Orval Meyer Award for Transit Excellence. He says the award is based on his collaboration with other transit systems. (Adriana Fehrs photo) On April 23, the CSKT DHRD Transportation Program was presented with the ‘Exemplifying a Commitment to Safety’ award for zero preventable accidents in the over 767,543 miles driven in the 2013 calendar year. Corky Sias, DHRD Transportation Program Transit Manager, was also presented with an Orval Meyer Award for Transit Excellence. He says the award is based on his collaboration with other transit systems. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

Sias is accredited with collaborating with Eagle Transit, of Kalispell, Sanders County Transit, Mt. Lion transit, of Missoula, Lake County Transit, and Mr. TMA Transit. “Often times, we will pick up riders from different transit systems if that transit system can’t and if we are in the area. We also have wheel chair lifts, which some of the other buses may not, so we come and help,” says Sias.

Nationwide, the transit systems are urged to collaborate. “We do a lot of stuff with the state. We receive funding from the state, so we often work together,” says Sias. The MTA feels that he has gone above and beyond the call of duty, especially after Sias donated two vans with wheel chair ramps to the Sanders County Transit system. CSKT DHRD had recently received buses from the MTA and no longer needed the vans. “We had outgrown them, and Sanders County transit needed vehicles that did not require a Commercial Drivers Licensed (CDL) driver, so they could travel across state lines.”

Sias also is accredited for the upstart of the interlinking ‘Grey Hound Connect’ route that travels between Whitefish and Missoula – which was a six month process – and is called the Flathead Transit.

Sias reminds transit riders that DHRD transit is open to the public, and only charges $2 each way, and in the month of September they are offering free rides for everyone.

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