Several changes to Capital Metro’s service and fares are taking place this Sunday. Prior to each major service change, we do outreach at the transit centers, bus stops, etc., that will be affected by the changes. Today through Tuesday, Capital Metro employees and volunteers are out in force to talk about bus route changes, new fares, an expanded MetroRail schedule, and new tobacco rules at our park & rides and transit facilities.
Among that group will be Jace Deloney, who’s one of our inaugural group of seven who have been trained in Capital Metro’s new MetroAmbassadors volunteer program. Jace is an interesting fellow. Of course he rides and enjoys the bus, but he’s also got some constructive criticism for us. He says, “One thing I think CapMetro could do a better job of–and the likely reason this program was formed–is including more citizen input in the planning decisions that CapMetro makes.”
We’re always striving to be more inclusive in our processes around here, it’s true. Community Involvement Coordinator Maria Garza thought we could create a program that would be rewarding for people interested in transit and volunteering, while giving some valuable information to Capital Metro about what riders need and want from their transit provider. (And also providing some needed assistance to us to reach everyone prior to these big changes taking place.)
Maria developed the MetroAmbassadors program. After an orientation, volunteers will be contacted to help with a variety of different events, from administering rider surveys to helping people plan trips. If a volunteer works at least five hours in a month, he will get a 31-day pass. She’s built in other volunteer appreciation components, including a yearly luncheon. We’ll be hosting a second orientation class soon, so if you’re interested, fill out the application form.
Jace says, “This program is cool because we get to bridge the gap between CapMetro staff and actual users of CapMetro services.” We’ll have to round back with him after his first volunteer gig, this Sunday. Look for him downtown, and tell him “Thanks!” for helping fellow riders and potential riders.