Holiday Food Drive Challenges the Community to “Stuff the Bus”

STB-bus-placard_finalEarlier today, Dec. 10, Capital Metro joined Whole Foods Market and the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas in announcing our holiday food drive partnership–Stuff the Bus!

We have teamed up for the first time ever to ask the community to help “Stuff the Bus” to assist area residents in need during the holiday season. The food drive is being held Dec. 14-16 at Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin.

The goal of the three-day event is to fill a full-size Capital Metro bus with 20,000 pounds of non-perishable food items, benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. According to the food bank, 20,000 pounds of food equates to approximately 16,000 meals to families in need throughout the community.

“The donated food from Stuff the Bus will be a tremendous help in feeding the hungry right here in central Texas,” said Hank Perret, Capital Area Food Bank of Texas President/CEO. “We cannot thank our partners at Capital Metro and Whole Foods enough for their outstanding commitment to bettering the lives of our friends and neighbors in need this holiday season.”

Donations are welcome anytime between 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Capital Metro bus, located at the corner of 6th and Bowie in front of the Whole Foods Market culinary center entrance. Volunteers from all three organizations will be on hand to accept food items and load them onto the bus.

The food bank encourages donations of healthy, non-perishable food items, such as canned meats and tuna, canned vegetables, pasta, beans, healthy cereal and peanut butter. During the drive, participants may also purchase pre-packaged food donations at Whole Foods Market in $5, $10 and $20 increments.

“We are honored to participate in the Stuff the Bus campaign with Capital Metro and Capital Area Food Bank,” said Whole Foods Market Lamar interim store team leader Wade Taylor. “Nourishing our communities is what Whole Foods Market is passionate about, and we are excited to rally with our guests around this great cause.”

Several Capital Metro bus routes are located within a block of whole Foods Market, including:

  • #1L/1M North Lamar/South Congress
  • #3 Burnet/Manchaca
  • #4 Montopolis
  • #21/22 Exposition/Chicon
  • #101 N. Lamar/S. Congress Ltd.

“Capital Metro is so pleased to be a part of this wonderful holiday effort,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “We’re especially looking forward to working together with our partner organizations for the benefit of all Central Texans during this very special and giving time of the year.”

The three-day event will feature live music by local bands on Friday, Dec. 14 from 5-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, from 12-4 p.m. at the donation site.

Capital Metro will also sponsor the Whole Foods Market Kid’s Club on Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. Employees and MetroAmbassador volunteers will be on hand to show children how to make colorful paper tree ornaments from recycled transit maps, ribbons and other materials.

People are invited to join the “Stuff the Bus” cause on Facebook or follow the event on Twitter at #StuffTheBus.

Here are a few pictures of our major partnership announcement news conference with Whole Foods Market and the Capital Area Food Bank–to see some more pics of the fun, check out our Facebook album:

The three partners coming together to announce the big food drive.
The three partners coming together to announce the big food drive.

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Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson being interviewed by FOX.
Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson being interviewed by FOX.

Volunteering with Olympian Marlen Esparza

The folks at Capital Metro take great efforts in staying connected with the local community in our service area. We care to help the people who use our services.

That’s why we’d like to give major props to our two worker-bees — Juan and Celso — who helped raise awareness of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Fit Pit Boxing event and volunteered last week alongside 2012 Olympian Marlen Esparza in teaching some Central Texas kids a new skill.

With a crowd of about 24, local boxers and Olympic Medalist Marlen Esparza taught some boxing basics.

“Marlen was there to give some motivational words on the hard work it takes to be the best,” said Capital Metro’s Community Involvement Team Coordinator Juan Wah. “Marlen was great! Coach Art and the Fit Pit staff did great helping teach the Bigs and Lils the basics of the sweet science.”

Check out some pictures of the fun!

To Our Riders: “You’re One in a Million”

In celebration of Capital Metro’s ridership increase over the past year, we will be partnering with Randolph Brooks Credit Union, Black Star Co-op and Midtown Commons in hosting our “You’re One in a Million” rider appreciation party on Aug. 10.

From October 2011 to June 2012, Capital Metro saw ridership increase by over one million trips from the previous time frame a year ago. Bus ridership increased by 3.9 percent, or roughly 898,000 trips and MetroRail ridership grew by over 49 percent, or roughly 133,000 trips. Total ridership is on pace to exceed 33 million passenger trips in 2012, with a projected increase to 34 million in 2013.  The increase in ridership is the direct result of streamlining and improving connectivity of routes throughout Capital Metro’s 522 square-mile service area, and also the dedication of area residents and visitors in choosing public transit.

All transit riders are invited on Friday! To thank passengers for riding, Capital Metro will hold customer celebration events at several MetroRail stations on August 10.

Early morning commuters at the Downtown, Howard, Lakeline and Leander stations will be treated to fresh donuts, hot coffee and “You’re One in a Million” buttons, courtesy of Randolph Brooks Credit Union.

Crestview Station will become party central from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with balloons, banners and a rousing welcome from local band Conjunto Los Pinkys and Friends as each train pulls in. Through a Capital Metro partnership with Black Star Co-op at Midtown Commons, all transit riders who present a valid Capital Metro pass or ticket will also receive $1.50 off any house beer. In addition to the fun atmosphere, various lucky passengers will be selected at random from arriving trains and buses to win 7-Day Capital Metro passes. Crestview Station is located at 6920 North Lamar Boulevard in Austin.

“This event is to show how much we appreciate our riders,” said Capital Metro President and CEO Linda S. Watson. “At Capital Metro we strive to provide dependable, beneficial transit options for the community; we will continue to build on our ridership success into the future as we look at more ways of extending transit throughout the region.”Crestview Station

Crestview Station symbolizes a central hub of transit within Capital Metro’s service area where MetroRail and our busiest bus routes combine; in the future it also will be a location on MetroRapid Lamar route.

Riders are strongly encouraged to ride transit to the event, since there will be no parking available at Midtown Commons. MetroRail riders can get off at the Crestview Station and bus riders can take routes 1L/1M, 101 to the celebration. Use our Trip Planner to get step-by-step directions for using Capital Metro routes.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news. See you there!

Details

Date: Friday, August 10, 2012

Location: Crestview Station, 6920 North Lamar Blvd.

Time: 4:00pm-7:00pm

Take your valid Capital Metro bus/rail ticket to Black Star Co-op on Aug. 10 to get $1.50 off house beer.

A special thanks to our partners:

Arthur Murillo is “best bus operator in North America”

Arthur Murillo is ready to compete
Four-time international champion Arthur Murillo has driven buses for Capital Metro customers for 28 years.

Capital Metro Bus Operator Arthur Murillo has been named the best bus operator in North America. He competed in the 2012 International Bus Roadeo in California this weekend and won 1st Place in the 35-foot bus competition. Congratulations Arthur!

This makes Arthur a four-time winner of the International title, we are very proud to have a representative of Capital Metro accomplish such success.

The Roadeo is a bus operator and mechanic competition held at the local, state and international level every year. Along with Arthur, our mechanic team placed at both the local and state level earlier this year.

The American Public Transportation Association International Competition Bus Roadeo is designed to put bus operators and mechanics in their element as they are judged against their peers in a series of challenges. 

Dottie, Arthur and his trophy
VP of Bus & Paratransit Services Dottie Watkins and Bus Operator Arthur Murillo in Long Beach.

Bus operators must steer their way along an obstacle course  as they are timed and judged for accuracy and safety. In the Mechanic competition, participants are judged on their ability to resolve bus maintenance and diagnostic issues while also being timed and compared on accuracy.

The Capital Metro team received an overall ranking of #7 among the 28 other teams in the competition. Arthur completed his obstacle course in an astounding 7 minutes and 3 seconds, beating out 19 other bus operators from across the country.