StarMetro Wins National Transportation Planning Award

Decentralized Route System Recognized for Excellence

Today, the American Planning Association (APA) announced StarMetro as the recipient of the 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Transportation Planning. StarMetro was chosen to receive this prestigious award for the successful launch of its decentralized route system in July 2011.

‘StarMetro’s decentralization can be held up as a standard for public participation and cooperation,’ said Ann C. Bagley, chair of the APA Awards jury.

‘When you change the way people move around a community, there are bound to be bumps in the road,’ said Mayor John Marks. ‘Understanding the challenges and with customers in mind, StarMetro coordinated an extensive public participation campaign as part of the decentralization plan that will continue to benefit the community for years to come.’
The Transportation Planning award recognizes efforts to increase transportation choices for all populations, while reducing dependence on private automobiles, helping ease congestion and reducing climate change impacts.

The newly, decentralized route system has successfully achieved the goals set forth by the City Commission, including:

  • Reducing transfers at the downtown terminal by 30 percent;
  • Decreasing total transfers system-wide by 14 percent;
  • Decreasing the number of routes that share at least one mile of service from 21 to 6;
  • Increasing bus frequency from an average of 51 minutes to 34 minutes;
  • Installing more than 50 bus shelters and benches; and
  • Increasing ridership by 2.5 percent from July 2011 to June 2012 when compared to the average ridership of the three prior years under the old, hub-and-spoke system.

‘As a long-time bus rider, the change in my experience has been dramatic. I now enjoy far greater flexibility in reaching destinations all over town, more directly and more quickly,’ said Thomas L. Clark, StarMetro customer. ‘Because of these changes, I now use the bus to go more places.’

The National Planning Excellence Award for Transportation Planning will be presented to StarMetro at a special awards luncheon held during APA’s National Planning Conference in Chicago on Tuesday, April 16. In addition, StarMetro will be featured in Planning magazine, APA’s flagship publication.

To view all of the National Planning Excellence and Achievement Award recipients, visit the APA awards webpage. The American Planning Association’s national awards program, which bestows the profession’s highest honor, is a proud tradition established more than 50 years ago to recognize outstanding community plans, planning programs and initiatives, public education efforts and individuals for their leadership on planning issues.

For more information about StarMetro services, please call StarMetro’s main office at 891-5200 or visit Other ways to view information include liking StarMetro’s official Facebook page at or following the organization on Twitter at

Contact: Brian Waterman, StarMetro Planning Manager, 891-5564; or Heather Teter, Communications, 891-5206