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October has been an important month for Atomic City Transit. Not only did the bus system celebrate their first birthday, but staff members from the transportation department won an award, as well. The transportation department hosted a birthday celebration on Thursday for the public to enjoy, which was held in front of Fuller Lodge. Partygoers enjoyed free hot dogs, chips, drinks, cake and giveaways, as well as the chance to enter a drawing to win merchandise donated by local businesses. The celebration was held in honor of Atomic City Transit turning a year old, in addition to being a way to thank riders for using the bus system. On Oct. 6, Transportation Division Manager Nancy Talley and Public Works Senior Office Specialist Jill Carothers traveled to San Diego, Calif. to attend the 29th Annual American Public Transportation Association AdWheel Awards ceremony. At the ceremony, Atomic City Transit received first place honors for the Atomic City Transit Ride Guide entry in the print category, schedule notice/timetable subcategory. The awards recognize excellence in public transportation marketing and communications. The awards were presented during the APTA 2008 Annual Meeting and International EXPO, for which 17,000 people were in attendance. Nearly 750 entries were submitted in this year’s competition. “APTA is pleased to honor the winning entries of the 2008 AdWheel Awards; this competition showcases the best of the best in public transportation marketing and communications,” APTA President William W. Millar said in a press release. “These individuals and organizations have done an outstanding job in helping to further promote our industry.” Talley had nothing but praise for Carothers and the effort she put into the design of the Ride Guide. “Jill was instrumental in putting it (the guide) together,” she said. Amy Parker of Ilium Associates in Bellevue, Wash created the initial design layout and logo. Though she lives out of state, Parker is a 1990 graduate of Los Alamos High School. According to a press release, the Ride Guide was recognized for innovative thinking and creating a piece that truly works in the community it serves. Rather than simply mimicking industry standards, county staff focused on simplicity to create a comprehensive easy-to-use Ride Guide that includes an overall system map showing connectivity, individual route maps using innovative time points and simplistic schedules for each route, along with basic instructions and general information. Talley said that the goal was to keep the Ride Guide as simple as possible. “We put times on the map so you can see them and read them,” she said. Oftentimes bus schedules are not much more than graphs with times and routes, which make them hard to understand and confuse the users. “We wanted to keep it simple for the people in Los Alamos and (so) those who have never ridden the transit could understand it,” Talley continued. Carothers said that working on the Ride Guide with Parker was a good experience for her. “I was able to take the original file and make the changes to it,” she said. She was glad to have been able to work with the consultant and learn Adobe Illustrator, as well. Carothers also enjoyed her trip to the awards ceremony. “It was fun to go and see the other winners,” she said. “It gave us some good ideas about what other fun things we can do in the future. It was neat to be able to go,” she said.