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Atomic City Transit wins top awards

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ACT takes first place in AdWheel Awards

By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos’ own Atomic City Transit has risen above nearly 750 competitors to garner first place honors in the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) AdWheel Awards.

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The awards recognize excellence in public transportation marketing and communications.

Los Alamos County Transportation Division Manager Nancy Talley and County Management Analyst Jill Carothers accepted the 2009 AdWheel Award for Atomic City Transit’s “Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” commercial during the APTA’s annual conference Oct. 5 in Orlando, Fla.

The local commercial stood out in the electronic media category, television advertisement and public service announcement subcategory during the 30th annual awards event.

County Administrator Tony Mortillaro congratulated all involved in earning Atomic City Transit’s latest award.

“The success from my perspective is that Atomic City Transit was a smooth startup and has continued to operate smoothly and has been well-received by the community. It’s a professionally run division of the county with employees who are resourceful and dedicated,” Mortillaro said. “Our drivers and maintenance staff are exceptional and they care about their riders and I think people appreciate that and that’s recognized in the awards we’ve received.”

Los Alamos County Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman agreed saying the people the county hires to work at Atomic City Transit make all the difference.

“They’re very friendly and they look after their riders,” he said.

The award-winning “Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” commercial features local groups singing “The Wheels on the Bus” song in various locations throughout the community. The commercial was a collaborative effort between Reel Deal Screen Advertising, PAC-8 and Los Alamos County staff members. It has aired on screens at the Reel Deal Theater and on the Public Access Channel (PAC) 8 in Los Alamos since February 2009 and has become a local favorite.

“I get comments all the time about how much people love the bus ad. Some say the bus ad is better than the movie,” said Los Alamos resident Kate O’Donnell of Reel Deal Screen Advertising.

Local musicians David Hemsing, Dan Seitz and James Carothers produced the music heard in the commercial.

In April, Atomic City Transit earned an award of achievement from the Federal Transit Administration for the highest growth percentage in transit ridership in a non-urbanized area transit program in New Mexico for FY-2008.

Atomic City Transit also received the System of the Year award from the New Mexico Department of Transportation for the 2008 Section 5316 Job Access and Reverse Commute service.

Both awards were presented at the New Mexico Passenger Transportation Association’s Annual Conference in Albuquerque.

Atomic City Transit completed two years of operations in October. Its annual ridership increased from 254,502 in its first year to 403,342 in its second year.

For bus route and schedule information access, www.Atomic

CityTransit.com or call 661-RIDE(7433).