Public Transit in Dickinson, which provides transportation to the general public and lends itself to improving people's quality of life by providing the freedom of mobility to the residents of Dickinson, has a new name — Dickinson Public Transit.

“By adding the word ‘Dickinson’ to its name, it better reflects the community it serves,” the service’s Executive Director, Colleen Rodakowski, said in a press release Wednesday.

In addition to a name-change, 2019 saw a slew of awards come their way: First, the company received two awards at the Dakota Transit Association Fall conference held in Dickinson.

Larry Robinson was awarded the 2019 Friend of Transit for North Dakota award for his support of ND’s public transit needs in the state. He has been on the Elder Care Management Board, which oversees Dickinson’s Public Transit agency since its inception in 1990. Robinson is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) in Dickinson. Transit services are vital to the elderly, disabled, and general public, and Robinson is committed to public transit for North Dakota and has been a consistent, strong, and dedicated supporter.

“We would have a difficult time providing public transit services without Robertson,” says Rodakowski. “It was an honor to present him with this recognition.”

Kelsey Connole received the 2019 Outstanding Support Staff of the Year award for North Dakota for exhibiting extraordinary dedication and professionalism. She started at Elder Care/Dickinson Public Transit in December 2015 as an administrative assistant. With Connole’s strong communication skills and problem-solving ability, she has been promoted to Finance/Human Resources Coordinator.

“Connole has grown significantly to where she is seeked out by management for her knowledge, which is why she was promoted to work in human resources,” Rodakowski said. “She is a strong member of our team and handles our customer complaints.”

Connole’s strong communication skills and problem-solving ability had her promoted to Finance/Human Resource Coordinator this past year.

What’s more, Dickinson’s Public transit also hit the highest record of trips since 2012. In 2019, Dickinson Public Transit had 45,191 one way trips, an increase of 18% from its 2018 figure of 38,315 trips.

Transit Manager Gena Bowar had this to say of the company’s accomplishments: “This last year was very exciting for Dickinson Public Transit. Our staff is incredible, and we are helping more and more people get to where they need to go at an affordable fare.”

While the increased trips are mostly from taking new riders to work and to medical appointments, Bowar was optimistic: “I am really looking forward to seeing where 2020 will take us as a company. We have many goals and ideas to strive for to make ourselves better and more productive. We are committed to helping our riders and the community.”

“We have much to be thankful for”, Rodakowski said in the press release. “A big part of Dickinson Public Transit’s success is attributed to the partnerships we create that make us stronger. Hosting the DTA Fall Conference in Dickinson was such a great opportunity for us to showcase our town, as well as provide support to DTA.”

Dickinson Public Transit has been serving the community of Dickinson for over 30 years. If you are ever in Dickinson and need a ride, call Dickinson Public Transit at 701-483- 6564.