Making the Rider Experience Convenient and Accessible
Associate Transit Planner Tara Limon commutes to work like most of the customers who use Spokane Transit’s services — by bus.
“I think it is important that the public knows that people like me ride the bus too,” said Limon. “I’ve been riding the bus to work during the pandemic, and I feel safe. I’m grateful that the service is still here and that it continues to be reliable, dependable and on time, even with the challenges of COVID-19.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Planning team has made adjustments to their work environment as safety regulations have changed.
“As an agency, we have adapted to the situation and found ways to be efficient and get our jobs done regardless of the pandemic,” said Limon. “We have all learned how to do a lot of our work remotely when possible to help keep frontline workers safe.”
Limon is the route facilities planner for STA. When planning for service improvements, Limon assesses the locations of bus stops and the amenities available as ridership patterns evolve.
“I work with bus stops, signs, shelters, benches — all of the amenities on STA’s routes that riders use,” said Limon. “My typical workday involves troubleshooting problems at stops and resolving issues like if a sign gets knocked down or goes missing. I also handle customer requests like adding a trash can at a stop.”
While many suppliers face delays due to the current crisis, Limon has adjusted her work to continue to meet deadlines.
“There are longer lead times for purchasing. When I need to replace something like bus stop signs for the January Service Change, I have to order them in advance of our normal schedule to make sure they arrive in time,” said Limon.
While some aspects of her job have changed, Limon’s focus remains on making sure the rider experience is convenient and accessible.
“My favorite part of the job is making bus stops better and more enjoyable for the riders to use,” said Limon. “At STA, we care about our riders and we care about the quality of the transportation we provide. When STA gets suggestions or complaints about our service, we take them seriously and are responsive to the feedback.”