The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority has won an award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for its innovative efforts to make seniors more comfortable with using mass transit.

Last fall, officials from the transit agency made a presentation to residents at the Apple Valley Senior Center. Then they took 15 residents for a ride on the Metro Red line to the Mall of America and on to downtown Minneapolis via the Blue Line to give them practical experience.

The effort caught the attention of APTA, which awarded MVTA a Certificate of Merit for Safety during the 2014 Bus Safety and Security Excellence Awards at the APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference earlier this month in Kansas City, Mo.

"This agency created a travel training program that went beyond the classroom to conduct excursions and safety training for older adults, a group that is projected to represent 20 percent of the local population in the next 10 years," the trade group that seeks to advance public transportation said in a news release.

A Certificate of Merit is given to transit agencies the exhibit excellence in safety or security.

MVTA serves the communities of Rosemount, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Eagan and Savage.

Photo credit: Met Council

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