February 6, 2014 12:00PM (EST)

Public Transportation Public and Private Partnerships – Universal Access Increasing Ridership and Revenue in Central Florida

What is Universal Access?  The benefit of Mobility –  The term Universal Access is a unique way to provide a select group of individuals access to standard bus service throughout Polk County.  By contracting with Polk Transit, which includes Lakeland Area Mass Transit District operating as the Citrus Connection, and Winter Haven Area Transit under the direction of Polk County Board of County Commissioners, free transit service is available to employees, students, etc. by simply showing a valid ID badge. Download a pdf copy of the slides.

Presenter: Tom Phillips, Executive Director, Lakeland Area Mass Transit District d/b/a The Citrus Connection and the Polk Transit

Presenter Bio: Tom Phillips serves as the Executive Director of both the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District d/b/a The Citrus Connection and the Polk Transit. Tom came to Citrus Connection from Michigan City, Indiana in August of 2011. He was employed at PACE Suburban Bus in Chicago. He managed the largest US Paratransit site. At Citrus Connection, Tom oversees 150 employees. He administers an annual budget of $10 million dollars and in just one short year, he has introduced a day pass based system, increased ridership 27%, reduced operating costs by 8.6%, and refunded the County over $100,000. He has secured funding agreements with Polk State College, PACE Center for Girls, Learning Resource Center, Legoland, Southeastern University, Explorations V Children’s Museum, Everest University, University of South Florida the Lakeland Campus and the COLTS program. His most recent accolade was being chosen by Mass Transit Magazine as 2012’s Top 40 Under Forty – The Best and Brightest. Tom has been married to his wife Michelle since 2001. They have two boys, Marshall, age 10 and William, age 4.


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