COTA, PSS collaborate on Passenger Assistance and Safety Sensitive Training

Posted on Jan 23 2019


Transit operators of the Commonwealth Office on Transit Authority and the CNMI Public School System Pupil Transportation pose during the completion of their two-day Passenger Assistance and Safety Sensitive training over the weekend. (Contributed Photo)

The Special Assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda P. Camacho announced that the operations team and the Public School System Pupil Transportation Office have recently completed training toward Passenger Assistance and Safety Sensitive certification.

Camacho explained that in its fourth year of this training, the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority is grateful to Education Commissioner, Mr. Glenn Muna and director for the Pupil Transportation Office, Shaun San Nicholas, for accepting COTA’s invitation to collaborate in order to meet the passenger assistance standards and the CNMI’s overall rider demographics.

“I want to extend my appreciation to Commissioner Glenn Muna and Mr. Shaun San Nicolas for accepting COTA’s invitation to collaborate,” said Camacho.

“A total of 18 operators took part in this training, and we are very pleased with the assistance of our CTAA (Community Transportation Association of America) trainer who is based out of Guam and is a current board member for the Guam Regional Transit Authority. We’ve implemented many national standards as a result of this training and will continue to deliver safe and courteous transit services for our community.”

Camacho added that by successfully achieving a full receipt of certifications by the CTAA, transit operators of COTA and PSS will be better versed in ADA-compliance, equipment operations, and customer service needs, especially during times of natural or man-made disasters.

Certified CTAA Passenger Service and Safety trainer Ginger Porter, M.Ed expressed that COTA operators and staff as well as PSS have continued to build upon their knowledge and apply it in practice successfully over the years.

“For a few of them, this training is a good refresher course especially when dealing with new equipment but overall the teams are knowledgeable and seasoned operators who are very proficient and have the potential to become in-house trainers as well,” she said.

Porter noted that the agency is going in the right direction by taking initiative to remain up to date to national standards.

“COTA has a great group of individuals who truly care about the needs of this community. I commend the agency’s effective management and the consistency in training towards their overall growth,” Porter said.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres emphasized that the continuous training is needed as the agency expands in the next few years as well as the need to push for transit alignment in critical sectors.

“In previous years, we’ve ensured that we meet national standards and that our drivers were given the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge because the most important asset in any transit agency or provider is our transit operators. Whether our operators serve our public schools or provide services to our elderly and people with disabilities, it is important that we maintain the highest standard possible,” Torres said.

Following the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut and Super Typhoon Yutu, Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios extended their gratitude to PSS and COTA for working together to assist the community safely and efficiently and now come together to align standards of service.

“As COTA continues to prioritize training and is collaborating with PSS to better serve our community, there is so much progress ahead of us, and we commend both agencies for their resilience and foresight. I thank Education Commissioner Glenn Muna for his continued partnership and all our transit operators. I am very hopeful that our transportation services in the Commonwealth will grow and strengthen as a result,” Palacios said.

For more information on the Commonwealth Office on Transit Authority, log on to (PR)

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