Quarterly RIDE Fall 2020

Message from the CEO

Keeping Employees and Customers Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The health and safety of our Long Beach Transit team is one of my top priorities. This is especially true during the current COVID-19 pandemic. I recognize that these are challenging times for everyone, especially essential workers – like many LBT employees – who face the public every day.

I am proud that we have been on the leading edge of keeping employees safe. LBT began its preventive measures the week of February 3, 2020, following the first reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. At all our facilities, we installed additional hand sanitizer dispensers and distributed individual hand sanitizers to all employees. Following the declarations of federal, state and local health emergencies, we implemented additional actions to control and reduce the risk associated with COVID-19, including:

Increased cleaning and disinfecting

Transit route and service modifications

Rear-door boarding, minimizing Operator contact

Face masks required onboard

Onboard social distancing; skip a seat, skip a row

Concurrent with these measures, we continued to protect the health of LBT employees by requiring face masks in all facilities and promoting CDC best practices, such as frequent hand washing, social distancing, as well as implementing modified employee work schedules.

On July 9, I presented an agency update to discuss the importance of continued best practices to minimize the spread of COVID-19. At that time, I also informed everyone  there would be facility changes to promote social distancing. Some of these changes have already been implemented. Read about them by clicking the link below.

Together, we can get through this challenging time. I truly appreciate all that you do to make everyday life better for the customers and communities we serve.

Message from Deputy CEO,

Debra Johnson

It is with mixed emotions that I announce my decision to resign from my position as Deputy Chief Executive Officer with Long Beach Transit. As many heard, I will be relocating to Denver, Colorado at the end of October to assume the position of General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Transportation District (RTD).

This next chapter affords me the realization of one of my career goals to lead a metropolitan multi-modal transportation agency. As if it were destined, I will be the first woman to lead RTD in its 51-year history.

I am so grateful that I have had the good fortune to work alongside such a talented team of individuals who are truly committed to surpassing expectations; a team who finds the wherewithal to give more when there appears to be no more capacity; a team that is dedicated to connecting communities, moving people…making everyday life better.

I am tremendously appreciative of all that has been afforded to me at LBT during my six-year tenure. I have learned many things and developed solid relationships with dynamic people, considering I am ‘person in the people business.’

This is not ‘goodbye,’ but a ‘catch you on the next route,’ as I am confident our paths will intersect again. Continue working steadfastly in making LBT a world-class organization.

With gratitude,

 

Hello LBTeam

There’s a new way for employees to keep up to date with important updates from LBT! In the last issue of The Quarterly RIDE, we introduced Hello LBT, a customer communication system that uses text messages to share service updates and notifications with our customers in real time.

We are excited to now announce the launch of Hello LBTeam – a new, voluntary internal communication system using the same technology to bring updates and important information to LBT employees. 

This new communication system allows all employees to stay up to date on the latest LBT news and updates, including service changes, COVID-19 procedures and other important information. If you would like to sign-up, just text “HELLO” to 855.922.2770 to opt-in, no additional app download needed. If you have questions regarding Hello LBTeam or need assistance signing up, please contact Amanda Quezada, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, at x8463 or aquezada@lbtransit.com.

Moving you through

As part of our Fall marketing efforts, LBT is launching a new campaign ‘LBT Moving You Through,’ to inform customers about LBT’s continued commitment to keeping employees and essential workers in our community safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

LBT serves a number of communities by transporting essential workers who do their part to keep their communities healthy, fed and safe. ‘LBT Moving You Through’ means that LBT services are there for our customers whether they are venturing out for essential trips, reacquainting themselves with their community (when the time is right) or simply looking for new experiences. We are here moving people, even as the world around has slowed.

To see some of the new campaign collateral, please visit team.ridelbt.com/moving.

 

Meet The CRC Team – More than Marketing

No longer just “Marketing,” the Customer Relations and Communications team has grown and evolved to provide more assistance and resources to customers and employees alike. The department was established with the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget with the primary role of enhancing employee and customer communication.

What does the CRC team do? Externally, the team acts as a liaison between the organization, LBT customers, the communities we serve, as well as the media. Internally, the team is responsible for employee communications and works closely with other departments to ensure all messages to employees are easily understood and consistent with LBT’s overall look and feel.

The CRC team consists of three sub-teams:
Community Relations – establishes and maintains LBT’s presence in the community through events, sponsorship, community programming and outreach.

Customer Care – provides assistance to customers through LBT’s call center and the Transit & Visitor Information Center in Downtown Long Beach.

Communications – manages media relations and develops plans and programs to promote LBT to customers, employees and the community through digital, social and printed materials, including advertising, the website and the text communication platform, Hello LBT.

The CRC team serves as a resource for all employees, with the goal of supporting and enhancing the functions of all LBT departments. To learn more about the CRC team and the services provided, visit team.ridelbt.com/crc-team.

Employee Engagement Committee

Last month, the LBT Employee Engagement Committee began meeting to collaborate and brainstorm ideas about possible future employee events and other ways to enhance employee engagement. The idea for increased employee engagement evolved from strategic planning sessions held earlier this year.

While the Committee is in its infant stages now, it is already developing ideas it will bring to the Executive Leadership Team down the road. Thank you to everyone that volunteered to be a part of the Committee! If you’re interested in participating, please reach out to Jocelin Padilla at x8551 or jpadilla@lbtransit.com.

COVID-19 Workplace Best Practices

As a reminder, LBT continues to follow CDC Guidelines and best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all employees, including:

  • Requiring face coverings while at any LBT facility
  • Asking employees to wipe down surfaces, such as breakroom tables and chairs, common work areas and vending machines after use
  • Replacing water fountains with contactless water dispensers (until they are replaced, please use the sinks)
  • Limiting the number of passengers in non-revenue vehicles (no more than two). If two are riding together, one should be seated in the back.
  • Additionally, LBT installed a Germicidal Ultra Violet System implemented on AC units which complement our existing air filtration system to provide cleaner air at LBT1, LBT2 and the TVIC.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

LBTCO is coming

In 2019, LBT conducted a facility assessment to help the agency plan for future needs and expansion, with a focus on the facilities that would be needed for a zero-emission bus fleet.

Urban Engineers, the consulting firm selected to perform this task, assisted LBT in conducting an assessment of existing infrastructure, operations and program needs, resulting in the development of a Facility Master Plan to determine and outline LBT’s programmatic needs for the next 20 years. The plan allows the agency to gauge its facilities’ needs given growth of five, 10 and 20 percent.

Currently, both of LBT’s operating and maintenance facilities are functioning at full capacity.

To accommodate future zero-emission buses, LBT will need to upgrade LBT1 and LBT2. The assessment noted that LBT would need to find an administrative facility in a new location.

Concurrently, an opportunity arose for LBT to purchase office facilities previously occupied by the Port of Long Beach, located at 4801 Airport Plaza Dr., along Spring Street between Lakewood Boulevard and Clark Avenue. With the construction of the new Long Beach City Hall and Harbor Department Buildings in Downtown Long Beach, the Port vacated the building and the two agencies negotiated a deal. In August 2020, LBT closed escrow on the property.

The Airport Plaza building will give LBT the office space needed to accommodate employees, as current space is over capacity. Moreover, the new office building will free up space at LBT1 to upgrade and expand capacity for battery electric buses. LBT is coordinating activities to undertake facilities upgrades at LBT1, including larger bus bays, additional battery-electric charging and building improvements.

LBT will also look to future modifications to LBT2 to accommodate battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell bus fleets.

Working for Long Beach Transit, we become familiar with the terms LBT1 and LBT2, referring to the Anaheim Street and Cherry Avenue locations. Now, another moniker will be in the mix – LBTCO – Long Beach Transit Corporate Offices.

Before any packing starts, however, there is work that needs to be completed, including office space planning and configuration and IT infrastructure.

The ELT will keep you informed as we get closer to a move-in date, which will be sometime in mid-2021, and of the changes that will occur at LBT1 and LBT2.

EOMs of the Quarter

Thank you to all the Employees of the Month who have shown their hard work and dedication over the last quarter. To celebrate and acknowledge the incredible workforce at LBT, here is a recap of the Employees of the Month for June, July and August!