Sharon Doyle: CUTA Individual Awards 2017
Sharon Doyle who was part of the amalgamation team that formed York Region Transit (YRT) has been leading the YRT’s Mobility Plus paratransit service since its inception in 2001. Along with her team, Sharon was instrumental in the YRT’s implementation of fare-parity and payment options for Mobility Plus travellers, among many other important achievements that make Sharon a true transit visionary, recognized with a CUTA Distinguished Service award.
Sharon has been working in the transit industry for over 25 years. She started as a yellow school bus operator with Newmarket Transit, drove for their paratransit service, and was eventually promoted to the Head of Newmarket Transit. In 2001, Sharon was part of the amalgamation team that formed York Region Transit (YRT), and has been leading YRT’s Mobility Plus paratransit service ever since. Sharon lives by the mantra that everyone has the right for spontaneous travel.
Over her very distinguished career, Sharon and her team have implemented fare-parity and payment options for Mobility Plus travellers; they were the first system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to test and implement the PRESTO fare payment card on all Mobility Plus vehicles; launched YRT’s Family of Services that transfers clients onto conventional service for all or part of their trip; launched the MyRide Travel Training program that offers training to anyone who asks, regardless of their ability; actively organizes crossboundary bookings for the Greater Toronto Area; and her team set-up and hosted the 2015 Call-One Call Centre for both the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
For the last 15 years, Sharon has been an active member of CUTA, and for the last five years she has served as the Vice-Chair of the Accessibility Transit Sub-Committee (ATC). In her roles at CUTA, Sharon led the Specialized Transit Services Industry Practices Review Research Initiative; has been a strong advocate and supporter of the Federal Accessibility Legislation and routinely lobbies for accessible transit through CUTA’s Transit Awareness Days; participated in a paratransit data review to update and create improved data collection; has contributed articles to Forum magazine; and in 2014, organized a two-day paratransit technical tour after the Fall Conference.
Sharon is a true visionary and later in 2017, she will open the YRT Transit Travel Training Centre, the first of its kind in Canada. The Centre, located at YRT headquarters, will be a teaching area with a real bus platform and a shelter, where clients can practice boarding a bus with a working ramp; they will learn how to pay their fare, where they can sit, etc., all in a safe learning environment.
The CUTA Individual Leadership Awards honour notable achievements by transit personnel in the categories of Distinguished Service, Excellence, and Heroism.