Transportation Director receives NCDOT award

Feb. 20, 2014 @ 05:25 AM

Providing a new transit shuttle service for county residents to Storehouse Pantry, earned Rutherford County Transportation Director Kerry Giles a state award for her efforts.

Giles received the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Public Transportation Recognition Award during the Public Transportation Division’s annual conference in January.

The award is given to a transit director in both the western and eastern part of the state and is based on nominations from NCDOT’s Public Transportation Division staff.

“Working with our Transit Agency has been such a blessing to me personally,” Giles said. “Being able to come to work and help the citizens in our county be independent is a humbling and rewarding job.”

Giles was nominated based on work done in 2013 to create a free shuttle service to Storehouse Pantry.

The program includes utilizing five vans to transport residents to the pantry every Thursday. Each Thursday accommodates residents from different parts of the county based on the first letter of their last name.

The program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and interested riders must call 828-287-6142 in advance to reserve a seat on the shuttle. Residents are only allowed to ride once per month and only one person per household, over the age of 18, can ride.

Giles said she got the idea for the shuttle after seeing roadside signs advertising free food at Storehouse in January 2013. A week later, the Transit Department began operating the service. Giles said the service is a way for many people to get there who need food and may not have other transportation.

Initially, nearly 100 residents began using the service and Giles said she has continued to find ways to expand the program.

Giles was also recognized for work to update technology, simplify the billing process for customers and her engagement work as a member of the Rutherford Regional Health System Foundation Board.

“We never want transportation to be a barrier for someone to get to work, the doctors or grocery store,” Giles said. “The employees at Transit make this agency great. They are care givers by nature and provide excellent service to our community.”