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July 6, 2009

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AROUND THE INDUSTRY

Chapel Hill, NC, Named ‘Most Livable’; City Earns Honor for Its Transit Agency

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) recently presented Kevin C. Foy, mayor of Chapel Hill, NC, with first place among small cities in its 2009 City Livability Awards Program—but the city couldn’t have done it without its public transit agency.

Foy supported the creation of fare-free Chapel Hill Transit in 2001, and today the system is the second largest in North Carolina and one of the largest fare-free systems in the nation. The agency has seen its ridership climb by more than 130 percent, from three million annual riders to more than seven million projected for 2009.

“Very few communities provide fare-free transit service to all riders,” USCM said in a statement. “Public transit is an integral part of the Chapel Hill community. The significant commitment to public transit has made Chapel Hill a sustainable community in which people do not need to rely on the automobile.”

Tom Cochran, USCM executive director and chief executive officer, said: “Our City Livability Awards Program gives the conference a chance to highlight mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable.”

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