Angie Peters:  Passionate about public transit as a community service

Like many of her industry counterparts around the country, Angie Peters readily admits she fell in love with the transit industry years ago.

For her, public transit is an integral and vital community service that benefits people from all walks of life and it should therefore be highly valued as a public service.

And she brings that ethos and mindset to her role as General Manager of Valley Transit, a Connexionz customer headquartered in Walla Walla, Washington.

With a staff of 52, Valley Transit services an area with a population of 50,000.  Pre-Covid-19 it supported 700,000 passenger rides a year across 8 routes covering Walla Walla and College Place that were serviced by 19 diesel and four electric buses, and 10 CNG and four demand-and-ride vehicles.

Ridership is now well down as a result of the pandemic and despite incremental increases in 2021, isn’t expected to return to ‘normal’ levels until around 2025.

Hailing from a rural Oregon town of just 180 people (“we had a wheat field across the road from my school”), Angie has a private sector background in operations management and logistics, skills that she finds very relatable to the transit sector.

And as a dyed-in-the-wool public transit supporter (albeit a relative newbie to the industry, she admits) she’s seen a trend of many transit authorities move to a fare-free model. This has gained popularity during the pandemic, when many systems (including Valley Transit) went fare free as a safety mitigation related to close contact with people and/or money.

She acknowledges this will mean more government funding, but she sees this as an issue the industry and government needs to deal with collaboratively as part of recognizing the value of public transit to the community.

“We are seeing more and more smaller authorities adopt this strategy,” she says.  “And I can definitely see why.

“Transit is a public service just like the police, or your local library or the fire department; you don’t pay for those public services and nor, following that train of thought, should you have to pay for public transit.”

She adds to the logic of a fare-free model but citing the economics of public transit.  Valley Transit’s costs per passenger on its average five-mile loop fixed route are around $17.00 now.  The fare per passenger is .50c.

“If we are already heavily subsidizing the trip there is very little ROI in fare collection.” she asks.  “Why spend the money and the staff time to collect a fare that doesn’t cover anything useful?

“Especially as we are not in it for the profit.  We’re here to provide a public service to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to travel options for a variety of reasons, including health issues, financial constraints and mobility issues.”

Another industry issue she sees as needing urgent attention is that of investing in technology.

She says the industry does a good job of the basics, but hasn’t always kept up with the developments in technology that other industries and sectors have leveraged successfully to their advantage and to the benefit of their customers.

“Real-time GPS information should be a standard tool right across the sector by now,” she says, “but it isn’t.  We have some providers who don’t even do ‘static’ information capture. This is due largely to the need for staff capacity to create General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) files, and budget capacity to install hardware that can provide real-time updates on vehicle position.”

Angie, who says she’s lucky to work with a sophisticated intelligent transit solutions provider in Connexionz, believes tech, upskilling across the transit industry – and early adoption of new technology – will be a battle, but an important one to win.

“If most of us are here to support and benefit our riders, and to make the rider experience more pleasant and efficient, then we need to be using all the technology that’s available to us to do that, and in my experience of working with Connexionz, there’s plenty of tech that will generate tangible outcomes.”

As part of their role with Valley Transit, Connexionz also hosts the iTransitNW website, a regional platform for trip planning in southeast Washington and northeast Oregon.

The site services eight transit providers, offering both static and dynamic information flows.

Connexionz started working with Valley Transit in 2017.

We asked Angie what she does in her spare time and got an interesting insight into the pastime of creating food pun cartoons (google it!).  When she’s not indulging that particular passion, she can be found with her partner, and her ‘furbaby’ ‘Theo’, a two year old chihuahua, beagle, dachshund cross, lovingly referred to as a “Chauweagle.”

Angie’s furbaby “Theo – a Chauweagle”










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iTransitNW regional real-time passenger information network continues to see popularity among rural transit providers

In 2018, Valley Transit management in Walla Walla Washington began a project procuring a real-time technology system which was regional in nature and collaborative in design. After a highly competitive process, Connexionz was selected to develop the iTransitNW system. The initial system managed and supported seven partner agency fleets, with potential to scale and link up to 18 separate transport operators across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Interest in the regional system continues to grow. In the last year, Connexionz has welcomed cooperative purchases off the contract from Grant County Oregon (People Mover), City of Pendleton, Asotin County PTBA & Lewiston Transit System, and Kayak Public Transit; each launching their own system in early 2021.

Angie Peters, Valley Transit General Manager says, “Prior to the iTransitNW project there was not a comprehensive resource for any potential passenger to use to plan trips or discover services in nearby towns. The regional system has made a difference in helping passengers understand available services and connections. This technology is extremely impactful in rural areas where service frequency is lower.”

“The cooperative purchase contract which continues to see popularity in the region has been very simple to buy in to due to the range of products and services available for purchase.”

Brian Garrett, Connexionz Sales Director says: “The benefit for rural agencies is the appeal of purchasing into an ecosystem that is already in place. There are numerous options available to member agencies such as static GTFS integration onto the portal or a complete implementation featuring APC, AVA, and multimedia. The state transit departments have indeed been supportive of funding projects under this contract which has proven to economically deliver the latest transit technology solutions to rural agencies.”

Connexionz looks forward to continuing their effort to grow the iTransitNW project. Angie Peters added, “Connexionz is committed to being a good partner, and we have definitely seen growth over our relationship.”

Connexionz network continues to expand with successful agency launches and sustained growth


Connexionz has proven to its customers that it is a leading and capable provider of intelligent transit solutions for essential passenger communication, real-time bus load management, and service monitoring, even during the tough pandemic economy. In the last 14 months, Connexionz has launched 6 new systems for small and medium transit agencies.  Among those agencies are Yamhill County, Oregon and Stanislaus County, California.

For Yamhill County Transit, Connexionz delivered an economical approach for a real-time system: Software for vehicle operators along with fixed route management software for the dispatch office, deployed onto tablets already owned by the agency. Yamhill purchased the system for a capital expense of less than US$100k for nearly 20 buses and launched in late 2019.  Although Yamhill’s initial purchase was small, they are growing the system by adding integrated ADA compliant automatic annunciation systems and engine diagnostics to new buses being delivered by Complete Coach Works in early 2021. 

Cynthia Thompson, manager for Yamhill County Transit says, “We were really pleased at the speed of which Connexionz was able to deliver the real-time and dispatch system for our agency.  Connexionz listened to our needs in relation to providing our own hardware.  This has allowed us to deploy a system at a great value while having local hardware support and quick swap spare units.” Cynthia says, “the Connexionz system has been fantastic and an outstanding tool for customers.  It increases customers’ sense of YCT as a reliable and dependable service.”

A much larger scope of technology was successfully delivered in March 2020 to Stanislaus Regional Transit in California.  START were provided a fully integrated intelligent transit system across nearly 50 fleet vehicles, including real-time systems, dispatch software, multimedia content, and automatic passenger counting alongside partners Urban Transit Association, which provides full NTD data support. Connexionz delivered this system nearly four months ahead of scheduleStanislaus Transit Manager Letti Ortiz shared her feedback on the solution’s effectiveness for their operations, saying “The system has been really useful for passenger engagement, whereby now passengers are utilizing SMS systems for accurate arrival times. It has saved our customers time.  The onboard multimedia systems have been very helpful because they are keeping passengers informed and meeting Title VI requirements without the clutter of physical flyers or posters inside the bus.  We’re happy with the Connexionz systems and the quick deployment and dedicated support we continue to receive.”

These successful projects, along with the company’s enduring service and maintenance programs, enabled Connexionz to grow its operation in the United States by bringing on board a new Operations and Project Manager and securing a lease on a larger office space in Santa Clarita, CA. Griffin Lauerman joined Connexionz in June 2020 with a strong background in Project Management. Griffin has hit the ground running with Connexionz, developing good relationships with the team and customers, and taking on management of a major project delivery in the Tennessee region.  

Connexionz Smart Transit systems will continue to provide mission critical services to essential transit operations during this difficult time.  “Now, more than ever, transit technology services which connect riders and agencies are necessary.  With buses running at lower capacities, technologies like Connexionz Real-Time load monitor allow agencies to adhere to local restrictions and keep serving riders who depend on them,” Said Brian Garrett, US Sales Director.  “Even with ridership down, we’re seeing a resurgence of agencies who are taking time to invest in these types of technologies, holding out faith that we can eventually get our people back on the bus.  Connexionz is happy to remain focused on serving small and medium agencies, as we always have”.

Analytics Study – Pasadena Transit

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Pasadena Transit is a city-operated local bus service in Pasadena, northeast of downtown Los Angeles in California. It was formed in 1994 to coincide with the kick-off of the World Cup at the Rose Bowl.
The service runs six circular routes across 80 directional miles and connects with six Metro Gold Line Stations, as well as numerous regional lines. Over 1.5 million passengers a year rely on Pasadena Transit buses to get to their destination.
Happiness is a reliable bus service. In this study, we reveal how Pasadena Transit used modern Intelligent Transportation System technology to improve bus arrival and departure times, attract more bus users, and improve service.

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The former city bus exchange, built within the last twenty years, was such a remarkable success that it was bursting at the seams within a decade. Improvements in bus services and infrastructure created massive growth which outpaced the forecasts from which the bus exchanges design arose.
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Technology investments are tough. As the market constantly churns with the latest and greatest high-tech investments – Funds must be spent on a reliable, accurate, and proven solution. Connexionz is proud to offer products and services built upon accuracy that is unmatched.  Connexionz considers an accurate system, a strong one, and make great efforts to keep our predictions accurate.

The Connexionz real-time tracking system was shown to maintain accuracy across different active routes, bus stops, and during peak travel hours, demonstrating the versatility and sophistication of the system in overseas implementations. Further analysis in Santa Clarita confirmed these findings to ensure that the RTT system’s high performance is preserved on a global scale.  A comprehensive statistical analysis was conducted in Santa Clarita to assess Connexionz RTT system which uses sophisticated algorithms to derive real-time arrival predictions for buses at all bus stops.  What we found was that Connexionz arrival predictions continue to prove to be extremely dependable.

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