The Transportation Awareness ProgramAuthor/Presenter: Toohey, M.A.
The Montana Department of Transportation’s (MDT’s) public outreach efforts, formally recognized as the Maintenance Awareness Program ( MAP), has been expanded to cover additional aspects for the department’s operations. The original program efforts concentrated on maintenance program work activities. The Transportation Awareness Program (TAP) is an expansion of the MAP program, which was developed by volunteer highway maintenance field employees in 1991. The TAP program has been expanded to incorporate other functions within MDT, specifically construction related activities. It became clear that the traveling public could not differentiate between a construction work zone and maintenance work zone. To them a work zone was a work zone. So TAP presenters therefore needed to be able to represent the department generically. They needed to be able to talk about work zones…not maintenance vs. construction work zones. Through the TAP program, field personnel volunteer to man booths and provide public presentations that provide a forum to market the department and emphasize safety at the same time. Typically, TAP presentations are given to student driving classes, 55-ALIVE classes and other civic organizations on an as requested basis. The program has enhanced its visibility, and increased the demands for presentations, by being active at trade shows and county fairs. These booths have provided the department and our customers with a new insight into the roadway maintenance operations and a significant increase in the demand for presentations. The results of this program have been very beneficial to the MDT on several levels. The primary objective and scope of this paper are to show the internal (employee and management) and external ( traveling public or customer) results that this program has had within the MDT.