MARIN COUNTY -- The California Transit Association, a trade group representing transit districts throughout the state, selected the Marin County Transit District for its annual Transit Excellence Award in recognition of the district's seasonal Muir Woods shuttle program.

[caption id="attachment_64825" align="alignleft" width="300"] The Marin County Transit District was recognized for its seasonal Muir Woods shuttle (photo credit: Marin County Transit District)[/caption]

The association grants the award to small transit operators for innovative service concepts and effective problem-solving techniques, as well as promotion of a positive image for public transportation. More than 50 regional transit authorities are eligible for the award, according to the announcement today.

The district created the Muir Woods Shuttle in 2005, funded by federal highway funds, to ease congestion and illegal parking issues at Muir Woods National Monument, a popular Marin destination.

More trips were added this year, along with an improved environment to wait for buses. With 56,000 trips in 2012, the shuttle now carries more than 20 percent of park visitors on peak summer weekends and holidays.

The district plans to add real-time bus arrival information via smartphones next year.

The shuttle is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and runs between the park and Sausalito during the summer and early fall season.

California Transit Association also grants an annual Transit Leadership Award, provided to an individual who demonstrates strong leadership and vision. The awards are granted during the association's annual fall conference and expo, held this year in Palm Springs.