2021 Jaunt City Art Bus Revealed

Jaunt’s 2021 City Art Bus

The Tom Tom Festival, Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT), and Jaunt revealed this year’s first winning artist for the 7th annual City Art Bus competition. Each year, a mural wrap is installed on buses from both agencies, which travel on local roadways for the next year.

The Jaunt bus design, unveiled on Wednesday, October 20th at 10:00AM at the Center at Belvedere (540 Belvedere Boulevard, Charlottesville), features Lindsay Heider Diamond’s design, “Things to Teach Our Children,” a colorful illustration of children from international backgrounds, with values such as Love, Purpose, Honesty, and Understanding inscribed.

“We’re excited to be partnering again with the Tom Tom Festival on this public art initiative and we’re so proud to have Ms. Diamond’s design on one of our buses,” said Jody Saunders, Director of Public Relations at Jaunt. “The values that Ms. Diamond wove into her design truly complement the intent behind Jaunt’s service: compassionate, attentive, and inclusive transportation for everyone.”

Lindsay Heider Diamond has worked as a professional illustrator, graphic designer, and creative director on both coasts. Diamond created this design as a poster, initially to create an awareness of these values in our world and raise funds for the International Neighbors organization in Charlottesville, VA.

“My hope is that people who see the bus take a word or two away each time they view it passing and contemplate how they live by those values in their own life and encourage those values in others around them,” said Lindsay Heider Diamond. “May the bus design be a reminder that we are all able to continue to learn and grow and that we have the opportunity to start practicing and teaching these values every moment we are alive. We are never too young or too old.”

The two moving murals operate on bus lines throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County. and will be seen by an estimated 200,000+ riders and residents.

Pictures of this year’s bus and more information on the City Art Bus competition can be found at http://www.tomtomfoundation.org/city-art-bus.

Statement Regarding Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s Review of Jaunt’s Financial, Operational, and Management Practices

Jaunt is firmly committed to operating from a place of honesty, openness, and transparency. To that end, Jaunt has received the results of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s (DRPT) review of our financial, operational, and management practices. A full version of DRPT’s letter can be found here, on our website.

The conclusion of this review is disturbing but not surprising. For the last ten months, the Board and current leadership have been working to undo the damage exacted on the organization by the former CEO’s financial mismanagement. Corrective actions include:

  • Requested a thorough investigation by our auditors into Jaunt’s FY20 finances
  • Requested the resignation of former CEO, Brad Sheffield
  • Put in place a system of checks and balances, changes in management structure, and other guardrails intended to ensure that this can never happen again
  • Appointed an ethics officer, conducted ethics training at all levels of the organization, and formalized a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct
  • Fully cooperated with DRPT’S review
  • Selected Ted Rieck to fill the CEO position, effective December 6

It is critical to understand that Jaunt is still fully operational. The steps identified by DPRT allow Jaunt to continue to serve the community while simultaneously taking appropriate steps to bring Jaunt back into compliance with state and federal funding requirements.

Jaunt is grateful to DRPT for the extensive time and energy that went into this review, and for the steps identified to bring us into compliance and reestablish our standing as a responsible and trusted steward of public funds. Jaunt views its relationship with DRPT as critical to its success in fulfilling its mission of meeting critical public transportation needs for the residents of Central Virginia.

Jaunt, Inc. Announces Hiring of CEO

Ted Rieck

Ted Rieck to start December 6, 2021

Jaunt’s Board of Directorsis pleased to announce the hiring of its new Chief Executive Officer. Ted Rieck will join Jaunt, effective December 6, 2021. Karen Davis, who has been acting Chief Executive Officer, as well as Chief Operating Officer, since December 6, 2020, will continue as Chief Operating Officer.

“The Board is pleased to welcome Ted Rieck to Jaunt. He is a highly experienced transit leader with the right blend of operations, planning, finance, and program development skills,” said Jaunt Board of Directors President Randy Parker. “Is it with immeasurable gratitude that we thank Karen Davis for her leadership over the last year. Under her direction, Jaunt has continued to provide exemplary service to this community, fulfilling the organization’s mission and vision. We are excited about what Ted and Karen will do together.”

Mr. Rieck brings over 30 years of transit leadership experience to the role, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority. There, he is responsible for more than 250 direct and indirect employees, serves five communities, oversees a $23 million annual budget, and reports to a seven-member Board. Throughout his career, Mr. Rieck has demonstrated talent in business development, collaborating and consensus building with diverse stakeholder groups, transportation planning, and strategic financial management.

“I am very excited to be a part of this successful regional transit enterprise,” said Rieck. “With 45 years of growth and service evolution, Jaunt brings tremendous resources and experience to Central Virginia. I’m looking forward to working with all of Jaunt’s stakeholders to continue to address the tremendous need for affordable, accessible transportation in central Virginia.”

Mr. Rieck holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, a Master of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University, a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri, and has completed postgraduate work in corporate finance.

Area Agencies Highlight Transit Options for Discover Transit Month

Local transportation providers, CAT, Jaunt, UTS and RideShare are working together to remind the community of the ways they can use transit during Discover Transit Month. Each week a new video will be released on how to ride our different transit options. Videos will highlight how to plan or schedule a ride, what it looks like to reach your destination using transit and the benefits our community sees from the service.

“Transit services are vital to many community members, local businesses and visitors. Our transit providers, Jaunt, UTS and CAT, are working hard to provide services now while planning for the future,” said Diantha McKeel, Regional Transit Partnership Chair and member of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. “October is Transit Month! Take advantage of the nice weather to change up your routine and try transit.”

Share photos of your transit trips with #busorbust

Notice of Public Meeting

Jaunt, Inc. will hold a shareholders meeting on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 9:45 A.M. via Zoom.

Shareholders will elect executive officers to the Jaunt Board of Directors, may be called upon to appoint the executive director position, and cast votes on any other matters that may come before them at this meeting.

A regular meeting of the Jaunt Board of Directors will follow.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81091534686 

Meeting ID: 810 9153 4686

Call in: 301-715-8592

Notice of Closed Committee Meetings

The Executive Search Committee of Jaunt, Inc. will hold three closed Committee Meetings at Jaunt, Inc., 104 Keystone Place, Charlottesville, VA on:

  • Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 1:00 P.M.
  • Friday, September 3, 2021 at 1:00 P.M.
  • Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 1:00 P.M.

These meetings will be closed sessions to discuss consideration, or interviews of prospective candidates for employment.

Reflecting on the Events of August 12, 2017

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville – the day that our community was thrust into a spotlight we never wanted to be in. Four years later we still see images of the events of August 12, 2017 used in national and world news as illustrations of hatred and racism. For Jaunt, that date, and the one-year anniversary in 2018, were opportunities to demonstrate our dedication and commitment to the community. Looking back, we realize our service pivoted in ways we could never have imagined.

As the intel about expected activities in 2017 became more available, Jaunt management connected with community emergency managers. We were linked to VEOCI, the virtual emergency operations center, attended training on the software, and carefully monitored the system throughout the days.

“We don’t just show up when it’s easy. Everyone stepped up and worked as a team – dispatch, drivers, and management – a testament to our promise to our mission and the community,” said Interim CEO, Karen Davis. “I’m so proud of the cooperative spirit that the Jaunt team exhibited on those incredibly difficult days.”

In the days before August 12, Jaunt reservations and scheduling teams contacted our clients who were scheduled to be in and around downtown Charlottesville to offer an opportunity to reschedule their trips to a safer date and time. In many cases, these phone calls were the first our clients heard of the impending rally.

Jaunt engaged with staff scheduled to drive that day to gauge their comfort level and assure them that if they would prefer not to drive, that would be understood and accommodated. We were extremely sensitive to the impact a rally of white supremacists would have on our staff’s emotional well-being and sense of safety. Only one driver opted not to work that day, reaffirming Jaunt’s commitment at all levels of the organization to those we serve.

On the day of the rally, we set up a command center in our conference room. We monitored local and national news outlets for real-time understanding of how events were unfolding so we could adjust routes as necessary, watching with horror as Charlottesville made the national news with headlines of violence and bigotry.

In contrast to those headlines, the Charlottesville community rose to the occasion. Rescue workers and volunteers tended to injuries. People from all over joined in peaceful opposition to the messages of the rally. And Jaunt drivers worked tirelessly to help shepherd people safely through our troubled city to and from critically necessary trips like employment and dialysis. In a few instances, we were able to come to the rescue of people who would have been otherwise stranded.

J’riah Guerrero, Director of Transit Logistics, is a Marine veteran. For him, a peacekeeper at heart, watching from the sidelines was difficult. “I wanted to be there. Not in a fighting capacity, but to protect. That’s what Marines do.” But he found relief knowing that he was still helping the community by providing transportation and helping people who wanted to get away from the demonstrations.

On the one-year anniversary in 2018, Jaunt showed up for the community again, providing transportation for emergency response crews stationed at JPJ, bringing them to various staging areas throughout town during the days and nights of August 12 – 13.

We look back on these efforts with a sense of somber pride. We were dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of our community then and remain so today. Inclusivity has always been at the heart of our service but it takes on new significance in the shadow of our shared experiences from August 12. Today we will hold space to remember what happened on the events of August 12, 2017, show gratitude for the ways in which we continue to support each another and our community, and consider what we can do moving forward to advance a culture of equity and inclusion.

Notice of Closed Committee Meeting

The Executive Search Committee of Jaunt, Inc. will hold a closed Committee Meeting on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom.

This meeting will be a closed session to discuss consideration, or interviews of prospective candidates for employment.

Jaunt, Inc. Offers Free Rides to Vaccination Sites

Jaunt may be the answer for people for whom transportation is an issue

Throughout the tremendous uncertainty of 2020, Jaunt has remained a dependable resource for our community. From rides to polls on election day, to delivering essential workers to their jobs and patients to dialysis appointments, we have continued to provide critical trips to those in need throughout the pandemic.

We are proud to partner with Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD) and University of Virginia Health to continue to provide this important service: connecting our community to the vaccine through fare-free public transportation.

Jaunt is committed to making sure that transportation is not an issue for anyone who wants to receive the vaccine. To book a ride to your vaccination appointment with Jaunt, call 434-297-3148 or email trips@ridejaunt.org.

As always, the health and safety of Jaunt’s passengers and drivers is our greatest concern. To protect our riders and drivers from the threat of COVID-19, we are not charging fares to minimize the risk of person-to-person contact; we have limited the number of passengers permitted on a vehicle at any given time to allow for social distancing; all drivers are wearing CDC-approved face coverings; all passengers are required to wear face coverings while riding Jaunt; and every Jaunt vehicle is cleaned and disinfected daily following CDC protocols.

Statement Regarding Jaunt’s FY20 Audit

Because Jaunt is funded in part by state and federal monies, the organization undergoes a financial audit every year, as outlined in Title 2 U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. The audit involves an evaluation of financial statements and federal awards. It reviews grant management and ensures we follow the rules for funds associated with the grant or award.

On August 31, 2020, Jaunt began our typical audit process for FY20 (for year ending June 30, 2020) with Robinson, Farmer, Cox (RFC). RFC has been assisting Jaunt for over a decade. During a random sampling of cash disbursements, they came across some irregularities which they found questionable. They brought their concerns to Jaunt’s Board of Directors and executive leadership and a deeper audit was initiated.

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 we received the final audit. RFC’s findings specify:

  • The findings of the audits of both Jaunt’s Financial Statement and Federal Awards concluded that the CEO purchased numerous expenses for goods, services, and travel which violated internal control policies of the corporation.
  • The finding of the audit of Jaunt’s Program Income concluded that the total amount of questioned costs could not be determined because program income was pooled with other local revenues.

While not unlawful, nor a prohibited use of government funds, the auditors determined that the expenditures were beyond what would have normally been expected for reasonable business expenses. A full version of the final audit can be found here.

What did we do about it?
As RFC’s audit progressed, and more information came to light, Jaunt’s Board felt that they were no longer comfortable with the business judgment of then-CEO Brad Sheffield. On December 5, 2020, with the audit findings still months away, the Board made the difficult decision to request Mr. Sheffield’s resignation as CEO, demonstrating tremendous leadership and integrity. Mr. Sheffield tendered his resignation on December 7, 2020.

The Board appointed then-Chief Operating Officer Karen Davis as the interim CEO, ensuring effective, knowledgeable, and experienced leadership of the agency. As Ms. Davis took on the expanded responsibilities of CEO, she began to identify and develop the internal controls necessary to ensure that Jaunt will have strict financial oversight going forward. New measures, now in place, include:

  • The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) reporting structure now includes a direct line to the chair of the finance committee
  • The CEO and CFO meet quarterly to review organization’s finances and accounting
  • The Board of Directors must pre-approve executive expenses for training, conferences, and travel prior to the date of travel and payment

Moving forward:
The Jaunt Board of Directors is presently undergoing visioning work to further define the organization’s vision, mission, and direction, led by facilitators from Insight Strategies, Inc. In the coming months they will engage with an executive search firm as it looks for a new CEO.

Jaunt is firmly committed to operating from a place of honesty, openness, and transparency. We are creating a new role of ethics officer, who will have a direct line of communication to the Board president and the CEO. This will be an additional avenue of anonymous reporting for ethical concerns, ensuring that never again will there be any hierarchical barriers to integrity or whistleblowing at Jaunt. Additionally, business ethics education and training will be conducted at all levels of the organization to codify a culture of integrity and transparency. Training will include a review of revised policies and procedures such as employee reporting requirements for violations of Jaunt’s policies, as well as information about all available reporting resources.

In conclusion:
Jaunt has been a committed and steadfast pillar in our community for 45 years. We provide vital service to the most vulnerable and marginalized in our community, removing barriers to employment and job skills training; providing critical access to healthcare; and paving the path towards more socially connected, and thereby more mentally healthy, communities. We deeply regret the loss of confidence that these audit findings have created. We hope that the steps we have already taken, along with the future plans we have shared, will help restore community trust.