MSU SMART employees awarded for service – Mississippi State Newsroom

Contact: Madison Welzbacher

A Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit (S.M.A.R.T.) bus drives on the MSU campus.
A Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit (S.M.A.R.T.) bus drives on the MSU campus. Two MSU Parking and Transit Services employees were honored during the recent Mississippi Public Transit Association annual meeting. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Two Mississippi State employees in Parking and Transit Services at the university are recent award recipients for service to the MSU community.
Troy Halbert, transit coordinator for Parking and Transit Services, and Taquantis “Charlie” Koger, a Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit (S.M.A.R.T.) driver, were nominated for the awards at the recent Mississippi Public Transit Association annual meeting. Halbert received the Community Service Award, while Koger won the Driver of the Year Award.
The Community Service Award is given to a public transportation coordinator who has made outstanding contributions in the industry. Halbert, having been with MSU for about five years, has been an integral member of the MSU community according to Jeremiah Dumas, executive director for Parking and Transit Services. Promoted to transit coordinator in 2019, Halbert works to ensure that all routes are staffed and each shift runs smoothly. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he also was in charge of sanitizing all buses up to three times a day.
“It was a surprise and a shock, but it was an honor to receive this award,” Halbert said.
The Driver of the Year Award is presented to drivers that exhibit a commitment to both safety and efficient public transportation. Koger has worked as an MSU driver since 2018 and previously won the MPTA Bus Roadeo in 2019. Koger said after winning this award, he hopes to inspire others to work hard.
“It was an honor to receive a call from my supervisor the night of the award banquet,” Koger said. “My heart leapt with joy after he told me I had won Driver of the Year. I hope by winning this award, it will help others do their best and know that their hard work makes a difference.”
For more information on MSU’s Parking and Transit Services, visit
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