The Woodlands Township’s new safe transit program, #SitSafe, has been adopted by eight regional transit partners as the annual commuting options awareness month gets underway.

Ruthanne Haut, the deputy director for community services overseeing transit and infrastructure for The Woodlands, said the social media campaign idea theorized by a millennial on the township transit staff has gained not only traction but accolades from other area transit departments — most of which are also battling lower ridership numbers and sanitizing challenges in the new era of the novel coronavirus.

“The Houston-Galveston Area Council is integrating the Township’s #SitSafe campaign concept into their annual Commute Solutions Month and helping to expand it to other area transit providers,” Haut explained in an email to The Villager. “The Township has been working with HGAC to bring the #SitSafe campaign to other transit agencies with the goal of sharing steps that the region’s transit agencies are taking to protect the health and safety of our riders during the pandemic.”

Credit for the hashtag idea goes to millennial Sarah Coulter, the township’s Transit Operations Manager, Haut noted.

“(Sarah) proposed the idea of putting together (#SitSafe) social media strategies, a webpage, and promotional materials around the concept to share the steps The Woodlands Express and Town Center Trolleys are taking to protect the health and safety of our riders,” Haut explained. “(Sarah) also thought of the idea of all the transit agencies working together as when we all work together, we can make a bigger impact.”

September is a nationally designated awareness month focused on commuters, Commuter Solutions Month, which Haut said has five distinct weeks and programs. The #SitSafe program was chosen to be celebrated across the region by the other transit entities.

“Each week has a different theme. They’ve taken the township’s idea (#SitSafe) and run with it,” Haut added.

jeff.forward@chron.com