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APTA bestows high honors to three transit agencies, six individuals

At its annual meeting yesterday in Chicago, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized three transit agencies and six individuals for their leadership and contributions.

APTA presents the awards annually to individuals and public transportation systems that have "shown great leadership and advanced the state of public transportation in North America," APTA officials said in a press release.

The agencies recognized by the association were:

Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority in Flagstaff, Ariz., which received the Outstanding Public Transportation System Award;
Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid) in Grand Rapids, Mich., which earned the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award in the category for agencies with 4 million to 20 million riders; and
GO Transit, Toronto, which won the Outstanding Public Transportation System Award in the category for agencies with more than 20 million riders.

APTA also inducted two individuals into the APTA Hall of Fame to recognize their long and distinguished careers in the industry, and participation in the association: William Millar, whose career spanned 40 years, including 15 years as APTA president; and Richard Simonetta, who has led four public transportation systems during a career that began in 1971. He currently leads business development in the rail and transit sectors for the Burns Group.

In addition, APTA recognized the following individuals:

• Phillip Washington, general manager of the Regional Transportation District of Denver, who received the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award;
• the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who was posthumously honored for distinguished service;
• Charles Wochele, managing owner/partner of TransitConsult L.L.C. in Rochester, Minn., who earned the Outstanding Public Transportation Business Member Award; and
• Randall Chrisman, board member of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, who received the Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member Award.

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