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Valley Metro names internship in honor of Glendale Mayor Scruggs

Valley Metro has named an annual transit internship program after one of its longest-serving board members, Elaine Scruggs.

Scruggs, the mayor of Glendale, Ariz., served as a board member for 19 years, including a stint as chairwoman in 2008. She accepted the honor last month at her final board meeting, Valley Metro officials said in a prepared statement.

The internship program is designed for college students pursuing degrees in planning, engineering or related fields with a commitment to serving in the public transportation industry.

"Mayor Scruggs has been a leader in this region, pressing for greater transportation choices in Glendale and beyond," said Valley Metro Chief Executive Officer Steve Banta.

Scruggs led the support of dedicated funding sources to help ensure a transit expansion in Maricopa County. In 2001, Glendale voters approved the passage of a local sales tax to help fund travel options and the regional network. Scruggs also was "instrumental" in developing the Regional Transportation Plan that voters approved in 2004 in support of a regional funding source to enhance Valley-wide transit services, Valley Metro officials said.

"We need to prepare the next generation of public policy leaders to understand the benefits of public transit and the tremendous complexity involved with planning coordinated transit service for an entire metropolitan region," Scruggs said.

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