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Tuesday, May 21, 2013    

Former APTA leader Stokes dies

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has announced the death of B. R. "Bill" Stokes, the association's first chief executive officer.

Stokes, who died recently in Seattle, served as executive vice president from 1974 to 1980. A pioneer in public transportation in the United States and internationally, Stokes was inducted into APTA's Hall of Fame in 1996, APTA officials said in an online announcement.

"Bill was a public transportation icon and pioneer," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "As APTA's first head, he brought all the different modes together and was instrumental in so many accomplishments that have led to a strong, vibrant industry and association today."

Stokes came to APTA after serving as Bay Area Rapid Transit's first general manager, a position he held for 20 years after joining the agency as information director in 1958. He began his career as a journalist at the Oakland Tribune.

Stokes later became director general of the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Co., where he led the development of public transit in several cities and contributed to overseas public transit operations in the Philippines, Venezuela and Thailand.

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