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At its annual meeting yesterday, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced the winners of its 2015 APTA Awards to recognize transit agencies and industry leaders for excellence.The APTA Awards are given 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.Among the winners was Keith Parker, general manager and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), who received the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award.Also honored was Jeff Morales, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, who received the State Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes significant contributions to public transportation at the state level through policy, legislative initiative and leadership.Two individuals were inducted into the APTA Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes people with long careers that made extraordinary contributions to public transportation and who actively participated in APTA activities. This year’s inductees are Elonzo Hill, who served on Metra’s board from 2003 until his death in 2009; and Jerome Premo, who served as the first executive director of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and the first executive director of New Jersey Transit Corp.Among agency awards, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in Houston received the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, which recognizes agencies that provide 20 million or more annual passenger trips. The agency has expanded its light-rail system from 7.5 miles to nearly 23 miles, and systemwide ridership has increased each year for the past three years.
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