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APTA honors public transportation organizations, leaders


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has honored 10 organizations and leaders with awards for their vision, leadership and commitment to public transportation, and inducted four new members into the APTA Hall of Fame.

The 2021 APTA Awards recognize organizations and leaders in the North American public transportation industry who have demonstrated significant leadership and are outstanding role models, and whose accomplishments and innovations have greatly advanced public transportation.

The following will receive organization awards:

  • Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, 4 million or fewer trips, Mountain Line in Missoula, Montana;
  • Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award , 4 million to  20 million trips, Sacramento Regional Transit District; and
  • Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award , 20 million or more trips, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

Innovation awards will go to the city of San Louis Obispo, California/SLO Transit, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

In terms of individual awards, A. Bradley Mims will receive the Distinguished Service Award. He has been a leader in the transportation industry in both the government and the private sector for over 40 years, and has dedicated his career to serving as an advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in the transportation industry, APTA officials said in a news release. 

Huelon Harrison — who's been a public transportation advocate since joining Dallas Area Rapid Transit's board in 1998 — is tabbed to win the Outstanding Public Transportation Business Member Award. He has been in active in APTA since 1999, first serving in leadership roles as a transit board member, and won the Transit Board Member of the Year Award in 2005. 

Meanwhile, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority director Cindy Chavez has earned the Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member Award. Her leadership, professionalism and integrity helped the VTA persevere despite severe ridership and revenue losses, and health threats to front-line workers, APTA officials said. She demonstrated excellence as a leader in May when VTA experienced a mass shooting at its light-rail facility in downtown San Jose, California, they added.

The final individual honor — Outstanding Public Transportation Manager — is bestowed to CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. Over the course of a more than 30-year career, he has established himself as a respected leader and trailblazer in the public transportation industry, APTA officials said. Since becoming the CTA's leader in 2015, Carter has overseen a record level of investment and modernization, they added. 

APTA also is inducting the following people into its Hall of Fame:

 • Grace Crunican, who retired in 2019 as the general manager of Bay Area Rapid Transit, where she oversaw more than 3,500 employees and $30 billion worth of transportation infrastructure; 

• the late Delon Hampton, who devoted his career to civil engineering and its application to public transportation until his retirement in 2018 from the engineering consulting firm that he founded in 1973, Delon Hampton & Associates, at a time when there were few black-owned engineering companies; 

 • Arthur Leahy, who throughout his nearly 50-year transit industry career exemplified APTA's core values; and

 • Stephen Schlickman, who since the 1980s has been a tireless advocate for people with disabilities, helping to create fair and equitable transit access, and lead diversity and inclusion efforts.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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