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Richard, Scott and Washington honored as White House transportation 'innovators'


Earlier this week, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Transportation recognized California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Chief Executive Officer Beverly Scott, and Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) General Manager Phillip Washington among 14 individuals recognized as 2012 “Transportation Innovator Champion of Change” award winners.

Richard was honored for leadership in high-speed rail, Scott for innovation in public transportation and Washington for innovation in transportation workforce development.

“Meeting our nation's transportation challenges requires innovative thinking and the leadership skills to translate plans and dreams into greater mobility, better jobs and more livable communities. And that is exactly what these Champions of Change have demonstrated,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote yesterday in his blog about the award winners.

Richard, who helped lead the initiative to build a Los Angeles-to-San Francisco high-speed rail system, was instrumental in developing “innovative ways to help grow and expand the transportation industry,” according to a statement posted on the White House website.

“In the past year, we have worked hard to rebuild public support. The key to moving the project forward lay in forging partnerships and showing that high-speed rail could and must be part of an integrated transportation system for the state,” Richard said in the posting.

Scott has devoted her 30-year career to transit. During the height of the recession, she and her volunteer team painted red X’s on MARTA trains and buses to help the general public, state and regional leaders understand the impact that a 25 percent to 30 percent cut to transit service would have on the region’s economy, MARTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The effort resulted in a historic demonstration of support from the Atlanta Regional Commission, comprised of elected officials and policymakers across the greater Atlanta region, they said.

Washington was recognized for RTD’s Workforce Initiative Now (WIN) program.

“This award demonstrates again how RTD’s FasTracks projects and our WIN program are creating jobs for all levels of experienced and inexperienced workers through our comprehensive partnership that provides meaningful training opportunities,” Washington said in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/2/2012