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APTA honors public transit agencies, leaders


At its 2005 annual meeting held this week in Dallas, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized the top public transit agencies and transit leaders.

The association honored several agencies with the Outstanding Public Transportation System award, which is divided into categories based on ridership. The Orange Country Transportation Authority obtained the award in the "30 million or more annual trips" category. During the past several years, the authority has increased ridership on three Metrolink commuter-rail lines 41.4 percent, from 2.1 million passengers in 2001 to 3 million in 2004.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) received the 2005 APTA Innovation Award for developing and implementing the MBTA Transit Police Department’s Stop Watch program, through which 250 officers interact with 50,000 youth each weekday to offer positive intervention.

APTA also recognized several industry leaders:

• Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Chief Executive Officer Ronald Tober received the 2005 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award. During his 37-year career, Tober has helped improve public transit systems in cities such as Boston, Miami, Seattle and Cleveland. Since joining CATS five years ago, he has improved public transit in Charlotte, transforming the system from a city-only transit service to a mid-size system serving seven counties;

• Dallas Area Rapid Transit Chair Huelon Harrison received with the 2005 Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member Award. In fiscal-year 2003, Harrison implemented service and administrative cost reductions to trim $20 million from the operating budget; and

• The late Carlton Sickles was named recipient of the Hall of Fame award. Nearly 50 years ago, the former Maryland congressman and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit System (WMATA) board member served on a joint commission that led to WMATA’s creation. He joined the authority’s board in 1967 and served almost continuously until his death in 2004.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/28/2005