Recently, Purdue University announced it will name its civil engineering building for alumnus and donor Delon Hampton and his mother, Elizabeth Hampton.
Delon, who served as chair of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Business Member Board of Governors (2007-2008), was the 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Public Transportation Business Member Award. The award is given to an APTA public transportation business member who has made outstanding contributions to the public transportation industry.
He is also the founder of Delon Hampton & Associates, a top design firm specializing in civil, structural and environmental engineering; construction; and program management and planning services. He was a civil engineering assistant professor at Kansas State University and a professor at Howard University. While on leave from Kansas State University, he served for a year as head of soil dynamics research at the University of New Mexico's Eric H. Wang Research Facility in Albuquerque.
Delon has also received numerous awards, including the Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award and James Laurie Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Distinguished Engineer Award from the National Society of Black Engineers. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as past president of ASCE. During his tenure, he proposed the creation of ASCE's Outstanding Projects and Leaders Award, which was approved by the board and has been given each year since 2000.
As a long-time colleague and friend, I’d like congratulate Delon and his family on this incredible achievement. He has made a true impact in the public transportation industry and has truly touched the lives of many, many people throughout his lifetime.
In case you missed it...
Read our METRO blog, "'Rock & Roll' for bus operators" here.
Seeing a canine passenger on mass transit is not uncommon, but the reasons why a dog might catch the train or hop a bus are varied (remember Eclipse, the Seattle Lab mix that uses the bus, often on her own, to get to the dog park?). Most public transit pooches are working —as K-9 officers or service animals. In the Philadelphia region, other animals — in approved carriers only—are permitted to ride the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s buses, trains and trolleys. However, a new pilot program underway by SEPTA allows registered therapy dogs volunteering at two Philadelphia hospitals to use two designated bus routes to travel to their sites.
To be sure, there is no substitute for offering high-quality bus or rail transit service, but many transit agencies skimp when it comes to marketing, outreach, and education and, as a result, the public often has no idea how good the service may actually be. Buses also have an image problem in many communities, which proper marketing could help address. Witness the huge sums spent by automakers in crafting the image of their automobiles.
The Uber website proudly states that, “Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 200 cities today, Uber's rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.” Such hype is common on corporate websites, but when the braggadocio is backed up by an article in the Wall Street Journal that discloses a valuation of $41 billion their ambitious words take on relevance.
As the world changes with the rapid advancement of connected devices and technologies, so must the transportation industry. In a business area where change is sluggish, DOTs across the country must adapt quickly to the evolving technologies that are going to impact their operations and budget. There are at least three technologies that will have immense impact over the next two decades on how we travel and how state transportation departments react to provide mobility — connectedness, big data and automation.
Around the world, artwork of all forms adorns transportation centers, stations and bus shelters. While many of these statues, paintings, mosaics and sculptures are permanently installed as part of a station’s architecture, transportation organizations can use their spaces for art exhibitions that not only make transit hubs more aesthetically pleasing for commuters, but also inspire budding artists. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) recently partnered with two organizations to showcase the artistic talent of youth from the Greater Philadelphia region and around the world.