Rep. Pastor Awarded for Local Distinguished Service
Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ) was given the APTA 2014 Local Distinguished Service Award for his support for public transportation and a commitment to Arizonans by supporting transit projects that get people to jobs, school and vital services while generating a positive economic impact.
Arizona has reaped the benefits from federal dollars for public transportation projects that have resulted in significant changes to Arizona’s landscape. In 2005, Valley Metro Rail received a full funding grant agreement providing $587 million in federal funding for the 20-mile starter segment. Success of the light rail system is evident with more than $7 billion in economic development generated since construction began and a ridership of 48,000 daily passengers, which approaches the ridership projections for 2020.
Also in 2011, Pastor supported a $2.9 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant that has helped Phoenix create a program to spur affordable housing and commercial development along the light rail line.
Pastor’s tireless advocacy has created increased mobility and quality of life for Arizona residents and transit customers nationally, according to colleagues.
Sen. Boxer, Rep. Petri Given National Service Honors
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI) were honored with APTA’s National Distinguished Service Award.
Boxer has been a member of the U.S. Senate since 1992 and is the current chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. She was instrumental in the passage of the American Recovery and Re-investment Act in 2008 and helped champion the continuation of the TIGER grant program.
Boxer was also key in shaping surface transportation legislation in the Senate, which eventually became MAP-21. In those efforts, Boxer worked in a bipartisan way with ranking member Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to get a bill done that also streamlined environmental reviews for transportation projects.
Petri is a long-time member of both the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. He is the current Chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
In his leadership role, Petri played a major role in the passage of three out of the last four major surface transportation reauthorizations. He has been a strong advocate of public transit in these bills and successful in improving coordination of transportation services for the disabled and elderly and providing flexibility for small transit operators in larger urbanized areas to use federal funds for operating. He has also been a vocal proponent of ensuring a strong national transit program with federal support from the Highway Trust Fund.
Bravo is Business Member of the Year
Raul V. Bravo, founder of Raul V. Bravo + Associates, was named the Outstanding Business Member in 2014 by APTA. He has been called a “steadfast champion for passenger rail and a visionary for innovative transit design concepts throughout his 45-year career in the industry.”
Among his many roles in the industry, Bravo has been a member of APTA’s Board of Directors since 2012 as well as a member of APTA’s the Standards Development and Oversight Council since 2003.
Bravo and RVB+A played an important role for the industry in the areas of safety, standards and rail rolling stock developments, particularly Crash Energy Management. He also assisted the Federal Railroad Administration in developing new rules and regulations in numerous areas, with a focus on safety.
SEPTA’s Deon Recognized as Outstanding Board Member
APTA named Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Board Chairman Pasquale T. “Pat” Deon Sr. as its 2014 Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member. Deon, a local entrepreneur, has applied his private-sector experience to SEPTA, bringing fiscal stability and a clear vision for the future.
Deon has served as SEPTA chairman since 1999 and has been a board member since 1996. Under his watch, SEPTA has operated with balanced budgets for 15 consecutive years, while also investing $3.5 billion in capital improvements. He has overseen the completion of dozens of major initiatives, such as the rebuilding of the Market Street portion of the Market-Frankford Line and the purchase of new Silverliner V Regional railcars. He has also been a guiding force in the authority’s ongoing effort to implement a transformational new fare system.
“I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of the entire SEPTA Board and our more than 9,400 employees who each day deliver on the promise we make to our customers and the greater Philadelphia region,” Deon said.
Vuchic Honored for ‘Academic Distinction’
Dr. Vukan R. Vuchic, an internationally recognized authority on transportation engineering, received APTA’s Lifetime of Academic Distinction Award.
Vuchic boasts a distinguished, 43-year teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s authored countless books, articles and technical papers on the topic of transportation systems, and served as a consultant on planning, design, and operations of transportation systems to transit and planning agencies worldwide. Through these personal contributions, and via the hundreds of students and officials he’s instructed and inspired, Vuchic has made the Delaware Valley and other urban hubs around the world more livable and more sustainable for generations to come.
Vuchic’s research lies in the arena of transportation systems, especially with regard to urban and urban public transportation, highway transportation, transportation networks and railroad systems.
He’s examined urban transportation systems technology, operations, planning and economics; the definitions of transportation systems components and their modeling; the interrelationship of cities and transportation with respect to urban planning, livability and sustainability; and has supported development of high-speed ground transportation.
Locally, Vuchic has worked with SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia as an advisor on major transportation projects and activities, including the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Long-Range Plans in the late 1960s/early 1970s; the redesign of I-476 in the mid-1970’s to mitigate its environmental impact and make it more context-sensitive; and ongoing work and efforts to develop a “Transit First” initiative to enhance transit operation and permit priority movement of transit vehicles in mixed traffic. He developed the SEPTA Regional Rail plan to coordinate operations through the Center City Commuter Rail Connection, which created the “R” routes that were in effect from the opening of the connection in 1984 until SEPTA revised the Regional Rail system and its route designations in 2010.
Vuchic’s fine work to advance transportation systems and improve urban livability is carried on via Penn’s Transportation Systems Engineering Alumni Club (TSEAC). Made up of presidents and CEOs of regional and international transportation firms; government officials at federal, state and local levels in the U.S. and abroad; and professors and researchers at various institutions of higher learning, the organization has proven incredibly influential throughout the Delaware Valley.
Courtesy Delaware Valley Engineers Week.