The US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR) presented this year's awards to leaders at its 10th High Speed Rail Conference in Los Angeles last week.
USHSR's High Speed Rail Awards honor individuals who have the vision and courage to help bring high-speed rail to America. The award recipients range from visionaries to those at the forefront of the struggle to bring 21st Century transportation to America.
Rod Diridon was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented to individuals who have spent years dedicated to improving transportation options in America. Diridon has served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) created by Congress in 1991. He has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment.
Diridon was appointed by Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2001 and 2006, respectively, to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board, of which he is chair emeritus.
Dan Richard was presented with the Heroes of High Speed Rail Award. The award is presented to individuals who've made a major contribution bringing high-speed rail to America. Richard is chairperson of the California High Speed Rail Authority and has been a principal of Dan Richard Advisors since 2010. He was managing partner and co-founder of Heritage Oak Capital Partners, an infrastructure finance firm, from 2007 to 2009.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Perl was presented with the Transport Revolution Award. The award is presented to individuals who push for sweeping change in transportation in America by outlining the 21st Century, and the path to get there. Dr. Perl is an international authority on transportation and energy, and their interconnection. He is director of the Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.
USHSR's High Speed Rail Conference was held December 3 to 5 at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) headquarters in downtown Los Angeles — next to Union Station, the future home to HSR LA.
The conference was co-hosted by the Mineta Transportation Institute Metro. Business and political leaders came together with the world's top experts to bring high-speed rail to America, starting in California. The first $6 billion phase is about to get started on the state's 800-mile state-of-the-art high-speed rail system.