May 7, 2013

METRO Profile: Michael Melaniphy

What is your greatest day-to-day challenge?

As APTA President and CEO, my greatest challenge is having to make difficult choices about attending and participating in wonderful member and industry events that often occur at the same time. According to ISO 8601, there are only 24 hours in a day, and with all of the good things going on in the industry, it is challenging to fit all of those geographically-dispersed events into that 24-hour time constraint. We feel very fortunate that APTA’s members have been so thoughtful and generous in inviting us to participate in these events, and we try to attend every one we possibly can. This is where it is great to have so much bench strength within the APTA Team.  

What pivotal moment helped you get to where you are?

Life’s significant accomplishments are rarely the result of a single giant step, but more often the culmination of numerous small steps and victories along the way. I am extremely grateful for all of the people that shared their experience with me, helped me grow, and took a chance on me — all along this wonderful journey. Without them, my mentors, managers, boards, professors, friends and family, I would not be here today.  

Best piece of advice?

Mike Setzer, “Great opportunities don’t always come at opportune times.”

Favorite iPhone app?

My favorite phone app is the WMATA next train app. I don’t have a car in D.C., and am totally public transit dependent. I ride Metro everywhere, and knowing when the next Metro is coming makes using the system easy.

Favorite book or movie?

My favorite movie is “The Blues Brothers.” It combines exciting transportation, great music and teamwork to benefit a higher cause. What more could one ask for?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I spend time with my family.  

If you weren’t in transit you’d be…

I would probably be in the aviation field, probably lobbying Congress and the Administration on good aviation policy. What can I say, I simply love the confluence of transportation, policy and politics.

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