The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) named Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., CEO of Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), as its 2020 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager.
The APTA Awards program recognizes excellence among public transportation providers in North America.
“This is a tremendous honor and one I accept on behalf of the nearly 800 JTA employees who continue to keep Jacksonville moving in the face of unprecedented circumstances,” said Ford. “The support and recognition from my peers is a sign that the JTA is headed in the right direction, and motivation to continue expanding mobility for our citizens.”
Before joining JTA in late 2012, Ford served as the CEO of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Prior to that, he served as CEO and GM of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. His career spans nearly four decades and includes leadership roles at the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority and New York MTA.
Under Ford’s leadership and vision, the JTA has made several notable achievements over the years, including:
- The opening of the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla (JRTC) — a multimodal hub and the first of its kind in northeast Florida — unifying traditional and bus rapid transit routes, the Skyway, shared mobility services, paratransit services, and intercity services.
- The JTA’s first major overhaul to its fixed-route bus operations in nearly three decades through the Route Optimization Initiative (ROI). This accomplishment streamlined bus routes, increased frequencies, and added much-needed capacity for customers.
- JTA's build-out of the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit network, the largest BRT system in the southeast U.S.
- The JTAMobilityWorks program that began in 2016, which includes 13 major road projects and improvements to 14 mobility corridors.
- The JTA Cares initiative, which has embraced causes to support the Clara White Mission and established Career Closets that provide free professional clothing for those seeking new employment or job interviews.
In addition to this honor, Ford has received numerous awards for his transformational programs and initiatives, including the White House Champion of Change. Under his leadership, the JTA was also recognized as the winner of the 2016 APTA Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award.
Ford will be honored alongside 13 individual and agency winners during APTA’s TRANScend virtual meeting Oct. 21 to 22, and formally honored at a ceremony during APTA’s 2021 TRANSform Conference & EXPO in Anaheim, California, scheduled for March 14-17, 2021.
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