September 14, 2009
The classifieds in this issue include two chief executive officer positions!
Alan Kiepper Dies; Past APTA Chair, Hall of Fame Member
Alan F. Kiepper, 81, of Annapolis, MD, APTA chair in 1990-91 and a member of the APTA Hall of Fame, died Aug. 26.
During his long career, Kiepper served as general manager of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, general manager of Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, and president of MTA New York City Transit. He joined Parsons Brinckerhoff in 1996 as executive vice president and, after moving to Annapolis in 2002, was a consultant to ARINC.
“It is with a great deal of sadness that I note the passing of a true giant of our industry,” said APTA President William Millar. “Anyone who could launch the MARTA system from scratch, overhaul service in Houston, and restore confidence in New York’s transit operations is a pioneer, an innovator. We were lucky to have him. His legacy lives on.”
Millar also said of Kiepper: “You thought it was the voice of God talking to you when you were with him.”
Robert C. Buchanan, a consultant with Daimler Buses North America and former APTA deputy executive vice president for member services, reminisced about Kiepper, whom he knew for more than 30 years. “Alan was nationally recognized as an effective administrator-manager and a hard-working, tenacious taskmaster,” he said. “He sought perfection—his basic belief was that, whatever it is, we have to make it better.”
Buchanan offered an example: “Houston has high temperatures and high humidity. When Alan went there, he decided that he wouldn’t put a bus that wasn’t air-conditioned on the road.”
APTA recognized Kiepper in 1985 with the Jesse H. Haugh Award, given to an outstanding public transportation manager, and named him to its Hall of Fame in 2003. In 1986, he received the National Public Service Award from the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society of Public Administration.
Also, while at NYC Transit, Kiepper was honored as an Angel of the American Poetry Society for introducing the “Poetry in Motion” program in the system’s buses and subways.
In addition to his APTA activities, he served as vice president and one of three American directors of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and chairman of its International Metropolitan Railways Committee and North American Committee. He was a fellow of the London-based Chartered Institute of Transport and a member of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board.
Kiepper served as clinical professor of public management at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and as associate professor of public administration at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration.