December 21, 2009
Check the classifieds in this issue for information about numerous managerial and supervisory positions!
|2009: THE YEAR IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Industry Says Goodbye to Transit Leaders, Advocates
Over the past year, the public transportation industry said goodbye to transit agency chief executives and board chairs, a former U.S. secretary of transportation, an influential conservative leader and outspoken transit booster, and long-time transit professionals. Here’s how they were remembered in the pages of Passenger Transport.
Paul Weyrich, one of the giants of the modern conservative movement and a strong supporter of public transportation, died Dec. 18, 2008, at 66. In addition to being the chair and chief executive officer of the Free Congress Foundation and the co-founder and first president of the Heritage Foundation, he was a longtime friend and ally of APTA, authoring numerous reports on transit-related topics released under the Free Congress Foundation banner. He introduced the first report in the series, Conservatives and Mass Transit: Is It Time for a New Look?, at the 1996 APTA Legislative Conference in Washington.
Claude S. Brinegar, U.S. secretary of transportation under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, died March 13 at 82. He was the department’s third secretary, serving from 1973 to 1975—the period during which the federal government instituted public transit subsidies from the Federal Highway Trust Fund.
Alan F. Kiepper, 81, APTA chair in 1990-91 and a member of the APTA Hall of Fame, died Aug. 26. Kiepper’s long career included serving 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 also was an executive vice president with Parsons Brinckerhoff and, most recently, was a consultant to ARINC.
Harold C. Jenkins, 74, founding general manager of the Cambria County Transit Authority (CamTran) in Johnstown, PA, died April 14. Before the creation of the authority in 1976, he served as the city’s public works director. Jenkins received APTA’s Outstanding Public Transportation Manager award, then known as the Jesse L. Haugh Award, in 1986, and retired from CamTran in 1993.
Hershel Payne, founding chairman of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) Board of Directors, died Dec. 16, 2008, at 70. Payne was a member of The T’s board from 1983 to 1993. In recognition of his service to public transportation in the city, The T named its new headquarters in his honor at dedication ceremonies in 1997.
Walter P. Dell, a 32-year member of the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) Board of Directors in Lansing, MI, died Oct. 23 at 87. He represented Delhi Township on the CATA board for 32 years, from 1977 until his death.
Elonzo (Lonnie) Hill, 71, a longtime employee of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) who joined the board of the Metra commuter rail system following his retirement, died Feb. 18. Hill began his 37-year CTA career as a bus operator and retired as executive vice president in 1997. He joined the Metra board, representing Cook County, in 2003.
James M. Brunkenhoefer, 61, U.S. national legislative director of the United Transportation Union, died Dec. 19, 2008. Brunkenhoefer, who received his nickname of “Brokenrail” on his first day of work, began his railroad career in 1966 as a trainman for the Southern Pacific Transportation Co. on the Dallas-Sabine District, rising through the ranks to serve six terms as the union’s national legislative director beginning in 1987.
Clark Campbell, 86, a bus driver in Winston-Salem, NC, for more than 62 years, died Dec. 30, 2008. Campbell began his career in 1944 with Safe Bus Company Inc., predecessor to the Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA), and drove for the last time in 2006. WSTA honored Campbell in 2007 by naming its transportation center in his honor.
Howard L.E. Price, a longtime train operator, conductor, and transportation supervisor for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia and its predecessor organizations, died June 30 at 99. Price operated multiple generations of high-speed electric railway equipment for the former Philadelphia & Western Railway and Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (Red Arrow Lines) as well as SEPTA. As recently as 2008, he advised and assisted PTSI Transportation in an assignment for the Denton County Transportation Authority in Lewisville, TX.
John D. Byrd, 62, a public transit professional for more than 35 years, died unexpectedly April 11 in San Francisco. At the time of his death, he was deputy director of rail operations for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Byrd was a 2001 graduate of Leadership APTA who began his career in 1972 as a train operator with the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District and also served transit agencies in Los Angeles, San Jose, Minneapolis, and Orange County, CA.
Robert P. Rizzo Jr., 60, manager, paratransit contract operations, for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston, died suddenly Feb. 17. Rizzo was a history and civics teacher in Boston whose transportation career began in 1974, when he was named to the Boston Public Schools Superintendent’s Desegregation Implementation Team as a transportation supervisor and later assistant director of school transportation. He joined the MBTA in 1987.
James A. (Jim) Ditch, 62, former executive director of maintenance and facilities with Long Beach Transit (LBT) in Long Beach, CA, died Sept. 24. Ditch was a 19-year employee of LBT who retired in 2008; earlier this year, the agency honored him by dedicating the James A. Ditch Maintenance Facility and Learning Center.
James Francis Mullervy, 75, a longtime employee of Westinghouse Electric’s Transportation Division and its successor companies, died Sept. 28. Mullervy began his career with the company, now part of Bombardier, in Boston; he later served as marketing manager for its Transportation Division in Washington and managed the company’s government affairs efforts. At the time of his retirement in the 1990s, the firm was known as Adtranz.
Amy Allison Coggin, 53, an APTA employee from 1988 to 2003, died Aug. 15. She served APTA in positions including executive director, policy/intergovernmental relations, and director of communications.