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The Rapid's Varga: Grand Rapids Newsmaker of Year for 2014

The Grand Rapids Business Journal recently recognized Peter Varga, chief executive officer of The Rapid in Grand Rapids, MI, and immediate past chair of APTA, as its 2014 Newsmaker of the Year.

In addition to the top honor, Varga was one of 16 community leaders who received individual recognition for their efforts in western Michigan. In this individual award category, Varga was recognized for his specific accomplishments in economic development.

The newspaper selected Varga for his work on the Silver Line BRT, which entered service in summer 2014 after 10 years of preparation. The Silver Line is the state's first BRT.

"Public transit is good for business and business is good for public transit," Varga said at an event attended by more than 400 business leaders. "This is shared with all our employees, because to anyone who has dealt with bureaucracy, you know how hard it was."

In other news, The Rapid and the Silver Line received several other community awards. The Local First organization, which promotes local businesses in Grand Rapids, presented the agency with its Change Agent Award for launching the Silver Line. The Neighborhood Business Alliance recognized the Silver Line with the Best New Construction Award for 2014 and The Rapid won the Invest in Ability Award from Disability Advocates of Kent County.
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