February 20, 2015
» The Arizona Transit Association is looking for an executive director. [More]
» The city of Simi Valley, CA, seeks a transit supervisor. [More]
» The Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority requests proposals for demand-response (paratransit) bus services. [More]
View more Classified Ads »
TO PLACE AN AD: E-mail the requested date(s) of publication to: ptads@apta.com. Mailing address is: Passenger Transport, 1666 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. Ad copy is not accepted by phone. DEADLINE: 3 p.m. EST, Friday, one week prior to publication date. INFORMATION: Phone (202) 496-4877.

Stand Up for Transportation Day Is Central Feature of Transit CEOs Seminar

BY LYNNE MORSEN,Director-Program Management

Public transportation chief and senior executives gathered to participate in professional development and educational sessions at APTA’s Transit CEOs Seminar, Feb. 7-10 in Phoenix.

APTA Chair Phil Washington, general manager and chief executive officer of Denver’s Regional Transportation District, shared plans for the industry’s national day of advocacy on April 9, Stand Up for Transportation Day, targeted at getting Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation authorization bill. “This growing movement is about getting the bill that the nation needs,” he said.

Opening General Session speaker Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton described the link between economic and public transportation growth in his region. He, joined by Valley Metro Chief Executive Officer Stephen Banta, also signed up to engage the city of Phoenix in the day’s activities. He noted that Phoenix had hosted one million people only one week prior, for the Super Bowl, and is celebrating many changes.

Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith showed conference participants that success in getting light rail in the region was due less to information about efficiency measures and more to people believing that the new service changes their lives. “We need to better celebrate our accomplishments,” he said. “We had to do something bold to create something bold. But how good would the light rail be if there weren’t any buses? The rail is part of a much bigger system. The allure is that rail builds a better transportation system.”

David Krietor, chief executive officer of Downtown Phoenix Inc., a community development group of city, business and community leaders, described how the city placed a convention center, arena and stadium in the downtown area once much of the city’s population had moved to the suburbs. Now, he added, a surprising and powerful new urban generation of downtown residents—including millennials and baby boomers—is supporting “walkable, livable, vibrant communities, making downtown areas their living rooms.”

A group of four CEOs joined Krietor onstage for a conversation about the nationwide trend of residents returning to cities, with public transportation systems adding connectivity in the cities that are coming back.
Federal representatives addressing the group included FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan; Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers; Lynn Spencer, director, Office of System Safety; and Sonya Proctor, director of the Transportation Security Administration’s Surface Division.

A session on career pathways offered insights into four transit systems’ workforce development programs such as innovative recruiting methods, tuition reimbursement and partnering with universities. Other topics of interest were APTA’s recent CEO survey about the hardest jobs to fill and its partnership in the new virtual career network.

Other key sessions for chief executives featured working with the board, labor trends and negotiating employment contracts. The seminar also featured a track of study for deputy CEOs whose career goals include becoming a transit chief executive.


Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton signs on to APTA’s Stand Up for Transportation Day as Valley Metro CEO Stephen Banta, center, and APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy watch.

Photo by Deb Falco

« Previous Article
Return to Top
Next Article »

© Copyright American Public Transportation Association
1666 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 496-4882 • Fax (202) 496-4321
Print Version | Search Back Issues | Contact Us | Unsubscribe
Twitter Flickr Blog YouTube Facebook