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APTA Chair McCall Addresses National Conference of Regions
APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall recently addressed members of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), calling for even greater cooperation between the organization and APTA in remarks that emphasized her central theme as the association’s chair.
“Now is the time for the respective stakeholder groups, metropolitan planning organizations and public transit agencies we represent to collaborate more closely than ever before,” said McCall, who spoke at the opening general session of NARC’s National Conference of Regions in Washington, DC.
“My priority initiative as APTA chair is to take the already strong partnership that exists between our two organizations and bring it to a new level of excellence,” she said. “Through closer collaboration and greater visibility, NARC and APTA will be stronger, more effective and of greater value to our respective members.”
McCall, chief of government and international affairs for the city of Cleveland and board member of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, said the passage of the FAST Act is an example of effective collaboration between the two groups, and she encouraged ongoing cooperation during the law’s implementation, noting that regional planning is one of the FAST Act’s core themes.
“Having worked on legislative matters for the city of Cleveland, I know firsthand how important it is to have efficient program delivery on the federal side and to have regional, state and local partners united in working toward the same strategic goals. That’s what needs to happen on the FAST Act,” she said.
“We always accomplish much more when we work together rather than separately,” McCall concluded. “The FAST Act proves that.”
APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy participated in a panel discussion of the FAST Act and what the future is likely to hold for public transportation at the local, regional and national levels.
“We all have a responsibility to turn those 500 pages [in the act] into real rewards for neighborhoods across all 50 states,” Melaniphy said.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and it will continue into 2017, 2018 and beyond. By collaborating with regional councils and MPOs, we can make the FAST Act work for all of us,” he added.
|Conference presenters include, from left, Peter Ruane, president and CEO, American Road and Transportation Builders Association; Melaniphy; McCall; Bud Wright, executive director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Andrew Gruber, executive director, Wasatch Front Regional Council; and Robert Fogel, NARC consultant.|