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In Memoriam: Rep. Steve LaTourette, Robert R. Kiley, Greg Rymarz

LaTourette: A Friend of Transit
APTA remembers former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), 62, who died Aug. 3 at his home in McLean, VA, as a strong supporter of public transit who often addressed the association’s Legislative Conferences in Washington, DC.

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall and APTA Acting President and CEO Richard A. White released this statement:

“On behalf of the 1,500 members of the ­American Public Transportation Association (APTA), we mourn the passing of former Congressman Steve ­LaTourette, a good friend and ally to the public transportation industry, who often spoke to the role public transportation plays in a healthy, growing community. As a senior member of the Republican leadership and a strong believer in the Mass Transit Account, he successfully fought with APTA against the ill-conceived effort to eliminate dedicated federal transit funding in 2012.”

LaTourette was first elected to Congress in 1994 and served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Appropriations committees. After stepping down in 2012, he became president of Main Street Partnership, a group that backs centrist Republicans, and president of McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, a ­lobbying organization.

Kiley, Longtime New York MTA Chairman
Robert R. Kiley, 80, the longest-serving chairman in the history of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), died Aug. 9.

 In a statement, APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall and APTA Acting President and CEO Richard White called Kiley "a great friend and mentor to his fellow colleagues in the public transportation industry nationally and abroad."

They noted that Kiley served as MTA chair from 1983, when he was appointed by then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo, to 1991. His tenure included implementation of the first and second MTA Capital Programs, overseeing more than $16 billion worth of investments in New York’s public transit network and infrastructure, and an emphasis on the removal of graffiti from throughout the subway system.

In 2000, he joined Transport for London as commissioner of transport.  Then-London Mayor Ken Livingstone, in announcing Kiley’s appointment, called him “one of the world's greatest experts on transport with a proven track record.”

He was recognized by the public transit industry for his tireless efforts and received APTA’s National Distinguished Service Award in 1990.

"Robert set the example for all of us to follow and showed us how public transit leaders can dramatically improve the safety and reliability of a system while garnering record ridership levels," McCall and White stated. "His tremendous work ethic, his dedication to his colleagues and the industry will be missed.  We send our condolences to his family.”

Rymarz, FTA Engineer for Bus Testing
Greg Rymarz, 60, of Forest Hill, MD, a senior engineer in FTA’s Research and Innovation Office and the lead for FTA’s bus testing program, died July 4.

Rymarz, a six-year FTA employee, was primarily responsible for the day-to-day management and oversight of the bus testing program and recently led regulatory efforts to revamp the program. Previously he was a supervisory engineer with the Department of the Army and spent several years with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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