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APTA Delegation Makes Exploratory Trip to Cuba; Leaders Cultivate New Insights and Relationships

A delegation of 15 APTA members and partners participated in a study mission to Havana, Cuba, Sept. 26-30 to gain an understanding of the country’s political, economic and social climate and to explore how Cuban officials plan and manage transportation and infrastructure projects.

Valarie J. McCall, APTA immediate past chair and board member, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; Patrick Scully, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Motor Coach Industries, and immediate past chair, Business Member Board of Governors; and Frank Jackson, mayor of Cleveland, led the delegation. APTA Vice President-Policy Art Guzzetti provided staff support for the study mission.

The group examined Cuba’s mobility services, vehicles and infrastructure. It has been more than 60 years since American public transportation officials have had a dialogue with their Cuban peers.

The trip, which was organized with support from the Center for Democracy for the Americas, was also an ­opportunity to learn more about the country, its culture and its people.

The itinerary included meetings with Cuban officials, U.S. diplomats, entrepreneurs, small business owners, academics, economists and urban planners. Highlights included a meeting with Warnel Lores Mora, counselor of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, and Scott Hamilton, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

The trip was a key element of McCall’s initiative to pursue new avenues of outreach, engagement and collaboration.
APTA is developing a report that will describe the complete findings of the mission.

APTA’s delegation to Cuba included APTA board member Patrick Scully and Immediate Past Chair Valarie J. McCall, third and fourth from left, and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, center. Participants explored a wide range of collaboration opportunities related to city-based and national public transit.

Photo courtesy of Art Guzzetti

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