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Meet the Sustainability Committee!

Sustainability Committee

Chair:  J. Barry Barker, executive director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY, chair since 2016

APTA Staff Advisor: Rich Weaver, director-planning, policy and sustainability

249 Members   |   Find details here

What is your committee’s role for APTA and the industry as a whole?

APTA’s Sustainability Committee supports sustainable practices throughout the public transportation industry in every pillar—economic, environmental and social. We collaborate to expand sustainability initiatives and work to promote the importance of sustainability to enhance the quality of life in our communities and throughout the U.S. Sustainability improves our industry, the lives of our passengers and the communities in which we live.

The committee is also the keeper of the Sustainability Commitment, which recognizes APTA members who commit to becoming more sustainable in their operations and practices.

What are the committee’s top priorities for the year?

The committee is working diligently to bring the social and economic pillars of sustainability to the level of recognition and importance associated with environmental sustainability. There has been tremendous, valuable work around environmental sustainability but it is much more difficult to quantify our impact on improving the quality of people’s lives in our communities or how we impact the economies of communities as a whole.

The committee is also looking to expand the 124, by last count, number of APTA members who have signed on to APTA’s Sustainability Commitment. There are no prerequisites for members to sign on.

Signatories provide brief, annual updates on fulfilling the commitment’s principles and can advance in their level of recognition by demonstrating sustainability achievements across key indicators. Levels start at Entry and advance through Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Detailed information about the commitment, including the application form, is available on the APTA website.

How does the committee engage members in these priorities?

The Sustainability Commitment is an ongoing and great way for engagement by all APTA members. The annual Sustainability and Multimodal Planning Workshop is another engagement opportunity, which always features a great lineup of speakers on interesting topics and research involving sustainability and multimodal planning initiatives. In addition, the APTA website provides a wealth of information about the committee’s work.

APTA’s committees play an important role in fulfilling the association’s ­commitment to developing industry leaders, especially young ­professionals. Please share how your committee encourages young professionals to ­participate in its work.

Our committee is made up primarily of young professionals! Young professionals seem drawn to the sustainability mission. We want and encourage this participation in a number of ways.

The committee is open to all APTA members, as is our annual Sustainability and Multimodal Planning Workshop. Anyone with an interest in sustainability topics is welcome to join the committee and attend the annual workshop. We also invite everyone to join us for our meeting during the APTA Annual Meeting.

Please share how an individual’s service on this committee can add value to his or her career.

The knowledge gained through service on the Sustainability Committee covers a broad spectrum, from technical, cutting-edge environmental advancements to programs that lift up disadvantaged communities. Committee members can learn ways to create a sustainable operation on the inside and have an impact on the outside in their communities. They will also make connections with some of the best and brightest minds in our industry. We’re a great networking platform for knowledge and career advancement. Join us, make a difference and thrive!

What is the committee doing to advance the goals in APTA’s strategic plan?

We generate plenty of technical findings, but we also get beyond the statistics of public transportation. Our focus underscores and supports APTA goals and advances the value and benefits of public transportation for the social, economic and environmental well-being of our communities. That’s what sustainability is all about.


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