October 20, 2008
The 2008 APTA Annual Meeting and EXPO in San Diego was a huge success!
Read all about it.
Partnerships Keep Transit Moving Ahead in San Diego
Representatives of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and its public- and private-sector partners described their efforts to keep the San Diego region moving at the Host Forum on Oct. 5.
MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski explained that the agency serves an area of 3,240 square miles and 10 cities, and that the area hosts 180 special events a year. “We couldn’t do it without our partners,” he said.
Jablonski also reported on MTS’ commitment to alternative fuels: more than 65 percent of the fleet now operates on natural gas, and the agency plans to convert the entire fleet to natural gas operation by 2011.
Mark L. Joseph, chief executive officer and vice chair of Veolia Transportation, spoke about his company’s 150-year history and the services it provides in the San Diego region, including MTS commuter buses and the North County Transit District’s Sprinter rail line. “We look for a partner with vision for quality passenger service,” he explained, “to be a collaborator, an innovator, someone with integrity.”
Veolia also takes seriously its role in maintaining environmental quality, he said: “We measure our carbon footprint and work to reduce it while growing our ridership.”
Jerry Brand, chief executive officer of Fairfield Residential, reported on his company’s plans for transit-oriented development in La Mesa: apartments located near transit stations, with a garage located on top.
Brand warned that the current banking crisis will have a significant negative impact on development, but said he sees
leadership as key to continued success.
Ken Ramirez, vice president for Coca-Cola Enterprises, listed ways that partner organizations can help promote transit use, including Coca-Cola Customer Appreciation Day. The company’s other promotions in the San Diego area have included a student essay contest on transit topics, with laptop computers as prizes, and a giveaway of free MTS tickets in Coke bottles.
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has participated in regional partnerships over the past 40 years, according to Executive Director Gary Gallegos.
“If we want a better transit system, we have to know how to pay for it,” Gallegos said. He noted that “public transit is in a perfect place to participate” in legislation requiring a decline in greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020.