Passenger Transport - August 21, 2015
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McCall, Barnes, Green Head 2015-2016 APTA Slate

The APTA Nominating Committee selected current Vice Chair Valarie J. McCall, a member of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees, as APTA chair for 2015-2016 at a meeting Aug. 21 in Chicago.

Doran J. Barnes, the current APTA secretary-treasurer and executive director of Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA, was recommended for vice chair and Kim R. Green, executive director of business development, SPX Genfare, secretary-treasurer.

The committee also selected members-at-large for both the APTA Executive Committee and the APTA Board of Directors. For the Executive Committee: Nuria Fernandez, general manager, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA; Jeffrey Nelson, general manager, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLink), Moline, IL; Freddie C. Fuller II, vice president, Mid-Atlantic transit and rail market leader, CH2M; and Charles Wochele, managing partner/owner, TransitConsult LLC.

For the Board of Directors: Lester Bryant, VIA Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees, San Antonio; Andre Gibson, board vice chairman, Memphis Area Transit Authority; Bacarra Mauldin, board member, Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority; Andre McEwing, vice chair, Fort Worth Transportation Authority Board of Directors; Allan Pollock, general manager/CEO, Salem-Keizer Transit, Salem, OR; Elizabeth Presutti, general manager, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority; Jarod Varner, executive director, Rock Region METRO, North Little Rock, AR; Sharon Greene, senior vice president, director, finance market sector, HDR/Sharon Greene & Associates; Raymond Melleady, managing director, North America, USSC Group; and Jeffrey Wharton, president, IMPulse NC LLC.

APTA Chair Phillip Washington, chief executive officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will serve as immediate past chair.

In-person voting will occur Saturday, Oct. 3, in San Francisco, prior to the opening of the 2015 Annual Meeting.






Houston METRO Introduces New Bus Network

Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) launched a substantially new bus network—78 updated routes, including 22 scheduled to run every 15 minutes or more often at least 18 hours a day, seven days a week—on Aug. 16.

“METRO’s New Bus Network will provide tremendous benefit for our community,” said President and CEO Thomas Lambert. “We’ve made significant improvements so riders have service seven days a week, including 22 frequent routes where buses arrive every 15 minutes or better, plus improved connections to our three METRORail lines. Another impressive fact is 75 percent of all ­riders will experience more frequent service; that’s up from 25 percent with the old ­system.”

Lambert said the agency added a next bus texting feature so riders can track real-time arrivals.

Further, he noted, the new network is “built on a foundation of better service,” including connections to major employment centers and growth in weekend service, with increases of 37 percent on Saturdays and 93 percent on Sundays.

The introduction of METRO’s New Bus Network, the first major change in service since the 1970s, marked the first phase of a five-year plan to improve mobility for the area.

Lambert joined staff members, supervisors, street teams and board members on opening day, providing assistance to tens of thousands of bus riders across the region. These helpers answered questions, handed out schedules and bottles of water and sometimes walked riders right to their bus. In addition, METRO buses and light rail operated fare free Aug. 16-22. (METRO’s two new light rail lines—the Green and Purple lines—opened in May.)

In preparation for the service changes, more than 100 METRO teams took to the streets on Aug. 16, replacing 9,000 bus signs throughout the service area.

Elements of METRO’s “reimagined” bus network include:

* Connections to additional destinations and improved service to key activity centers;

* More frequent weekend service;

* Simplified routes with more and better connections;

* A sustainable system that serves the community today and anticipates expansion;

* A bus network that connects more than one million people to one million jobs, with shorter wait times for buses; and

* An effort to provide passengers with the best public transit service possible.

METRO President and CEO Thomas Lambert shows a rider the schedule for a new local bus route on the first day of service for the agency's New Bus Network.


RTD Opens Boulder Junction at Depot Square Station; Station Part of Mixed-Use Plan

Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the city of Boulder recently marked the opening of RTD’s Boulder Junction at Depot Square Station—part of a 160-acre area that is being redeveloped into a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with regional public transit connections.

“RTD is investing in Boulder and its residents and the opening of this new facility is a shining example of the good things that happen through regional partnerships and collaboration,” said Dave Genova, RTD interim general manager and chief executive officer, at a recent ceremony.

The 45,655-square-foot facility includes six underground bus bays, a ticket sales and information booth and 75 parking spaces in the garage reserved for RTD patrons. In addition, bike-and-ride passengers will have access to 27 bike racks that hold 54 bikes and pedestrians can access the underground facility via a breezeway.

The facility currently provides service on two bus routes. When it enters operation in January 2016, the Flatiron Flyer, RTD’s BRT service connecting Boulder and Denver, will use Boulder Junction as an end-of-line station.

The Boulder Junction area under development also features public spaces, a 150-room Hyatt Place hotel, an apartment complex with 71 affordable housing units and plans for a future restaurant.

“This transit center will bring state-of-the-art transportation service to east Boulder,” said RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk. “With a Flatiron Flyer arriving every 15 minutes during peak travel times, Boulder Junction at Depot Square Station will be a cornerstone for Boulder commuters. This facility will be accessible and welcoming to all, regardless of transportation mode.”

Dignitaries including RTD Interim General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Dave Genova, center, and Boulder Mayor Matthew Appelbaum, fourth from left, cut the ribbon to open the Boulder Junction at Depot Square Station.


GCRTA Opens Little Italy-University Circle Station

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) opened its first new Red Line rail station in 46 years, Little Italy-­University Circle Station, at recent ribbon-cutting ­ceremonies.

“The impact of this new rail station on the neighborhood has been large, positive and immediate. Located in the heart of Little Italy, the station significantly alleviated a long-term major parking issue,” said RTA Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Joe Calabrese. He noted that because the new station is open, the neighborhood is now accessible to more people and to people who don’t want to drive.

The $17.5 million station replaces an old, functionally obsolete facility about 0.3 miles away. It is within walking distance of residential areas, merchants and restaurants in a historic neighborhood that also includes the Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra), Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. Little Italy is also home to the highly popular Feast of the Assumption Festival, which Calabrese said attracts some 100,000 visitors to the neighborhood.

The lobby area of the new station incorporates an old vault underneath two track bridges. The vault dates from the 1920s, when the Van Sweringen brothers, who also built the Terminal Tower and the Shaker Rapid line, designed it as a potential commuter rail station.

Among the station’s amenities are an accessible single-platform headhouse and entrance plaza, a heavy-duty elevator and stairway connecting the street level to the platform and waiting areas and artistic touches such as a leaf-patterned terrazzo floor, chandelier sculpture elements and Italian poetry engraved into the lobby steps.

FTA provided $12.5 million for the project. 

RTA Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Joe Calabrese, back row center, and Valarie J. McCall, second from right, RTA board member and APTA vice chair, join other area officials to cut the ribbon at the Little Italy-University Circle Station.

Sound Transit Executes Issuance of Green Bonds

Sound Transit recently executed the sale of nearly $1 billion of green bonds that will help fund voter-approved regional public transit projects, including construction of more than 30 miles of light rail extensions on track for 2023.

The mid-August sale represents the world’s largest municipal sale of green bonds, agency officials said, a growing trend in the financial industry that facilitates investments in bonds that advance environmental sustainability.

“A growing number of investors want to see strong returns for both their portfolios and their planet,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “They need look no further than these green bonds, which will fund transportation projects that increase commuters’ mobility while reducing reliance on cars.”

Sound Transit’s issuance followed APTA’s announcement that the agency is one of only two public transit agencies in the U.S. to reach the platinum level in its Sustainability Commitment initiative. Sound Transit observes formal, independently monitored sustainability efforts across many areas of its daily operations, from designing energy-efficient buildings to reducing fleet emissions and increasing recycling and composting.

In addition, independent auditors annually evaluate the agency’s compliance with ISO 14001 environmental management system criteria.

“I’m proud of Sound Transit’s issuance of green bonds, which I believe will help grow this segment of the bond market while also reflecting our region’s environmental values and helping meet the agency’s financial obligations,” said Sound Transit Board and Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien, who advocated for the green bond strategy.

The bond sale will generate approximately $600 million in new proceeds to fund voter-approved transit expansions. It also will refinance $398 million of previously issued bonds with higher interest rates, generating present value saving of over $30 million.

Sound Transit is also developing a ballot measure for voters to consider in November 2016. Find details here.

Foothill Gold Line Dedicates First of Six Stations

The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority in Los Angeles recently held a dedication ceremony for the Duarte/City of Hope Station, the first in a series of celebrations marking the substantial completion of construction for the six-station, 11.5-mile light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa.

Dedication ceremonies for the remaining stations will occur in the coming weeks. Speakers at the event included Los Angeles Metro Chief Executive Officer ­Phillip Washington, Habib F. Balian, chief executive officer of the construction authority, Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and state and local officials.

The Foothill Gold Line project will be turned over to Metro for pre-revenue service in late September 2015, with passenger service projected to begin next year.

“It is an honor to be here to thank so many of you here today who ­lobbied and rallied in support of this project for over a decade and for the men and women who safely built this project on time and on budget,” Habib said. “This tremendous success is due in part to the grassroots support for this project and the partnership between the Foothill Gold Line cities, the Foothill Gold Line ­Construction Authority and Metro.”

The event also featured the unveiling of public art at the station, including an extensive sculpture that incorporates the city’s history and culture.

Hundreds brave the heat at the Duarte/City of Hope Station to celebrate the substantial completion of the six-station, 11.5-mile Foothill Gold Line, which ultimately will connect Pasadena and Azusa.


Central Arkansas Transit Rebrands

The Central Arkansas Transit Authority in North Little Rock recently held a special celebration to announce its new name, Rock Region METRO, a move Executive Director Jarod Varner said reflects the “citizen-focused, forward-thinking organization we are.” Varner, at the podium, center right, said, “We want to weave our brand into every aspect of our business, educating the public about our services while also representing a transit system of which they can be proud. The rebranding of Rock Region METRO is more than just a new name and logo,” Varner added. “It’s an opportunity to more fully engage our community in how they perceive public transit in central Arkansas.” System changes include the introduction of 15 buses powered by compressed natural gas, free Wi-Fi on all of the agency’s buses and the addition of 35 new bus shelters by the end of the year.

New, Interim CEOs Named

Tennyson, North Carolina DOT

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed Nick Tennyson secretary of North Carolina DOT, succeeding Tony Tata. Tennyson had held the position on an acting basis since Tata’s resignation and served as chief deputy secretary since March 2013. He was mayor of Durham from 1997-2001 and served three months as interim commissioner of the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy and worked as a home builder and developer.

Hursh, AC Transit

AC Transit, Oakland, CA, has named Michael Hursh its new general manager, effective Sept. 21.

Hursh comes to AC Transit after nine years with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, serving as chief operating officer since 2012. He also held several jobs with the San Francisco Municipal Railway during his 20-plus-year career.

He will succeed Kathleen Kelly, who retired from AC Transit in December 2011 and has served as interim general manager since April.

 Ferrara, NYC Transit, Interim

James L. Ferrara, president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels in New York City, will serve as interim president of MTA New York City Transit following the retirement of Carmen Bianco.

Ferrara joined the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a bridges and tunnels officer in 1977 and was named president of that division in 2010. He has chosen Bridges and Tunnels Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Donald Spero to serve as acting president during this time.
[Photo by MTA/Marc A. Herrmann]

Benson, UTA, Interim

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Salt Lake City, has announced that Jerry Benson, vice president of operations, will serve as interim general manager following the Aug. 28 retirement of President/Chief Executive Officer Michael Allegra.

Benson serves on the APTA Sustainability Committee and is a past chair of the Transit Labor Exchange, Labor Relations Subcommittee and Human Resources Committee. During his tenure at UTA, it became the first U.S. public transit agency to achieve certification to both the ISO 9001 quality management standard and the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.


WTS Creates LaHood Award

WTS International recently announced the creation of a new annual award—the WTS Secretary Ray LaHood Award—which will be bestowed on men in the U.S. who have been key to the organization’s efforts to attract, retain and advance women in transportation.

Fifteen percent of WTS International members are men. The award will be presented at the national level and by all 53 professional chapters.

Marcia Ferranto, WTS International’s president and chief executive officer, spoke about the decision to name the award after the former DOT secretary, who served from 2009-2013. “The impact that men have on the advancement of women was clearly illustrated during former Secretary LaHood’s term. All over the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, we will be carrying on his legacy,” she said. For details, click here.

USSC Enters Partnership with Investment Firm

USSC, a leading manufacturer of safety and survivability solutions for extreme duty, niche transportation markets, has entered into a strategic partnership with Dubin Clark & Co., a private investment firm.

USSC, headquartered in Exton, PA, will continue to operate its product divisions USSC, GSS, FMNA and partnership 4ONE. Dubin Clark has a 30-year history of investing in middle-market companies and building businesses in partnership with existing management teams.

“We are excited to be partnering with Dubin Clark,” said Christian Hammarskjold, CEO at USSC. “Dubin Clark has a strong national reputation for facilitating company growth and developing new strategies. This partnership with Dubin Clark will enable us to reach our future goals.”

ABC Companies Founder Dies

Clarence “Clancy” Carl Cornell, 85, of Clermont, FL, founder and chairman emeritus of ABC Companies, died Aug. 15.

Cornell grew up around buses and in the 1950s began purchasing small bus operations, turning Faribault Bus Service, Faribault, MN, into a tour and charter business. The operation evolved into buying and selling coaches, leading to the creation of ABC Companies. His son, Dane Cornell, serves as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer and the firm includes a third generation of family members in management roles.


APTA Encourages Continued Outreach to House Members

It’s August. Do you know where your member of the U.S. House of Representatives is?

Chances are, he or she is spending the summer recess in the district, right in your backyard—making these last days of summer the perfect opportunity to advocate for a six-year federal transportation funding bill and build on the bill the Senate passed just before the August recess.

APTA has compiled the August Recess Outreach Toolkit to help. The toolkit includes suggested social media posts, talking points for a letter to your representatives, a sample op-ed, blog post and letter to the editor and background information.

Visit the “Voices of Public Transit” website for an easy-to-use link to send a letter to members of the House and to engage advocates and partners in outreach. Members can also re-tweet and share posts from the public transportation Facebook page or the APTA Twitter page.

Find the toolkit here. For questions or details, contact Mantill Williams.

Many Annual Meeting Sessions Showcase In-Depth Learning

Approximately 35 concurrent sessions have been scheduled for APTA’s 2015 Annual Meeting, Oct. 4-7 in San Francisco, on topics ranging from alternate fuels to safety, MAP-21, procurement best practices and transformative technologies.

Concurrent sessions range from one to two hours in length, giving attendees ample opportunities to explore a topic in detail, learn from industry experts and share experiences and insights. Details on a few sessions follow:

FTA staff will conduct a special workshop to discuss rating projects under the new MAP-21 evaluation process as described in the New and Small Starts Evaluation and Rating Process Final Rule and the new Final Interim Policy Guidance for the Capital Investment Grant Program. The workshop will also cover performance planning and environmental provisions as they relate to project development.

“Clean Fuels and Clean Fleets” will examine ways public transit agencies can integrate clean and alternative fuel technologies into their operations.

“Focus on Operations Safety” covers proposed FTA rulemakings related to the safety statutes in MAP-21, prevention of operator assaults and the findings in a recent Transit Cooperative Research Program report.

“What You Don’t Know that You Think You May Know about the APTA Standards Program” showcases the program, its 300-plus published documents and new website.

Register here.

APTA's New Research Provides Data, Info to Strengthen Industry

APTA published two research reports in August that feature analysis, best practices and statistics to help strengthen public transportation agencies and businesses.

Public Transportation Embracing Open Data, a white paper that draws in part from a recent synthesis developed by the Transit Cooperative Research Project, probes key questions and challenges related to the use of open data in the industry. It features examples of how public transit agencies use open data, discusses licensing issues and describes the benefits of open data. For details, click here.

The Public Transportation Infrastructure Database, published every other year, compiles data related to several of the industry’s technological and infrastructure advances.

For example, the database shows that the number of public transit agencies offering real-time arrival information to customers has increased by 30 percent since 2012, reaching near unanimity among the largest agencies. Wi-Fi in stations and parking capacity are also increasing, according to its figures.

The report includes data on rail lines and stations parking for all modes and information about status, mileage and opening dates of future rail projects.

The database is free for APTA members and $100 for non-members, and it is available in several formats. To download or order, click here.

Additional Member on UITP Board

Bruce McCuaig, president and chief executive of Metrolinx, has been appointed to the policy board of UITP (the International Association of Public Transport), an international organization for public transportation authorities and operators, policy and decision makers, scientific institutes and businesses and suppliers.

He is representing Canada on the board. “I am honored to have been appointed to the UITP board and look forward to representing Canada’s interests on the board,” McCuaig said. “I am a strong believer in sharing best practices among the global community of transit service providers, and the work of the UITP policy board is a key way to make this happen."

Toronto-based Metrolinx, an agency of the government of Ontario, was created to improve the integration of all modes of transportation in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area.

The UITP board prepares international strategies for the public transit sector and takes official policy positions on international transit issues.

McCuaig joins Stephen Banta, chief executive officer, Valley Metro in Phoenix, and Daniel A. Grabauskas, executive director and chief executive officer, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, on the policy board. The appointments are part of a long-standing collaboration between APTA and UITP. The policy board is solely a governing body of UITP.

To learn more, go to the UITP website.


Uber and Public Transit Are Trying to Get Along; Partnerships hold promise, but also raise questions


Uber isn’t known for working peacefully with cities. Case in point: pretty much everywhere it’s ever launched a new service. But the e-hail cab company seems to be making an effort with public transportation agencies in the U.S., at least if a few early partnerships are any indication.

In Dallas, DART riders can now access Uber via the agency’s mobile ticketing app, a program intended to simplify connections at transit stations. A similar smartphone union has emerged between Uber and MARTA in Atlanta. Transit agencies in Los Angeles and ­Minneapolis now cover Uber trips as part of their “guaranteed ride home” programs, which reimburse regular commuters who need to travel outside rush hour for an emergency.

Several other cities (Seattle and Tampa among them) are also discussing similar “first mile, last mile” arrangements with transit agencies, according to the Shared-Use Mobility Center, an interest group focusing on shared mobility, which is tracking the partnerships. The hope is that Uber, like other taxi outfits before it, can serve as a feeder option to and from bus and rail stops. Such coordination would benefit both sides by discouraging private car-reliance and encouraging more transit use.

“We’re really interested in promoting opportunities that will in fact get them adding value to transit,” says Sharon ­Feigon, the center’s executive director. ...

Mobility Ecosystem
The DART-Uber partnership emerged after a successful trial during this year’s St. ­Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas. The idea was to encourage people to ride transit into town for the festivities but help them get back home safely after one too many glasses of green beer. As for why such arrangements hadn’t been made with traditional cab companies, agency spokesman Morgan Lyons says Uber has a “coolness factor” that raises transit’s profile in a city where it’s often overlooked.

“Being relevant to that kind of community helped us a lot more in a way than just saying: ‘Ride DART,’” he says. “Taxi service here is different than in New York or D.C. It’s not something folks think of quite as ­readily.” ...

“We want to try to create some solutions,” he says. “Get them to use DART. But it’s DART and. Not instead of.”

The and-versus-instead of discussion—essentially, the fear that people will use Uber to replace trips once made in part with transit—is one that Feigon hears frequently. There’s certainty a concern among some agencies that Uber will skim riders off the top of the system, she says. But in cities where transit demand is on the rise, agencies are often happy to see ride- and car-share operators provide service to lower-volume corridors that buses and trains can’t easily reach. ...

Who Benefits?
A network where Uber and other micro-transit providers enhance access to the existing public transit system would be a big win for urban mobility. But given Uber’s public trust problem in cities, the natural question is whether agencies and residents are getting enough out of these deals.

Take the Dallas and Atlanta partnerships. As part of these arrangements, Uber is offering first-trip rebates up to $20 for new users. That nice gesture feels a lot less meaningful when you consider that Uber already offers a promo for first rides in the U.S.—and that the one available online goes up to $30.

Then there’s the tech integration itself. In DART’s GoPass app, for instance, the screen option of linking to Uber ­simply opens up the Uber app—a seamless transition, sure, but not an especially innovative one. The Peach Pundit had a similar experience with the MARTA app, leading the blog to perceive the arrangement as little more than yet another Uber publicity platform: Truthfully, however, the word “partnership” may be overselling what is actually happening here. ...

Nor is there any indication that Uber is providing partner cities with the type of data that would help officials gauge the service’s true mobility impact. In March, after working with a metro ­Portland sustainable transport group, Uber announced that one in four trips took place within a quarter-mile of a transit station. But without also saying how many cars cruised around empty or how far drivers traveled between fares, the company can’t support its claims that the program will “take cars off the road” or “reduce congestion.”

That type of transparency is critical. If Uber does serve as a reliable transit feeder, for instance, cities might need less parking near major rail stations—freeing up prime space for transit-­oriented development. That outcome could meaningfully reduce car-reliance over time, benefitting Uber and transit alike, but it requires a partnership that goes far beyond the smartphone screen.

Reprinted with permission from CityLab, a blog from the Atlantic. Eric Jaffe is CityLab’s New York bureau chief.

“Commentary” features points of view from various sources to enhance readers’ broad awareness of themes that affect public transportation.

APTA Addresses ‘Transformative Technologies’

The potential impact of new ­innovative technologies on public transportation is on APTA’s agenda as it starts its new fiscal year.

APTA’s strategic plan for 2015-2019 includes “technological innovation” as one of its five overarching goals. The association’s work “to lead and serve member efforts to ­evaluate, develop and adapt to emerging technologies” is already underway.

Several APTA committees are identifying ways for the industry to benefit from rapidly evolving trends related to mobility and transformative technologies, including innovations driven by both entrepreneurs and corporations, automated vehicles and services like Uber and Lyft.

In addition, APTA has scheduled numerous sessions at the 2015 Annual Meeting, Oct. 4-7 in San Francisco, focused on transformative technologies and new mobility services. For details, click here.


Who's Doing What in the Industry

SEPTA's Casey Retires Sept. 30

PHILADELPHIA—Joseph M. Casey, general manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) since 2008, has announced he will retire Sept. 30.

Casey’s transportation career began in 1982 at Conrail. At SEPTA, he served in finance positions before being appointed general manager. For APTA, he is a designated transit system member director of the Board of Directors and serves on several committees.

SEPTA received the 2012 APTA Outstanding Public Transportation System Award and achieved the Gold Level in the Sustainability Commitment.

Allegra to Step Down at UTA

SALT LAKE CITY—Michael Allegra, president/chief executive officer of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) since 2010, has announced his retirement effective Aug. 28.

Allegra has worked for UTA for 37 years, in jobs including manager of planning and research and director of transit development. He will remain a senior advisor to the chair of the UTA Board of Trustees through March 2016.

He is a member-at-large of the APTA Executive Committee and Board of Directors and serves on numerous APTA committees.

Terry Garcia Crews
PHILADELPHIA—FTA has named Terry Garcia Crews regional administrator for Region 3. Garcia Crews has headed public transit agencies including ­Cincinnati Metro, StarTran in ­Austin, TX, and LexTran in Lexington, KY, and is a national transportation consultant. She is a past chair of the APTA Mid-Size Bus Operations Committee.

FTA Region 3, with a regional office in Philadelphia, represents Delaware, ­Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), has been named by the Jacksonville Business Journal one of Northeast Florida’s Ultimate CEOs for 2015. Ford has worked in the public transportation field for three decades and joined JTA in 2010.

Monica C. Fowler

FORT WORTH—The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) has named Monica C. Fowler chief financial officer and vice president of finance. She previously served The T as assistant vice president of finance and earlier worked for the Denton County Transportation Authority and the Burnet County Auditor’s Office.

Randall C. (Randy) Redmond

DALLAS—Randall C. (Randy) ­Redmond has joined CDM Smith as a client service leader in support of the firm’s Texas transportation clients, based in Dallas. He has 26 years of experience, most recently as director of Texas DOT’s Dallas Fort Worth Strategic Projects Office.

Herbert Els

SAN FRANCISCO—­Herbert Els has been appointed national leader of the Building Technology Systems group at WSP. Els is a vice president of the firm who has managed this team since joining WSP in 2012, with 15 years of technology experience.

Rob Stephens

ODESSA, TX—Rob ­Stephens, general manager of the Midland Odessa Urban Transit District, has been appointed chair of the Texas DOT Public Transportation Advisory Committee (PTAC), on which he has served since 2012. He succeeds Michelle Bloomer, who has chaired the committee since 2007. The nine members of the committee are appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.