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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) yesterday formally presented its 2017 awards during its annual meeting in Atlanta. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) won the association's 2017 outstanding public transportation achievement award. The third-largest public transit system in North America, the TTC moves 1.8 million customers each day on its bus, streetcar, light-rail, subway and paratransit systems.In 2013, the agency implemented a top-to-bottom modernization plan and developed a new customer-focused service strategy. The TTC's other achievements include rolling out a new fare payment system; commissioning a streetcar maintenance and storage facility; and opening a second subway platform at Toronto's Union Station.Meanwhile, APTA presented its 2017 Hall of Fame Award to Robert Prince, who previously served as general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Prince helped renew and expand the Boston-area transit agency's historic infrastructure, APTA officials said in a press release.
This year, two individuals received APTA's local distinguished award: Chicago Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Chairman Kirk Dillard and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Before joining RTA, Dillard served as a state senator for nearly 20 years. As senator, he was a "strong supporter of public transit" and the sponsor of the Illinois Secretary of State's railroad safety initiatives, APTA officials said. During his tenure as Atlanta's mayor, Reed has helped pass Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority-related bills and block measures that would have debilitated the agency, according to APTA.Earning APTA's "Outstanding Public Transportation Manager" was Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy, who has led the Southern California commuter railroad since 2015. In that time, he's addressed some of the agency's "most pressing problems," APTA officials said. For example, Metrolink now features mobile ticketing and cleaner locomotive fleets."The 2017 APTA Award winners are dedicated and skilled individuals and organizations that have advanced the cause of public transportation for millions of people," said APTA Chair and Jacksonville Transportation Authority Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel Ford Sr. "I commend the recipients on the significant contributions they have made to public transit and the communities they serve."APTA's annual meeting wraps up today. The event coincides with the association's EXPO trade show, which began Monday.
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