Nominees for 2014 Regional Transit Awards

TRU Recognizes 24 of the Detroit Region’s Best Transit People, Projects, and Possibilities!

The Detroit region has made substantial strides in recent years to improve public transportation despite enormous obstacles. These steps forward are the result of extraordinary energy, creativity, and hard work by often unknown individuals. The Regional Transit Awards, hosted by TRU, seeks to recognize these bus drivers and politicians, corporate leaders and activists, bloggers and innovators, for their unique contribution to regional transit progress.TRU 2014 Regional Transit Awards

This is the short list of nominees, created from a broad public call for nominations, then narrowed to the four best in each category. An independent panel of judges will review the nominations and select one winner in each category. All nominees will be recognized and the winners will be awarded that the 2014 Regional Transit Awards dinner on Thursday evening, May 8, at Detroit’s historic Hotel St. Regis.

And the nominees are . . . Michael Ford

For the Exemplary Innovation Award

  • Michael Ford, CEO of AAATA, for bringing together community leaders, stakeholders, and the public around a public transit expansion plan for The Ride
  • Myride2
  • myride2, managed by Roberta Habowski of the Area Agency on Aging 1b, for conveniently and accessibly connecting the region’s seniors with transportation options that fit their needs
  • SitOnItDetroitSit On It Detroit, created by Kyle Bartell and Charles Molnar, for efforts to improve quality of life for transit users and the image of public transportation in Detroit
  • TwoWomenFourWheelsTwo Women, Four Wheels, run by Melissa Damaschke and Julie Funke, for documenting the reality of using public transit in Metro Detroit and bringing challenges to light to manifest change

For the Forward Motion Award for Most Effective Public Servant ElizabethGerber

  • Elizabeth Gerber, for bringing well-reasoned public policy expertise and compassion and dedication to the Regional Transit Authority Board
  • Roy Rose, for leading the RTA’s Finance and Budget Committee through unknowns to develop and fight for a startup budget that will support the RTA’s growth

For the Corporate Transit Champion Award     DetroitBusCompany  

  • Detroit Bus Company, led by Andy Didorosi, for their efforts towards an express bus to Detroit Metro Airport, providing student rides to after school programs, and other innovations
  • SusanWilliamsSusan Williams, CEO of Lakeside Divisions, Inc., for efforts to provide excellent paratransit services for the Detroit Department of Transportation despite Detroit’s financial criseslogo-tag yellow on blue
  •, for providing convenient and affordable transportation connecting Southeast Michigan to the broader Midwest 

For Transit Employee of the Year AllenLusk

  • Allen Lusk, for exceptional customer focus and genuine caring as a SMART driver and patience and support as a SMART Master Trainer and mentor
  • LarryStarkey Larry Starkey, for excellent customer service and infectious positive attitude that creates genuine community as a DDOT driver
  • MichaelBenham Michael Benham, for leadership and professionalism in The Ride (AAATA)’s long community engagement, Strategic Planning process, and historic multi-community expansion
  • DavidGlen David Glenn, for maintaining exceptional professionalism and quality service as a DDOT Driver, along with providing leadership and new ideas for improving DDOT

For the Under 30 – Breakthrough Transit Champion Award   CarstenApplegate      

  • Carsten Applegate, for efforts to maximize efficiency and frequency of DDOT routes as a studious, witty, and passenger-focused transportation planner
  • JoelBattermanJoel Batterman for smart, creative, and tireless efforts at MOSES and previously in community-building and advocating for effective people-focused public transit throughout the region
  • JeanLucGrosjeanJean-Luc Grosjean for using social media to share transit adventures and garner attention toward transit challenges

For the Unsung Hero Award    TiffanyGunter  

  • Tiffany Gunter for inspirational service and demonstrated dedicated to inclusion in transportation public meetings despite challenging circumstances at SEMCOG
  • LarryKriegLarry Krieg, a relentlessly dedicated transit advocate providing thoughtful, knowledgeable insight at every opportunity
  • CindyReeseCindy Reese, a passionate activist and inspirational spokeswoman for more and better transit as Transportation Co-Chair at MOSES

Join us at the 2014 Regional Transit Awards dinner on Thursday evening, May 8, at Detroit’s historic Hotel St. Regis to celebrate all nominees and toast the winners!