Thanks so much to everyone who helped make our 2016 Regional Transit Awards such a wonderful event. Over 150 transit staff, supporters, business allies and community partners all came together to celebrate transit progress.
The 2016 Transit Activist of the Year is Lisa Franklin, founder of Warriors on Wheels and former RTA boardmember. A persistent champion for improved transit, Lisa shines a much-needed spotlight of the challenges faced by people with disabilities trying to use public transit to accomplish vital daily tasks.
The Exemplary Innovation Award goes to the Wayne State University Office of Economic Development for their placemaking initiatives and commitment to improving regional transit. Projects from Walk [Wayne State] to car share and bike share exemplify their dedication to a vibrant connected community.
Our 2016 Transit Employee of the Year is DDOT bus driver and trainer, DeJaun Brown, for his caring attitude, respectful customer interactions, and professional dedication over nearly two decades of getting people where they need to be.
The Unsung Hero Award goes to Joel Batterman, founder of Motor City Freedom Riders and PhD candidate at U of M. A creative dedicated advocate for improved transit, Joel does whatever it takes to fight for better transit, whether by creating a lego rap video about light rail alignment or organizing a birthday welcome for the RTA’s first meeting.
A special new Public Participation Progress Award goes to DDOT for their recognition of the importance of rider voices in transit decision-making, for employees riding the buses, and for seeking public input early in their planning process.