October 5, 2010

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT Board Member Flora Castillo was honored today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) as the 2010 Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member for her contributions to the public transportation industry.  The award was presented at APTA’s annual meeting, held this year in San Antonio, Texas. 


Ms. Castillo was first appointed to the NJ TRANSIT Board in 1999 by then-Governor Christine Todd Whitman—making her the first Latina and the youngest member to serve on the Board.  She currently chairs the Board’s Customer Service and Administration committees, overseeing an annual budget of more than $3 billion and 11,000 employees. 


“During her tenure as an NJ TRANSIT Board member, Flora Castillo has maintained a sharp focus on the needs of the State’s public transit customers,” said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson.  “I know she will continue to concentrate on initiatives that are in the best interests of New Jersey’s rail, bus and light rail riders.” 


“It is a privilege to contribute to NJ TRANSIT in the name of our customers and employees, and I am honored to be recognized by APTA for my service as a member of the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors,” said Flora M. Castillo.  “I appreciate APTA’s commitment to advancing public transportation around the nation and strengthening awareness of its vital importance to our mobility and economy.”


As APTA’s Vice Chair of Transit Board Members, Ms. Castillo has helped to increase board members’ participation in APTA committees and initiated activities to enhance professional development.  Her accomplishments include participation in the development of a training curriculum for Transit Board members in partnership with the National Transit Institute and the ENO Foundation.  She also initiated a program where APTA Board Members are invited to write articles for Passenger Transport Magazine, enabling them to share their experiences with other board members around the country.  Ms. Castillo also conceived the idea of quarterly webinars for Board members to share best practices around the country, in which hundreds of Board members participated.


During her tenure at NJ TRANSIT, Ms. Castillo has worked diligently to ensure quality service for customers, including increased seating capacity, cleaner trains and buses, and new equipment, and she played a key role in enhancing customer amenities for new multilevel rail cars that NJ TRANSIT has been placing into service on its busiest rail lines. 


In 2003, she launched the Corporation’s first-ever Transit Academy Workforce Awareness and Readiness Program, formed to expose high school students and young adults to the different career opportunities within the transportation industry and to help those who become interested acquire the underlying skills to successfully compete for and secure these jobs. She believes that the transportation field must be at the table when these students finish college and select career paths and to date, more than 400 high school students have participated in the program.


Born and raised in El Salvador, Ms. Castillo immigrated to Long Island, NY in 1981.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Long Island University.  She is a graduate of the Christine Todd Whitman Excellence in Public Services Series and The Leadership, Inc. Program of Philadelphia. 




NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.