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Friends of Transit Honored for Their Contributions, Dedication

CONTACT: Anna Farneski (973-491-7078)

HOBOKEN, NJ, July 13, 2001 -- The historic and recently restored Hoboken Terminal waiting room served as the backdrop for NJ TRANSIT's Hall of Fame ceremony -- where eight people were honored for their contributions to New Jersey's public transportation system.

The eight Hall of Fame inductees -- selected by NJ TRANSIT employees and the Corporation's Board of Directors -- were lauded for their consistent support of New Jersey's past, present and future rail, light rail and bus system during a gala event at the nearly century-old Hoboken Terminal.

"Each of the men and women honored tonight played a significant policy, advocacy or operational role in the success of NJ TRANSIT and/or its predecessor transportation companies," said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Weinstein. "With such a distinguished honor roll, it is clear why NJ TRANSIT is consistently ranked among the best-of-the-best by its peers."

"It is fitting to honor these men and women inside a building that is so rich in transportation history," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh. "All of tonight's honored guests invested a portion of their lives making the commute more convenient and enjoyable for thousands of New Jerseyans."

NJ TRANSIT founded the Hall of Fame in 1999 as part of the Corporation's 20th anniversary.

Each of the Hall of Fame recipients receive a personalized brick paver, similar to one bearing their name that will be placed in front of the NJ TRANSIT headquarters building on Raymond Boulevard in Newark. The most recent inductees were:

  • Edd W. Cunningham: Began his career in bus operations for Public Service Coordinated Transport in July 1962 and rose through NJ TRANSIT ranks from bus operator to Director of Port Authority Bus Terminal. He retired in December 1992, after 30 years of service. Mr. Cunningham was the second African American to hold a supervisory position within the Bus Division and the first to hold the title of director.
  • Governor James J. Florio: During his tenure as Governor of New Jersey from 1990 to 1994, Governor Florio stopped a decade-long trend of escalating fares and declining ridership. He has been a critical supporter of public transportation, particularly of the Transportation Trust Fund. As Chairman of a non-profit advocacy group (Transit Now), he led a national coalition in support of the reauthorization of ISTEA and continues to speak out in support of public transportation. While a Congressman, Governor Florio was a leader for environmentally responsive legislation to support quality of life initiatives in both transportation and the environment.
  • Congressman Jim Howard: As Chairman of the House Public Works and Transportations Committee, Congressman Howard was a vital proponent for public transportation in New Jersey and the nation at large. He ensured that New Jersey received the funding necessary to begin our public transit network. He helped obtain the funding necessary to extend electrification to Long Branch at a time when Federal government was cutting back on such project funding, and worked with NJ TRANSIT and the NJ Department of Transportation on major legislative initiatives like the Surface Transportation Act. Howard passed away in 1988.
  • Senator Walter Rand: As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee for many years, the late Senator Rand supported the creation of the Transportation Trust Fund and the legislation that created NJ TRANSIT. The TTF has provided approximately $3.2 billion to purchase and rehabilitate equipment, ensure a state of good repair, initiate new services, and upgrade facilities in the support of public transportation for New Jersey. In June 1994, the Camden Transportation Center was rededicated the Walter Rand Transportation. Rand passed away in January 1995.
  • Arthur L. Reuben: Mr. Reuben served as Director of Planning in Somerset County until the late 1980s, primarily promoting the revitalization of public transportation services with a special focus on rail services and the reinstitution of the West Trenton Line. Reuben also served as the Legislative Liaison for the NJ Association of Railroad Passengers (NJ ARP). Most recently, Mr. Reuben was one of the founders of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, which has been instrumental in bringing a new focus to improvements on the Raritan Valley. Art Reuben passed away in November 1999.
  • Congressman Robert A. Roe: Mr. Roe had a long and distinguished career in public service, including 23 consecutive years as a U.S. Congressman where he served as Chairman of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee. As the primary author of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, Roe delivered billions of transportation dollars to New Jersey and the nation. He is the recipient of the Charles A. Lindbergh Excellence In Transportation award as well as many other honors for his leadership and services.
  • Amy M. Rosen: Ms. Rosen served as a member of the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors from May 1992 to December 1998. A dedicated transportation professional, she helped to draft the legislation creating NJ TRANSIT and to craft the policy and direction of the agency at its inception. Rosen was a driving force behind many of NJ TRANSIT's major capital projects, now underway or completed. Rosen served as executive assistant to former NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Louis J. Gambaccini. She has continued to be an advocate for improving the quality of public transit in the State of New Jersey and nationally as a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors.
  • William R. Wright: A career transportation professional, Wright has been in rail marketing since 1949 and represented his hometown of Cranford on Transportation Advisory committees since 1958. Wright has also been an active member of state, regional and county transportation boards and publishes numerous articles on the benefits of rail transportation. A founding member of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, Mr. Wright has been a tireless and effective mass transit advocate and currently serves as the organizations secretary.

During the evening's festivities, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh also revealed that the Bridgewater Train Station on the Raritan Valley Line will be rededicated in honor of Hall of Fame recipient Art Reuben. Bridgewater Station was chosen because of Reubens transportation contributions to Somerset County and on the Raritan Valley Line.

NJ TRANSIT's first Hall of Fame event was held in September 1999. At that time, 11 people were chosen as the charter members of the Hall of Fame:

  • Jerome C. Premo -- the Corporation's first Executive Director.
  • Louis J. Gambaccini -- the Corporation's first Chairman of the Board.
  • Theodore LaBrecque -- the first chairman of the North Jersey Transit Advisory Committee.
  • Senator Francis Herbert -- the prime sponsor of the New Jersey Public Transportation Act of 1979, which created NJ TRANSIT.
  • Governor Brendan T. Byrne -- the governor who signed the legislation in 1979 creating NJ TRANSIT.
  • Governor Thomas Kean -- instrumental in pushing for major transportation-related initiatives, including formation of the state Transportation Trust Fund and the Circle of Mobility.
  • Martin Brody -- One of NJ TRANSIT's first Board members who was instrumental in assisting NJ TRANSIT's implementation of cross-border leases, fixed pricing for fuel and inventory barcoding.
  • W. Cary Edwards -- the former Assemblyman who sponsored legislation that led to the creation of NJ TRANSIT.
  • John Sheridan -- former Chairman of the Board and advocate/consensus builder for the State Transportation Trust Fund.
  • Susan Kirk -- one of the original employees of NJ TRANSIT, Susan held a variety of positions including Assistant to the Executive Director, Director of Governmental Affairs/Community Relations, Assistant Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Chief of Staff for Rail Operations.
  • Joseph Burton -- After beginning his career in 1947 with the Erie Lackawanna Railroad as a baggage handler, Burton rose to the position of Division Superintendent of the Hoboken Division for NJ TRANSIT. He retired in 1989 after 42 years with the railroad.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's only statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 383,900 daily commuters on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.