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PHOENIX, AZ – Citing her years of commitment to regional transit leadership, Valley Metro names an annual transit internship program in honor of its longest-serving Board member, Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs. Serving as a Board member for 19 years, as well as Chair in 2008, Scruggs accepted the honor during her final Valley Metro Board meeting on December 13, 2012.
The Valley Metro Mayor Elaine Scruggs internship will be utilized by a college student pursuing a degree in Planning, Engineering or a related field with a commitment to serving in the public transportation industry.
(Above) Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta with Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs on December 13, 2012.
“Public transit is vital to continued economic growth and improved quality of life in our region. Valley Metro’s expanded leadership role will significantly benefit efforts to create effective planning and implementation of these greatly-needed transportation modes,” said Scruggs. “We need to prepare the next generation of public policy leaders to understand the benefits of public transit and the tremendous complexity involved with planning coordinated transit service for an entire metropolitan region. The creation of an internship program in my name is an honor I could never have expected and is more meaningful to me than words of thanks can express.”
Mayor Scruggs led the way in supporting dedicated funding sources to help ensure the expansion of transit in Maricopa County. In 2001, Glendale voters approved the passage of a local sales tax to help provide travel options within the city and connect residents to the regional network. She also was instrumental in crafting the Regional Transportation Plan, which was approved by voters in 2004 in support of a providing a regional funding source to enhance Valley-wide transit services. Since its passage, public funds have contributed to the development of a 20-mile of light rail system, two new LINK bus routes, 12 new Express routes, two new operations facilities, five new regional park-and-rides and two new regional transit centers.
“Mayor Scruggs has been a leader in this region pressing for greater transportation choices in Glendale and beyond,” said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta. “We appreciate her service on the Board and her transit legacy will continue as the interns go through the program.”
About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of METRO light rail. In fiscal year 2012, total ridership for the system was 71 million passengers. The first 20-miles of light rail opened December 2008 and served 13.5 million riders in 2012 exceeding the prior year by six percent. Six light rail extensions are under way that will create a 57-mile system by 2032. Valley Metro also offers transit options including commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. A board of 16 governments sets the policy direction for the agency and works to improve and regionalize the public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
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