The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has honored DART Board Member Randall Chrisman with the Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member Award. This award honors an individual serving on the governing board of an APTA public transportation system who has made outstanding contributions to the public transportation industry.
Chrisman was appointed to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board in 2002 to represent the cities of Carrollton and Irving and served as chair in 2008 and 2009.
In addition to his DART board service on multiple committees, he is secretary of APTA’s Transit Board Member Committee, Chair of the Transit Board Members Legislative Subcommittee and Vice Chair of APTA’s Authorization Task Force.
"This recognition is a highlight of my board tenure,” Chrisman said. “It's a privilege to work with so many talented transit professionals and board members in both the DART Service Area and from around the country to deliver the service our customers deserve. I am very appreciative and humbled by this honor."
U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, has known Chrisman for years through their civic work in Carrollton, Texas. "Randall Chrisman exemplifies the role of concerned citizens involved in government,” Marchant said. “His years of service to his community as a DART board member and board chairman reflect his hard work for Carrollton and public transportation. Congratulations to him on this very well-deserved honor.”
Flora M. Castillo, APTA Chair, and herself a member of the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors said, "Randall has set the bar very high for board members throughout our industry. Not only has he proven an effective leader for DART, his APTA work has been invaluable. I am very pleased for him to be recognized in this fashion."
APTA President and CEO Michael P. Melaniphy added, "Our industry is more effective thanks to people like Randall. I know he's been a steady hand for DART's board of directors for many years. APTA is fortunate to benefit from his active and positive participation. His leadership continues making a difference."
Chrisman is the third DART board member recognized by APTA. Jesse Oliver and Huelon Harrison received the outstanding board member honors in 2001 and 2005, respectively.
Tenure marked by dramatic change at agency
In the 11 years since Chrisman joined DART, the agency has expanded its light rail network from 44 miles to 85 miles, the nation’s longest. DART also transformed its paratransit system and began a complete bus fleet overhaul to compressed natural gas.
One of the most prominent changes, the light rail expansion, occurred in large part during his time as chair. Work on the 28-mile Green Line, the first two sections of the 14-mile Orange Line and a five-mile extension of the Blue Line represented more than one-fourth of all new light rail construction underway in North America.
Agency growth continues
The aggressive rail expansion continues. The final five miles of the Orange Line will connect light rail to Terminal A at DFW International Airport in December 2014. DFW Airport is the fourth busiest and will become one of the few U.S. airports with direct passenger rail service. Construction on a Blue Line extension to the fast-growing Dallas campus of the University of North Texas is expected to be completed in 2016. The agency also is working with the city of Dallas to introduce a modern streetcar network in late 2014 or early 2015.