On Aug. 14, U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor will receive honors and a very large surprise to celebrate his support and commitment to public transportation in Arizona. The special event will be held on:
- 8:30 a.m.
- Central & Roosevelt light rail station
- 1016 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
As the recipient of a 2014 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) award, local and national officials will honor Pastor and celebrate his significant contributions to Arizona’s public transportation system and building a brighter, more sustainable future for residents.
"Throughout his career in Congress, U.S. Representative Ed Pastor has seen the future for the Phoenix metro region, and public transportation has always been a central part of that vision,” said the APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “The APTA Distinguished Service Award is being given to him as recognition of his leadership on advancing public transportation for more than twenty years.”
Pastor was elected to Congress in 1991 and currently represents the Seventh Congressional District of Arizona. With his backing, the region has received federal grants to build large-scale transportation projects. In 2005, Valley Metro Rail received a full funding grant agreement of $587 million for the 20-mile starter segment. The project has generated $7 billion in economic development since construction began in 2004 with daily ridership figures at 45,000 passengers. Pastor also assisted with securing the Federal Transit Administration’s commitment of a $75 million grant for the 3.1-mile Central Mesa light rail extension. In 2011, Pastor was able to also secure two federal grants totaling $1.75 million that have helped plan a high-capacity transit corridor in south Phoenix.
“Congressman Pastor is a true point of pride and one of our greatest community champions for Phoenix and the region,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “His vision is centered on connectivity and building a better life for Arizonans through access to public transportation, jobs, education and arts and culture. Our 20-mile light rail system and bus network are a reality, serving nearly 250,000 daily riders and building economic viability for our region, because of his foresight and support.”
“Congressman Pastor has led the transformation of public transportation in metro Phoenix,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “Light rail was once an idea that became reality because he understood transit’s importance to regional mobility and economic prosperity. We are grateful for his support and success in facilitating meaningful federal partnerships.”
At the end of December, Pastor will end his 23-year career as a U.S. Congressman. Remarking on his political legacy, Pastor said, “It has been a great honor and experience, but it is time to close this chapter of my life and start a new one.”