U.S. Rep. Blumenauer honored for efforts in streetcar, transit advocacy

April 11, 2024
Rep. Blumenauer accepted the awards from the American Public Transportation Association and the Community Streetcar Coalition for his efforts to increase accessibility to transportation.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) was honored with two separate awards for his advocacy work in the transit industry. He has been described as a "driving force" in the move to implement modern streetcar projects across the United States and has been a leading voice for livable communities. 

APTA's Congressional Legacy Award

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) presented Rep. Blumenauer with the APTA Congressional Legacy Award at the 2024 Legislative Conference.

“This award honors a member of Congress who has had the tenacity and vision throughout their career to advance public transportation and access to mobility for all,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “It is fitting that Rep. Blumenauer be honored for his 28 years of support for the people, businesses and organizations that make up public transportation in America today.” 

Blumenauer has spent most of his political career advocating for safer and more accessible light rail, bicycle lanes, streetcars and environmental programs. When elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, he became Congress’ chief spokesperson for livable communities. 

As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he advocated for creating transportation choices, providing affordable housing, growing the economy and sustaining the environment. 

Community Streetcar Coalition's Earl Blumenauer Champion of Streetcar award

Blumenauer was also awarded the inaugural Earl Blumenauer Champion of Streetcar award from the Community Streetcar Coalition. The coalition wanted to highlight Blumenauer's efforts in establishing the modern streetcar in Portland, Ore., and cities across the country. The coalition consists of representatives from more than two dozen modern streetcar systems that are promoting low-carbon, equitable transportation in the hopes of revitalizing communities. 

“It was inspirational to hear stories from around the country of communities that have discovered the streetcar as a way to pull the community together and move to the future," said Rep. Blumenauer. "This proven, cost-effective technology is engaging people on a human scale and providing the tools we need to revitalize our communities."  

As Portland’s Commissioner of Public Works, Blumenauer launched the highly acclaimed and successful Portland Streetcar. The streetcar provided a model for more than two dozen subsequent modern streetcars across America. After being elected to congress, Blumenauer created the federal Small Starts program, which allows streetcar projects across the country to receive federal funding and technical assistance.  

"Congressman Blumenauer's record of accomplishment is well known in Oregon and the Portland Streetcar would simply not exist without his tireless efforts,” said Dan Bower, executive director of the Portland Streetcar. “This award is a recognition of his far-reaching impact in helping communities across the country achieve their transportation and liability goals.” 

About the Author

Eman Abu-Khaled | Associate Editor

Eman Abu-Khaled is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelors in journalism. She works through Endeavor Business Media with Mass Transit as an associate editor. Abu-Khaled brings a fresh perspective to the visual side of journalism with an interest in video and photography work.