National High Speed Rail Awards Announced

Dec. 13, 2012
The US High Speed Rail Association presented this year's High Speed Rail Awards to leaders at its 10th High Speed Rail Conference in Los Angeles, December 3-5.

The US High Speed Rail Association presented this year's High Speed Rail Awards to leaders at its 10th High Speed Rail Conference in Los Angeles, December 3-5.

USHSR's High Speed Rail Awards honor individuals who have the vision and courage to help bring high speed rail to America. The award recipients range from visionaries to those at the forefront of the struggle to bring 21st century transportation to America. Award recipients include Rod Diridon, Dan Richard and Dr. Anthony Perl.

Rod Diridon was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to individuals who have spent years dedicated to improving transportation options in America. Diridon has served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) created by Congress in 1991. He has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment.

Diridon was appointed by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, in 2001 and 2006, respectively, to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board, of which he is chair emeritus.

Dan Richard was presented with the Heroes of High Speed Rail Award. This award is presented to individuals who've made a major contribution bringing high speed rail to America. Richard is chairperson of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, and has been a principal of Dan Richard Advisors since 2010. He was managing partner and co-founder of Heritage Oak Capital Partners, an infrastructure finance firm, from 2007 to 2009.

Richard was an elected member of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District from 1992 to 2004, where he served twice as president of the board. During this time he led efforts to secure $4 billion in capital for system rehabilitation projects, the transit system's expansion to the San Francisco Airport and seismic retrofit programs.

Anthony Perl was presented with the Transport Revolution Award. This award is presented to individuals who push for sweeping change in transportation in America by outlining the 21st century, and the path to get there. Dr. Perl is an international authority on transportation and energy, and their interconnection. He is Director of the Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.

Perl has authored or co-authored four books, most recently Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil (2008). Perl's research crosses disciplinary and national boundaries to explore the policy decisions that affect transportation, cities and the environment. He has published in numerous scholarly journals including Energy Policy, Transportation Research, Transportation Quarterly, World Transport Policy and Practice, Journal of Air Transport Management, Transportation Research Record, Journal of Public Policy, Canadian Public Policy, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Urban Technology, Canadian Journal of Political Science and Scientific American.

"On behalf of the entire membership of the US High Speed Rail Association, we are proud to honor these great leaders," said USHSR President Andy Kunz. "It's visionaries like these that change society for the better, congratulations to them all!"

USHSR's High Speed Rail Conference was held December 3-5 at MTA headquarters in downtown Los Angeles — next to Union Station, the future home to HSR LA. The conference was co-hosted by the Mineta Transportation Institute, and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Business and political leaders came together with the world's top experts to bring high speed rail to America, starting in California. The first $6 billion phase is about to get started on the state's 800-mile state-of-the-art high speed rail system. Conference program