The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has named Richard (Dick) Ober the 2017 Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member. APTA is the national trade association for the public transportation industry in North America.
Ober’s nomination covered an outstanding career in the public transit industry. He began his career at the Port Authority of Allegheny County in the early 1970’s. In 1980, Ober was appointed by the Beaver County Commissioners as an inaugural member of the BCTA Board of Directors. He has been appointed to seven consecutive five year terms on the Board. Since 1985, the BCTA Board of Directors went on to elect him chairman seventeen times.
During Ober’s chairmanship, BCTA constructed the Rochester Transportation Center in 1991, the first regional park and ride in southwestern Pennsylvania in Ambridge in 1998, and BCTA’s Expressway Travel Center in Center Township in 2001.
In 2008, BCTA became the first recipient of a newly created “Transit Revitalization Investment District” grant program for Rochester. Under Ober’s leadership, BCTA went on to complete major infrastructure improvements including an expanded park and ride, improvements to the Rochester terminal and the construction of the Rochester Roundabout, a $1.8 million dollar project which became recognized as a “Best Practice” and received five major awards.
His career was previously highlighted when BCTA received APTA’s Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award twice in 1988 and again in 2006. Those awards were attributable to Ober’s and the management team’s steadfast focus on system performance, including consecutive ridership records unmatched in the state of Pennsylvania.
BCTA’s General Manager, Mary Jo Morandini, nominated Ober for the award. “Dick Ober’s passion for public transportation is embedded in BCTA with a footprint that extends beyond county lines and a transit career that spans nearly five decades. He is truly deserving of this very special recognition,” said Morandini.
“His vision and leadership have greatly contributed to building an award-winning and forward-thinking transit system. Dick’s passion and commitment to BCTA is a wonderful example of how one person can make a significant, positive difference,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard A. White.
In response to winning this prestigious award Ober said, “I am extremely honored to be selected for the APTA award. This award is the direct result of the dedication and hard work of my fellow board members, the management team and all of our employees at BCTA who strive for excellence every day. I share this honor with each of them.”
Ober will receive the award in October at a special ceremony at the APTA annual conference and expo in Atlanta.