Transportation Research Board names new chairman

Michael Townes brings 20 years of public transportation experience to Executive Committee

News January 15, 2004
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Michael Townes, president and chief executive officer of Hampton Roads Transit, has been named chairman of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee for 2004. Townes took office on Jan. 14 during the Chairman's Luncheon, a highlight of the TRB 83rd Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
A Richmond, Va., native, Townes earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a master's degree in urban regional planning from the Virginia Commonwealth University. He has more than 20 years experience in public transportation.
Townes began his career with the Peninsula Transportation District Commission (PENTRANS) in 1986 as assistant to the executive director, and was later promoted to acting executive director and then executive director.
In preparation for PENTRANS merger with the Tidewater Transportation District Commission, Townes served concurrently as interim executive director of Tidewater beginning in March 1998. In October 1999 he became the executive director of the consolidated commission, the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads. In January 2002 Townes was selected as the first president and chief executive officer of the renamed Hampton Roads Transit.
Under Townes' leadership, PENTRANS was honored for three consecutive years from 1990 to 1992 with the Commonwealth of Virginia's Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, and was recognized in 1993 with the American Public Transportation Association's Public Transportation System Outstanding Achievement Award.
In 1996, Townes received the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials' Executive of the Year Award, APTA's Women in Transit Committee Achievement Award and the Conference of Minority Public Administrators' Distinguished Public Service Award.

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