Proterra, RFTA among those accepting Champions of Change Awards
Proterra, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA), and 12 other organizations will each accept a White House Champions of Change Award for Transportation Innovation on Tuesday, July 31 at 11:00 a.m.
The event will include a tour of the East Wing of the White House and a discussion with other winners and key leaders from the Department of Transportation, including Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who will present the award, as well as Federal Transit Authority (FTA) executives and White House staff members. To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 11:00 am ET on July 31st.
The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens and companies across the country who are “Building an America to Last” with projects and initiatives that move their communities and industries forward.
Specifically, Proterra will be honored for leading viable transportation initiatives that promote and facilitate economic growth and job creation, implementing environmentally friendly and sustainable transportation systems and services, and developing state-of-the-art technologies that are critical to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of transportation systems.
Chief Executive Officer David Bennett; Chief Business Development Officer and General Counsel Marc Gottschalk; founder, Dale Hill; and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ian Shackleton, will be on hand to accept the award on behalf of Proterra.
Representing RFTA in this event will be Jacque Whitsitt, vice chair of RFTA’s Board of Directors. Jacque led the campaign which resulted in a local vote to increase sales tax to assist RFTA. These taxes combined with a Very Small Starts grant from the FTA are what enabled RFTA to build the VelociRFTA bus rapid transit system (BRT). It is the creation of this first rural BRT system that resulted in RFTA’s White House honor.
RFTA has led the nation with use of biofuels at high altitudes, the Bike Express bus and rural bike loading on buses, but the VelociRFTA BRT system is the first innovation to be honored nationally. When U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood came out to visit the Carbondale VelociRFTA site under construction, he commended the project as a model of cooperation for implementing the country’s first rural BRT project.