Ernesto Chavez, Mineta Transportation Institute Graduate Student, Wins American Public Transportation Foundation Award

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The Anaheim resident is a planning manager with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
August 19, 2009
San José, CA

Ernesto Chavez has won the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) Donald C. Hyde Memorial Essay Award. He is a Master of Science in Transportation Management student at the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University and a transportation planning manager with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He will be honored at an October awards program at the American Public Transportation Association’s annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

In May, the Anaheim resident was chosen to represent MTI at the annual Eno Transportation Foundation Leadership Development Conference in Washington, D.C. This conference brings transportation graduate students to the nation's capital for a better understanding of how U.S. transportation policy is made and implemented.

Yvette E. Conley, director of development for APTF, described Mr. Chavez as “a much deserving young professional.”

In his essay, he described his career path in public transportation and how he views transportation planners as consensus builders with the community. “Transportation solutions that are ultimately implemented are the result of a consensus building process,” he wrote. “My goal is to develop as a professional who can facilitate the transportation debate and help improve life in our cities.”

The mission of the APTF is to increase and retain the number of young professionals entering the public transportation field as a career in order to sustain growth and improvement throughout the industry.


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and was reauthorized in 1998. The institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and by other public and private grants and donations. The US DOT selected MTI as a national “Center of Excellence” following a 2002 competition.

The Institute has a Board of Trustees whose internationally-respected members represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI’s focus on policy and management resulted from a board assessment of the industry’s unmet needs and led directly to choosing the San José State University College of Business as the Institute’s home. MTI conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer focusing on transportation policy and management topics and issues.


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