B.R. “Bill” Stokes, APTA’s first chief executive officer, died in Seattle recently.
Stokes, who served as executive vice president from 1974 to 1980, was recognized as a pioneer in public transportation in the United States and internationally. He was inducted into APTA’s Hall of Fame in 1996.
“The APTA family mourns the loss of Bill Stokes,” says APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. “Bill was a public transportation icon and pioneer. As APTA’s first head, he brought all the different modes together and was instrumental in so many accomplishments that have led to a strong, vibrant industry and association today. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family and to all who had the honor of working with him.”
Stokes came to APTA after serving as the first general manager of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a position he held for 10 years after joining the agency as information director in 1958. He began his career as a journalist with the Oakland Tribune.
Stokes later became director general of the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Co., where he lead the development of public transit in several cities and contributed to overseas public transit operations in several other countries, including the Philippines, Venezuela, and Thailand.