WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 8, 2022) – “The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is thrilled to see two individuals who are not only long-time champions of public transportation but who both have fundamentally changed America through lifetimes dedicated to the country recognized by having the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters named in their honor. This is a long-deserved recognition for two great men.
William Coleman, who served as the first African American Secretary of Transportation, broke barriers throughout his life, from fighting to desegregate his high school diving team, to clerking for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, working with Justice Thurgood Marshall to strike down segregation in schools, and beyond. His was a life dedicated to equality and fairness. After his time as Secretary, he represented the public transportation industry before the Supreme Court, defending the rights of public transportation employees in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority. Coleman’s significant contributions to the industry were recognized for decades with an APTA safety award named in his honor.
Former Secretary Norm Mineta, the first Asian American to serve as head of the DOT, spent his youth in an internment camp near Cody, Wyoming, but he did not let this weigh him down. To this day, he continues to strive to help make America a better place, having served as the Mayor of San Jose, as Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the U.S. House of Representatives, as the longest serving Secretary of Transportation under Presidents of both parties, and as the founder of the Mineta Transportation Institute. Secretary Mineta has taken adversity and used it as fuel to make positive change—APTA was proud to award him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. I have the honor to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Mineta Transportation Institute and know firsthand that Secretary Mineta continues to be a strong voice for expanded access to public transportation. I look forward to congratulating him personally.
The fact that this new building will be named for not one, but two, American trailblazers at this moment in history is fitting as we emerge from a pandemic and begin to blaze a new path for the next century of American infrastructure.”
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public- and private-sector organizations which represent a $80 billion industry that directly employs 448,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.