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October 2, 2001
Former Texas legislator, judge
DART's Jesse Oliver Named Transportation Organization's Outstanding Board Member
The American Public Transportation Association has named Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board Chairman Jesse Oliver the Outstanding Transit Board Member.
An eight-year member of the DART Board of Directors - and chairman since 1999 -- he has been a driving force behind the successful debut of a multi-modal system of buses, light rail, commuter rail, paratransit and High Occupancy Vehicle lanes serving the dynamic North Texas region.
During Oliver's tenure, DART's systemwide ridership has more than doubled to nearly 100 million annual passenger trips in just five years. Its 20-mile, $860-million light rail starter system has attracted nearly $1 billion in transit-oriented development. The success of light rail was a significant factor in the agency receiving the nation's first full funding grant agreement under the new Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.
In presenting the award, Oliver also was recognized for his leadership during an August 2000 campaign for $2.9 billion in bonds to accelerate DART development. In a landmark 3-to-1 vote, taxpayers in Dallas and 12 surrounding cities approved the largest bond proposition ever passed in Texas. Based on that success, more cities are looking for ways to join DART.
"Under Jesse's leadership, DART has become an international model as a multi-modal system," DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said. "He has guided the board through some challenging times and set the agency on a path for even greater success."
Roger Snoble, Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority and Thomas' predecessor at DART, said Oliver was "An excellent board member and one of the best board chairmen I have ever had the privilege to serve under. Jesse was an invaluable advisor, gave great advice when asked and always made his positions clear on critical issues. At the same time, he gave me the freedom and support I needed to get the job done."
A graduate of Dallas Baptist University and The University of Texas School of Law, Oliver was elected to the Texas Legislature in 1982. Governor Mark White appointed him state district judge in 1987. He is Manager of Human Resource Policy Administration and Employee Relations at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has received numerous awards for his active community involvement and service on nearly two-dozen city and state boards and organizations.
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