Celebrating Lifetime Contributions and Careers in Transit
W.G. Ross Lifetime Achievement Award
Named after CUTA's first president (1904-1906), the W.G. Ross Lifetime Achievement award, a prestigious public transit honour, is awarded to an individual with exceptional involvement in the promotion and practice of public transit in Canada. The Award recognizes the outstanding and consistent effort of a transit employee/advocate for a minimum of 25 years of service who, through their dedication and commitment, has led to the advancement and betterment of the public transit industry as a whole. The W.G. Ross Award recipients are inducted in CUTA's Hall of Fame.
Gillespie, Eric (2016)
Eric Gillespie has worked in public transit for nearly 30 years, making significant contributions to improving and promoting transit in Canada at many different levels.
As Director of Transit Services, Eric is responsible for the safe, reliable and customer-focused delivery of transit services in Canada’s fast-growing Waterloo Region. He managed a significant expansion of transit services in Waterloo Region; since he joined GRT in 2004, ridership has grown by more than 12 million customer trips annually, while Grand River Transit has introduced an additional 250,000 transit service hours. Eric also supported the launch of U-Pass programs at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, affecting more than 45,000 full-time students.
As the General Manager of the St. Catharines Transit Commission, where he worked from 1987 to 2004, Eric was responsible for the delivery of transit services in St. Catharines. He expanded the system with contract operations in nearby municipalities. He was instrumental in creating a Regional Transit Hub at Brock University to create service connections with the three transit agencies in the region.
Eric joined Grand River Transit in 2004, just a few years after it was created by merging operations of the former Cambridge Transit and Kitchener Transit. The new regional transit service faced significant challenges around fleet safety, performance accountability and customer service. Eric introduced a number of new programs and measures to address those challenges and improve public transit service in Waterloo Region. He initiated a transformational change plan at Grand River Transit to create an organizational culture of accountability focused on safety, customers, service reliability and stewardship.
Eric’s impact on public transit in Canada extends far beyond his professional experience with transit agencies. Eric has been a board member of CUTA since 1998, and has served as its vice-chair finance for five years. He is also the longest-serving board chair of CUTA, holding the position from 2001 to 2004. During this tenure, CUTA initiated a focus on creating awareness at the federal level of the funding needs of transit, at a time when transit was considered the domain of municipalities. Beginning with the first CUTA lobby day in 2001, Eric met with MPs and made presentations to the federal finance committee on the need for federal funding to support transit infrastructure across the country.
Eric is also a founding member of the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), and currently serves as its treasurer. CUTRIC aims to make Canada a world leader in transit technologies focused on low and zero emissions, security, and data and analytics.
Florence Junca-Adenot has had an outstanding career spanning more than 40 years in public administration and university education. She is passionate about issues of urban development, and is interested in urban growth dynamics and governance. Her professional life has focused on two interdependent areas: public transportation and urban planning. Long before transit-oriented development became common and supported by decision-makers, she understood the importance of connecting these two concepts that are so crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life in cities.
As the first CEO of the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), she developed and led this new organisation, in cooperation with governmental and municipal authorities, transportation partners and associations. During her mandate, public transit saw a resurgence, amounting to an increase in ridership of 10% over eight years. Her time at the helm of the AMT was marked by innovation and cooperation: the first strategic plan, a metropolitan fare policy, the revival of train service to the suburbs, employer programs, and more.
Since 2004 she has been a professor of urban studies at UQAM. She taught urban studies, published articles, organized and facilitated numerous symposiums, conferences and seminars on tomorrow's cities, and headed research projects. She was a consultant on several transportation and urban planning projects.
This visionary and passionate woman of integrity, dedicated to public transit and urban planning, is respected by her peers and works tirelessly to achieve progress on the issues about which she feels so strongly.
In 1990, following 21 years in senior management positions in the pharmaceutical industry, Penny Williams left the private sector and began her career at Transit Windsor. She was initially hired as Financial Manager and, in late 1996, was appointed Acting General Manager. In 1998, Penny was appointed as General Manager. The 1990s proved to be very challenging years for Transit Windsor. The City of Windsor as a whole was suffering from an economic downturn, coupled with public transit challenges resulting from provincial and federal funding cutbacks. Through Penny's strong and proven financial background as a Chartered General Accountant, she successfully built and maintained a strong and sustainable public transit system in Windsor. Penny's leadership developed a team of transit professionals that has continued in her footsteps, built on collaboration, partnership and innovative ideas. Penny was Chair of the CUTA Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008.
John Allain began his career as General Manager of Codiac Transit in Moncton, New Brunswick in August 1980. He maintained this post for 32 years, retiring in 2012. During the early years, John developed service agreements to expand the transit service area to include the outlying communities of Dieppe and Riverview, as well as enhancements including night service, Sunday service and express routes. Under his leadership, accessible transit was launched and many customer service initiatives such as bike racks, Wi-Fi, expansion of the shelter program as well as GPS and schedule adherence software to improve the reliability of the service to its customers. The name changed to Codiac Transpo and the size of the transit system more than quadrupled during his tenure. John had a vision for transit and worked tirelessly to advance its role and influence decision makers to build Codiac Transpo to what it is today. John was Chair of the CUTA Board of Directors in 1996-97 and represented CUTA on the federal Climate Change Transportation Table as part of the Kyoto Protocol from 1998 to 2000, the precursor to CUTA’s federal government affairs and advocacy role. Ten years later, John chaired the Transit Secure Task Force that partnered with Transport Canada to develop security risk assessments and implementation plans for small transit systems across the country, building further on what by then had become a strong relationship with Transport Canada.
McNeil, Gary (2013)
As President of GO Transit, a division of Metrolinx, Gary McNeil was responsible for leading GO Transit and contributing to the overall leadership and strategic directions for Metrolinx. Gary has over 35 years' experience in the transportation industry, in both the public and private sectors. His management experience includes planning, designing and management of construction projects, such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)'s Sheppard Subway and the Rapid Transit Expansion Program, the SkyTrain and Rapid Bus Service in Vancouver, and Terminal 3 at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.. Gary served on the CUTA Executive Committee as Vice Chair of Technical Services as well as on the Board of Directors of APTA. He also represented Canadian transit systems on the Policy Board of UITP and was a member of the Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection Committee for the US Transportation Research Board.
Cormier, Al (2012)
Al Cormier had a long career in transportation, including the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, where he worked in traffic engineering and transit management and the Canadian Urban Transit Association, where he was Executive Director for 18 years, prior to retiring in 1997. During his tenure, CUTA grew from a small staff dealing with conferences only to a multi-faceted organization involving research, training and government relations programs and a committee structure that engaged the members in the topics of their choice. In his post CUTA years, he managed the Centre for Sustainable Transportation, which he founded in 1995, as well as Electric Mobility Canada, which he also founded in 2005. He was actively involved in the Canadian Society of Association Executives including the presidency of its Toronto Chapter.
Ed Dowling, considered by many to be the "Father of Mississauga Transit," started his transportation career in the school bus industry when he was 21 years old, and worked with a family owned school and charter bus company. In 1966, he became the Manager of the Mississauga School Bus Division of Charterways, which in turn officially became Mississauga Transit in September 1969, and was managed by Ed Dowling. In March 1973, Dowling left Charterways to establish Bramalea Dial-a-Bus for the Township of Chinguacousy – the first of its type in Ontario. In January 1974, upon amalgamation with the new City of Brampton, this service became part of Brampton Transit. With the creation of the City of Mississauga in 1974, Council approved a report to acquire the transit services from Charterways and create a Transit Department, reporting to the City Manager. Dowling guided the growth of Mississauga Transit from September 1969 to December 1973 as Charterways, and then under the City of Mississauga from December 1973 to his retirement in 1998. Ed was President of CUTA in 1989-90.
Gratton, Georges (2012)
A manager in the private and public sectors since graduating with a degree in industrial engineering in 1968 and a degree in transportation engineering in 1977, Georges specialized in transportation logistics. He worked in urban public transit, the railway industry, goods transportation, and distribution. Throughout his career, he proposed and implemented innovative team-based management and operating measures through infrastructure, human resources, finance and equipment optimization strategies in logistics and transportation. He worked a s a consultant with Roche, as well as at the STM in Montréal and as General Manager of the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO), from which he retired in 2006. Since then he has returned to the STM as senior adviser, in particular in support of the evolution and implementation of the OPUS smart card fare payment system. Georges served as Acting CEO of CUTA in 1997-98 and as Chair of the Board of Directors in 1998-99.
Ducharme, Larry (2011)
Larry Ducharme first joined the London Transit Commission in 1978. During his tenure, Larry held a number of positions, including Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration responsible for human resources, information technology, and specialized transit service. Larry became General Manager of LTC in 1998. He was a founding member of the Ontario Community Transportation Association and served as the Association's first Treasurer for several years. He became a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Urban Transit Association in the late 1990s, Chair of the Ontario Regional Committee, member of the Audit Committee, and the Chair of the Public Transit Resource committee supporting the transit representatives on the Transportation Standards Development Committee. In these capacities, Larry steadfastly advocated for public transit, ensured legislative changes were practical and achievable, and spearheaded numerous initiatives to ensure the continued provision of safe, affordable and effective delivery of public transit in Ontario and across Canada.
McIntyre, Angus (2010)
Angus McIntyre has had a lifelong interest in public transit. At age 21 he started a career as a trolley bus driver in Vancouver, and retired in 2010 after almost 41 years. Angus was a founding member of the Transit Museum Society of Vancouver, a group dedicated to preserving transit heritage, and he continues to drive vintage buses for community events.
Drolet, R. (2010)
After 30 years of dedicated service to transit in British Columbia, Ron Drolet, Vice President of Planning at BC Transit, retired in April 2009. Considered by all to be the "Voice of Transit in British Columbia," Ron's career spanned years of continued and dramatic growth of the provincial transit agency, from its beginnings as the Urban Transit Authority. He held many positions with BC Transit, including Transportation Planner and Municipal Systems Program Director, and senior executive positions in Planning, Marketing and Operations, and most recently Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary. Prior to working for BC Transit, from Ron spent 5 years with the Federal Government in Ottawa at the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs. As such, Ron was a pioneer in the federal government’s involvement in urban issues and worked on preparing a series of studies used to support development of the initial steps of a national urban transportation assistance program.
Liggett, Desmond (2009)
Desmond (Dez) Liggett has served the public transit industry in Western Canada for 34 years. Starting his career with Edmonton Transit in 1974, Dez moved to the Manager of Transit position for St. Albert in 1986. During his career with St. Albert, and as a result of his influence, the community experienced notable achievements. St. Albert was the first transit system in Western Canada to own and operate 18 metre articulated buses and the first system in Canada to operate low floor wheelchair-accessible buses on regular scheduled routes.
Dez also was a significant contributor to the activities of the Prairie Provinces and Territories Chapter of CUTA. He served as Secretary Treasurer, Vice Chair and President, and the work that he did to establish a financially viable and productive chapter has ensured an organization with vitality that contributes effectively to the public transit industry in Western Canada.
Providing specialized transit to Calgarians with disabilities is something to which Pat Pellegrino has been committed for many years. As General Manager and CEO of Calgary HandiBus for over 17 years, a position he retired from in April 2008, Pat was the guiding force in building Calgary HandiBus into a major provider of transportation services for Calgarians with disabilities. The service built a strong reputation and provides over 1,800 trips per day for the 19,000 Calgarians registered with Calgary Transit's Access Calgary, as well as a preschool service for children with disabilities. Pat's commitment to providing excellent public transit extended beyond his work with Calgary HandiBus. He served as a member of CUTA's Executive Committee from 1999-2002; CUTA's Board of Directors from 1994-2002; and the Accessible Transit and Awards Committee. Pat played an integral role when CUTA's awards and recognition programs were revamped in 2001-2002. He also sat on the Government of Alberta's Advisory Committee on Barrier Free Transportation to promote barrier-free transportation for all. Pat's energy and personal commitment to the citizens of Calgary, especially those with disabilities, has been an inspiration to all who meet him.
Côté, Daniel (2007)
Daniel Côté, Executive Director for Major Projects at STM, retired in October 2007 after 34 years of service devoted to engineering, maintenance, quality assurance, procurement and project management. His distinguished career was marked by a disciplined approach, an ability to handle complex situations, an openness to change and the development of a project management structure unique to the STM. Daniel was involved in a number of achievements including: implementing maintenance and operations engineering, the Métro's program for improving operational safety, refitting the MR-63 Métro cars, the Réno-Systèmes program, the Métro extension to Laval and finally, the introduction of a new fare sales and collection system. He is widely acknowledged as a seasoned executive, committed to raising standards of quality and performance. Thanks to the team spirit he fostered, Daniel had a major impact on the development of public transit in Montreal.
Daniel Dupuis started at the CTCUQ in Quebec City as a transportation analyst, becoming only the second university graduate to work in the transport branch, under the guidance of his mentor Liguori Hinse. When Daniel began, bus schedules and driver assignments were done by hand and transcribed by typists. The company did not even have any computers. Daniel contacted a friend who was a computer specialist completing his doctoral thesis, and gradually implemented software for planning driver schedules, managing and assigning driver schedules. Thus, the world of public transit operations underwent a small technological revolution, because operating research techniques and computer tools previously confined to university labs were now being used in practice. He was first promoted to chief of services programming and then to assistant director of the transport branch. He was later put in charge of all activities related to the transport branch of what had become the Réseau de Transport de la Capitale (RTC).
Helen McLaren, who retired after 26 years of service, was a pioneer as the city of Hamilton's first, and for a time, only specialized transit employee. She saw the operation grow to provide over half a million passenger trips per years to people with disabilities. Unfailingly calm, caring and courteous, she was the passengers' main point of contact where she assisted thousands of people using the service. Every customer felt they were special to Helen. To passengers endeavouring to understand the service, she was a patient guide and teacher. There was no better ambassador than Helen. Her depth of knowledge and breadth of contacts could resolve even the most difficult problem. Day in and day out, Helen was a shining example of excellence in customer service.
Foster, Ken (2006)
Ken Foster was the first Director of the Canadian Council of the Amalgamated Transit Union. Established in 1982, the ATU Canadian Council was the highest authority and voice in Canada for the Amalgamated Transit Union on issues such as legislation, policy, education, health and safety, cultural and social welfare matters. Ken has been involved in many joint ventures with CUTA over the years as Canadian Director, such as serving for many years as co-chair of the Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada. In his position of Canadian Council Director, Ken has always worked for the benefit of ATU leaders and members but has also been instrumental in recognizing and promoting the shared objectives of transit management and the union. Through his leadership and dedication, he has gained the respect of transit managers across Canada.
Bonsall, John (2005)
John Bonsall is one of Canada's foremost transit advocates. John spent over 20 years in Ottawa in senior positions at Regional Government and OC Transpo, and as a General Manager of OC Transpo, where he guided ridership growth from 40 to 85 million annually. During this time, John provided the leadership that led to Ottawa's famous Transitway system. After retiring from OC Transpo, John became president of McCormick Rankin International, sharing his knowledge of Bus Rapid Transit throughout the world. He retired from McCormick Rankin after a 40-year career championing transit in Canada and the world. John was President of CUTA in 1990-91.
Élie Fallu's involvement in transit and sustainable transportation is excpetional. As mayor of Sainte-Thérèse and chair of the Basses-Laurentides and Laurentides CIT (outer suburban Montreal transit systems), he was vice-chair of the Association of CITs (ACIT) from 1996 to 1999 and chair of the organization from 1999 to 2005. The ACIT represented 12 transit systems north and south of the Montreal region. Élie Fallu was a pioneer by promoting modal integration early on. He was one of the first elected officials to understand the relationship between transit and socio-economic development and was a major influence in the development of suburban rail transit around the Montreal metropolitan region which enabled more flexible outer-suburb travel patterns and influenced metropolitan economic development.
Through his involvement with the Québec Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Mr. Fallu influenced the 1983 provincial law regulating the Association of CITs and OMITs, guaranteeing the role of municipalities in organizing transit. He was a true champion for transit in low-density urban environments.
Irwin, Robert (Bob) (2005)
In his time at BC Transit, Bob Irwin led an organization that achieved a number of milestones including: introduction of North America's first low floor double deck buses; acquisitions of Canada's first production hybrid electric buses, Western Canada's first "U-Pass" program; in-house delivery of community bus services at rates competitive with the lowest cost private sector providers; and a number of partnership initiatives to attract investment, resources and enhance community support for transit. At Calgary Transit, Bob's achievement included extensions to the C-Train system, rapid growth in Calgary's highly successful community bus program and a significant overall expansion of Calgary Transit ridership. In addition to serving as Chair of CUTA, Bob also spent two terms as Vice Chair for Canadian Members on the Executive Committee of APTA. Following his retirement, Bob was a strategic advisor to Nova Bus and also served as the Commissioner for the South Coast BC Transportation Authority (TransLink).
Borland, Rick (2004)
Rick Borland served as Director of Winnipeg Transit from 1980 until his retirement in 2004. Rick started his career with the City of Winnipeg in 1971. Following a major reorganization at Winnipeg Transit in 1980, he was appointed Director of Transit. Under Rick's watch, significant changes were implemented and he provided a long-term focus for nearly 25 years at the transit system. Most importantly, Rick was a good friend and mentor to all those who have worked with him and he's earned the admiration, trust, and respect of all those in the Canadian transit industry. In his own quiet way, Rick has made a significant contribution to transit in Canada. During his career, he has always demonstrated the highest level of integrity, creativity, and clear thinking. The result is an impressive legacy that has made Winnipeg a better place in which to live.
Raymond Corley, retired Superintendent of Design and Development in the Toronto Transit Commission's Equipment Department, was respected and admired by many in the transit industry for his vast transit knowledge. During his TTC career from 1974 to 1989, Ray was instrumental in design and development of much of TTC's modern streetcar and subway fleet. Before joining the TTC, he worked at the Canadian General Electric Company where he designed propulsion equipment for trolley coaches and subway cars. After retiring from the TTC, Ray consulted in the transit field for a number of years. Preserving the TTC's past was his personal avocation for many decades. His private archive is one of the most complete collections of photos, records and artifacts relating to railway and transit equipment and operations. Ray died in September 2003 at the age of 77.
Jan Den Oudsten who retired in 2004 from his position as Chairman of the Board at New Flyer Industries, has been a significant contributor to the world wide transit industry throughout his long career. Jan purchased New Flyer in 1986 and introduced European accessible low-floor technology to the North American transit market with new 40-foot and 60-foot bus designs. In addition, he was involved in pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology applications, and was the first to introduce a 60-foot articulated diesel-electric hybrid bus. In 1999, Jan unveiled the Invero, New Flyer's state-of-the-art new transit bus design. Under his leadership, New Flyer expanded to over 2000 employees and delivered 1304 buses in 2002. Jan's contributions have led to significant changes to the transit bus market that have allowed all passengers to travel on conventional transit services today.
Liguori Hinse is a recognized transportation professional having extensive transit experience with the STCUM (1971-1972) and STCUQ (1972-1987) where he held several positions including General Manager. He then continued his career with the Quebec Department of Transport as Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General. He concluded his career as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Direction Générale de Montréal et de L'Ouest, with his retirement in the fall of 2004. During Liguori's time at STCUM and STCUQ, he was a strong advocate for transit, for CUTA, and its activities in Quebec.
Varden, Dennis (2004)
Dennis Varden joined General Motors of Canada at its bus assembly plant in St. Eustache in 1981, where he held several management positions in after-sales service, equipment and operations. In October 1988, he became the Regional Sales Director, a position he has held until his retirement in 2004, working for General Motors and the successive owners of the transit bus business, MCI and Nova Bus. During his career, Dennis built strong, friendly and co-operative relationships with many members of the public transit community. Having always treated people with respect and consideration, he himself was respected and known by all.
History was made in January 2001 when Bob Wade became the first Mayor of the new City of Hamilton, created by joining six municipalities that made up the former Region of Hamilton-Wentworth. This distinction caps a lifetime of service to the community and a career in the private sector. He has been active on many professional and volunteer organizations over the years. Mayor Wade was a member of the Central Region Smart Growth Panel, the Board of Directors for GO Transit and the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Big City Mayors Caucus. He was active on the Board of Directors of both the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the Transportation Association of Canada. He is Past President of the Ontario Association of the Appraisal Institute of Canada and Past President of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.
Wilson, Michel (2003)
Since beginning his career in specialized transit as General Manager of the Service du transport adapté du Québec in the early 1980s, Michel Wilson was given the mandate of expanding and developing specialized transit services in order to meet the growing needs of the Quebec region's population. He was involved in the development of a number of innovations to the industry, has been on the organizing committee of CUTA's Colloque sur le transport adapté since its inception, and also headed the ATUQ committee on specialized transit for many years. Michel has acted as an international ambassador for specialized transit via speaking engagements at various international conferences. Throughout his career, he devoted himself entirely and with conviction to his cause and has been a great motivator and leader in the world of specialized transit.
Sherman Goodwin was a lifelong advocate for the role of transit in small communities. Sherman began his career in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, running the transit system there. In 1988 he moved to Ontario to take over management of the transit system in Cornwall, where he defended the system’s integrity against numerous attempts to shrink its size and importance. Sherman was active at both CUTA and OUTA, retiring from Cornwall Transit in 2002.
Throughout his career, Alan Little worked toward increasing transit accessibility. He has served on committees that resulted in the establishment of various CSA Standards and is responsible for the introduction of several innovative bus designs to the North American transit industry. He has chaired design committees for CUTA and for BC Transit. Alan is a strong customer service advocate and a design and engineering leader in the transit industry.
Ladoucier, Robert (Bob) (2001)
Robert (Bob) Ladoucier was hired as the Belleville Transit Commission's Manager in 1979, after serving 17 years with CN Rail, where he held numerous positions. Bob managed Belleville’s transit system for more than 20 years, during which time he was active with CUTA and served as President of the Ontario Urban Transit Association. After his retirement, Belleville’s transit terminal was named in his honour and he spent many years with the RCAF museum on the restoration of the Halifax bomber. Bob passed away in January 2014 at the age of 73.
Arnold Dubé was a senior official with the Toronto Transit Commission during the 1980s and 1990s. After a career of 25 years with the City of Edmonton working in policing, urban development, planning, parks and recreation and transportation, he joined the TTC in 1983 as General Manager of Administration. He became General Secretary in 1988 and served in that role until his retirement in 1996. He managed the administration of the TTC during a time of expansion, while also representing the TTC at the industry level. He was involved with CUTA, serving on the Board of Directors and as President in 1994-95. He was also active internationally with UITP and APTA.
John R Empringham was born in 1892 in Scarborough, Ontario. He was educated in the Lower and Higher Schools of East Toronto. His education in connection with transportation came early in life, as far back as 1911 when he joined the famous Mackenzie-Mann Company. Mr. Empringham was promoted through the years, moving to the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto Railway in 1919, rising to the position of Superintendent by 1950. Mr. Empringham was active with the Canadian Transit Association (CUTA) as Chairman of the Operating Committee from 1945 to 1947, then as President from 1950 to 1951.
Bob Evans had an impressive and fruitful career in transit, extending over a period of many years. He commenced his career as a bus driver while working for a small suburban bus line in the Toronto area in the 1950s. During his career, Bob held managerial positions at GO Transit and other Southern Ontario transit systems in Welland, Cambridge, Oakville and St. Catharines. His career concluded as the General Superintendent of the Toronto Transit Commission's Wheel-Trans operation. Bob is best recognized as a pioneer in the development of accessible public transit in Canada. While accessible transit eventually became a "given" in Canada's urban centres, through his volunteer activities with CUTA and the Canadian Standards Association, Bob played a major role in bringing this about. His conviction that persons with disabilities could better contribute to society if their transportation needs were met was the driving force behind his consistent and determined effort to convince others to share his views. Through his unwavering commitment, he made an outstanding contribution to the implementation of accessible transit services not only in Toronto, but across all of Canada.
Léo Beaulieu was Chairman and General Manager of the City of Laval Transit Commission for ten years from 1971 to 1981 and President of CUTA in 1979-80.
Bigwood, Peter (1997)
Peter Bigwood contributed greatly to the evolution of transit bus design in North America from the 1970s to the 1990s. Born in Belgium and educated in the UK, Peter served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He then worked on rail car designs in Britain and Belgium. He joined Ontario Bus Industries in 1977 and became Vice-President of engineering at OBI and its US subsidiary. He helped bring European ideas to North American bus designs, and was closely involved in developing many influential bus designs such as the low-floor Orion II mini bus, the full-sized Orion V bus, and the pioneer Orion VI low-floor bus.
Hainault, Robert (1997)
Robert Hainault worked in public transit in Montreal for more than 34 years. Born in Montreal, he served with distinction overseas in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He joined the Montreal Tramways Company in 1947. In 1955 he became one of three Commissioners of the Montreal Transit Commission, and served in that role until his retirement in 1981. He helped guide the organisation as it transformed from a streetcar and bus operator to a modern multimodal transit agency, with bus, metro, and commuter train operations. Robert was President of CUTA in 1974-75.
E.V. (Don) Miller had a lengthy history in the transit industry, including experience with Saskatoon Transit, Shell Canada, the City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton. After working at Calgary Transit where he was responsible for major capital projects, he became transit manager at the Edmonton Transit System in 1977, shortly before Edmonton’s LRT line opened. Don was extensively involved with CUTA and was President of the Association in 1981-82.
Robert (Bob) Ferguson had a very lengthy career with Winnipeg Transit, for 42 years. Bob started off in the Schedules section, eventually heading up that group for a number of years. Later in his career, he moved into operations, where he was Manager of Transportation.
Antoine Grégoire's transit career began in July 1980 when he was appointed General Manager of the transit system for the Outaouais region in Quebec (CTCRO). He immediately became a leader in the industry, serving as CUTA's president in 1987-88, as founder and president of ATUQ from late 1983 through 1986 and as a member of numerous CUTA committees and task forces. As if managing a major transit system and being active in industry associations wasn't enough, Antoine had over the years been active in many other groups and activities, including serving as president of the Hull Chamber of Commerce, President of the Outaouais Economic Council, President of the Organizing Committee for the Quebec Games in the Outaouais region and as a member of the Robidas Commission that was responsible for the establishment of political boundaries in the Outaouais region. An energetic, innovative and witty man, he guided the CTCRO in Hull towards becoming one of Canada's most technologically advanced transit systems. In 2016, to commemorate the system’s 45th Anniversary and six years following his passing, the STO’s main garage and administrative centre were named in his honour.
Gérard Masson began his career with the Bisson family, who owned the private bus services in Hull, Québec prior to the formation of the CTCRO. He was subsequently Director of Maintenance at the CTCRO, where he worked under General Managers Antoine Grégoire and Georges Gratton. He was a founder of the ATUQ Maintenance Committee and a true transit pioneer. Gérard retired in June 1995 after a career that spanned over 49 years, and passed away in 2006. Bus maintenance runs in the family as his grandson continues to work in the maintenance department at STO
Todd, Percy (1996)
A native of Ottawa, P. A. S. (Stan) Todd was educated in Bedford, England and at the Royal Military College in Kingston, where upon completion was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery and served in Egypt and Palestine during World War I. He continued to serve in the Militia and served overseas once again when World War II broke out, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Brigadier and was Commander Royal Canadian Artillery, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, where he assisted with the planning and preparation of the D-Day assault on Normandy in 1944. He received the Distinguished Service Order for his efforts. When he returned to civil life, it was in the capacity of General Manager of the Hamilton Street Railway. He served as CUTA President from 1951 to 1952.
Bardsley, Len (1995)
Len Bardsley was known by the transit industry as the "Father of the Modern Subway Car" for his design expertise in the development of the Toronto Transit Commission's first red subway cars in the 1950s and later the aluminum models of the 1960s. Mr. Bardsley joined the TTC in 1946 as a Junior Engineer following his graduation from St Francis Xavier University and McGill University, and after serving overseas as a Captain with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. In 1961 he was named Superintendent and then Manager of Equipment. In 1973, Mr. Bardsley was seconded to the Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC) as CLRV Product Manager, where he continued working as a consultant following his retirement in 1981.
Joining the (then) Ottawa Transportation Commission as an electrical engineer in 1949, Hector Chaput rose to the position of General Manager in 1976 which he held until his retirement from OC Transpo five years later. Upon retiring from OC Transpo, Mr. Chaput joined Delcan Consultants as a special consultant on equipment maintenance, travelling across the globe. His leadership and proficiency in the equipment maintenance field helped to earn him a place in the American Public Transit Association's Hall of Fame in 1984. Hector Chaput was also very active in the Canadian Urban Transit Association, acting as its President in 1978-1979. He passed away in 1985.
Wilfred E P Duncan was born and educated in Glasgow, graduating with a degree in Engineering from Glasgow University. His career at the Toronto Transit Commission began in 1921 when he started as Assistant Engineer of Structures. In 1952 he became General Manager and was responsible for the design and construction of the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Mr. Duncan served as President of CUTA from 1957 to 1958 and was also the American Transit Association's first Canadian president. Mr. Duncan served as a Major with the Canadian Army and Royal Engineers in France during World War I and during World War II was active in the Canadian Officers' Training Corps. He retired from the TTC in 1961 and passed away in 1977 at the age of 85.
Lucien L'Allier (1909 - 1978) was a Canadian engineer who is best known for having built the Montreal Metro, the city's subway system. In 1935, he took part in a three-year project working on the telephone networks of Bell Canada, and later worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as regional engineer. In 1946, he joined the staff of the City of Montreal, and became the city's engineering director in 1954. In 1961 the construction of the Montreal Metro began. He supervised a construction project with 5000 workers. McGill University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1964. The same year, he was appointed Chairman of the Montreal Transit Commission, a position he held until his retirement in 1974. After his death in 1978, a Metro station was renamed in his honour. The street of the Aqueduct, north of the Rue Saint-Jacques, became Rue Lucien L'Allier in 1979. In 2001, the Agence métropolitaine de transport commuter rail station adjacent to the metro station was also renamed in his honour. Lucien was President of the Canadian Transit Association in 1969-70.
Llew, Lawrence (1995)
After immigrating to Canada from England, Llew Lawrence accepted a position as a transit operator with the Edmonton Transit System, quickly rising through the ranks to inspector, dispatcher and garage superintendent. Actively involved as a member of CUTA's Administrative Committee in 1978, Llew Lawrence also served as Director of Operations for Edmonton Transit. From 1970 to 1980 Mr. Lawrence was Director of Marketing and Transit Development for Edmonton, introducing the time transfer focal point concept to feed traffic from low density suburban routes to the high capacity trolley lines. He was also largely responsible for getting the public involved in the transit planning process in that city and spent several years teaching as part of CUTA’s expansive training services. The concept of marketing public transit, the role he set for transit as a "customer advocate" and the steps he took to involve citizens are still evident in the way Edmonton Transit operates today.
A native of Winnipeg, Donald I. MacDonald attended the University of Manitoba and the University of Toronto. Following a stint as a research student, he joined the Winnipeg Electric Company where he was initially employed as a clerk. Eventually he became the Director, Streets and Transit Division of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, a post he held for eight years. Mr. MacDonald was eventually promoted to the position of Chief Commissioner for the City of Winnipeg. He was on the Board of Directors of the American Public Transit Association and served as CUTA's President in 1961-62. He was a member of the Executive Planning Committee for the first Canadian Urban Transportation Conference held in Toronto in 1969. Mr. MacDonald was also active in the Community Planning Association of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, where he served as Chairman.
A native of Saskatchewan, J Allen Ross completed his education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and commenced his career at an oil company, employed as a Field Engineer. In 1961, Mr. Ross joined Edmonton Transit as a Planning Engineer, working in the development of express routes, preliminary LRT studies and design and school bus and special services. He was offered the job of Director of Operations in 1970. In 1974 he left to become Manager of Saskatoon Transit. At CUTA, Al Ross was Chairman of the Operating Committee from 1977 to 1979 and served as its President in 1983-84.
Arblaster, Gord (1994)
Gord Arblaster joined London Transit in 1960 as Treasurer, was appointed Assistant General Manager in 1969 and General Manager in 1971. Gord retired in 1991 with 31 years in the industry and 20 as a General Manager. During Gord's 31 years of service he was extremely active both on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors with the Canadian Urban Transit Association as well as the Ontario Urban Transit Association. Gord was President of CUTA in 1975-76.
Lloyd G. Berney was born in 1924 and raised in Caledon East, Ontario. Following World War II service in the RCAF and RCAC, he attended the University of Toronto, graduating in 1949. He then joined the Toronto Transit Commission and, for the next 40 years, held several executive positions - the last eight years as General Manager - Operations. During his career Lloyd was active in association work and as a result he was inducted in the Halls of Fame of the American Public Transit Association, the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the Ontario Motor Coach Association. He was President of CUTA in 1982-83. For several years, Lloyd served as the Canadian representative on the International Light Rail Commission (UITP) and was the founding Chair of the Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation. Lloyd Berney passed away in January 2007.
Jean-Jacques Bouvrette was born in 1924 and began his service with STCUM in 1961 as budget manager; he then progressed to the position of executive assistant in 1964. He took on additional responsibilities as Treasurer in 1967 before becoming General Manager, Operations in 1981. Mr. Bouvrette participated actively with CUTA, serving on various committees and as Executive Vice President and President of the Association in 1985-86. Jean-Jacques retired in 1987.
Brigadier General H E Brown had a notable career in the Canadian military and served as CUTA's General Manager and Secretary from 1966 to 1977. He was the author of the first "Urban Transit Fact Book", the forerunner of the present "Canadian Transit Fact Book." Mr. Brown trained and managed officers and men in both peace and war time and commanded a brigade of about 5000 in 1958-59. He also commanded an artillery regiment of approximately 850 men in Italy and Northwest Europe during World War II. Following the war, he held a number of posts including Senior Military Advisor with the Canadian delegation to Vietnam and alternate Canadian Delegate to the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Vietnam from 1964 to 1965. Born in Brandon, Manitoba, he attended the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston, as well as the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto. Mr. Brown retired in 1978 and wrote a memorial book published by the University of Toronto Press, in honour of 557 former University of Toronto students who gave their lives during the Second World War.
A native of Winnipeg, Roy attended schools in Winnipeg, St, James and Norwood. He served with the Royal Canadian Navy on the Atlantic and at the Normandy operations from 1943-45, attending the University of Manitoba following his discharge. Roy joined the Schedules Department of the Winnipeg Electric Company in 1947. He held various positions until his appointment as Assistant Regulator of Schedules in November 1955, by the Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission, which had two years earlier taken over operation of the transit system. Appointed Regulator of Schedules in February 1959, Roy served in that capacity until promoted to Manager of Transit Operations. He was elected President of the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) in 1971-72, after serving two terms as Treasurer, then Vice President.
A lifelong resident of the Hamilton area, Frank entered the transit industry in 1946 when he joined the Hamilton Street Railway Company. He started as cashier and advanced to purchasing agent and manager of stores in 1948. Seven years later he assumed the same responsibilities for Canada Coach Lines on merger of the senior management of the two companies. Frank was appointed Superintendent of Operations of the two lines in 1957 and Assistant General Manager of both companies in 1960. He was promoted to General Manager later in his career. Frank was President of CUTA in 1970-71.
Born in London, England, Allen Harvey graduated from Queens University in Birmingham, where he obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Before World War II, Mr. Harvey was employed as Chief Engineer with the Associated Equipment Co. During the war he served with the British Army in France, Northern Ireland, England, India and Burma. In 1946 he went to Athens, Greece to work for the Athens-Piraeus Electric company to rehabilitate the war-damaged bus fleet and to train their personnel. In 1948, Mr. Harvey left England and settled in Fort William, Ontario, where he worked on the design and installation of the first Canadian-built diesel bus at the Canadian Car & Foundry Co. In 1949 he departed for Montreal and joined the Provincial Transport Company, where he advanced to the position of Vice-President four years later. Eventually, he travelled to Windsor, Ontario, joining the SW&A Railway Company, where he became Director of Operations in 1974. He became involved with CUTA in 1977, serving as General Manager, Secretary and Chairman of the Engineering Committee.
James H Kearns became a member of the TTC staff in 1953 when he took over the post of Assistant Treasurer. Prior to that, he was with Price Waterhouse & Co, the international firm of public accountants. Mr. Kearns was appointed Treasurer in 1955 and Assistant General Manager of Operations in April 1962. He was a member of ICAO, a Director of the Canadian Transit Association (CUTA) and VP of the Electric Club of Toronto. He was also active in the American Transit Association, serving as Chairman of the Accounting Division in 1962-63. Mr. Kearns was President of CUTA from 1972-73.
HE (Ed) King was President of the Canadian Transit Association (CUTA) in 1968-69, being chief spokesman for the national group which at the time represented operating transportation systems in 46 cities. He had been an employee of the Toronto Transit Commission since 1945, following six years of RCAF war service, where he won the Air Force Cross. He became Director of Personnel in 1949, then Director of Industrial Relations.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Donald Lyon MacDonald embarked on a 32 year career with the western city's civil service after completing his university education in 1944. Mr. MacDonald served with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve from 1943 to 1946 on convoy duty in the Western Atlantic. He started working as a draftsman when he joined the Edmonton Street Railway Department in 1946 and eventually rose to the position of Technical Assistant to the Superintendent. In 1951 Mr. MacDonald advanced to the post of Superintendent of Edmonton Transit System and was involved in a number of special assignments. He was one of Edmonton's leading proponents of rail transit development in the city, and in recognition of his service, had a transit maintenance facility named after him. Don MacDonald served as CUTA's President from 1959 to 1960.
Mawdsley, Ken (1994)
Ken Mawdsley worked in public transit for several decades. Educated in Victoria, he served in the merchant marine during the 1940s and then worked as a plumber and auto mechanic before joining the BC Electric Company as a transit operator in 1952. He moved quickly up the ranks, holding a number of management positions up to 1985, when he became Vice President of Victoria and the Small Communities Division, putting him in charge of 42 conventional, custom and paratransit systems throughout British Columbia. Once his driving days came to an end, Ken became involved in training. As Supervisor of Training he set up the Training Department in Victoria. As a division manager in 1979, shortly before the creation of the Metro Transit Operating Company (MTOC), he navigated the company through the turbulent waters of transit restructuring and attained the rank of General Manager of the MTOC in 1983. When the MTOC merged with BC Transit in 1985, creating one provincial crown corporation responsible for planning, funding, operating and marketing the Victoria and Vancouver systems, as well as the custom and paratransit operations, Ken rose to the Vice Presidency of BC Transit and assumed responsibility for all transit systems in the province except Greater Vancouver.
Ken was Vice President Finance for CUTA and an active member of the Executive Committee and the CUTA Board of Directors. He was President of CUTA in 1988-89.
Tom McKim graduated from New Brunswick's Dalhousie University in 1949. After serving in the RCAF, Mr. McKim worked as Assistant General Manager of SMT (Eastern) Limited. He was General Manager of City Transit in Saint John and from there went onto become General Manager of Halifax Transit Corporation. At CUTA, Mr. McKim held several offices including Chair of the Labour Relations Committee and the Administrative Committee. He served on the Board of Directors and was CUTA's President in 1976-77.
C K (Chuck) Morningstar joined the London Street Railway in 1945 as Purchasing Agent. He was appointed Assistant Manager in 1949 and became the first General Manager of the London Transportation Commission when the City of London purchased the London Street Railway Company in January 1951. He continued to serve as the Commission's General Manager until his retirement in February 1971. Following his retirement, Chuck was asked to prepare a history of public transportation in London, which took him two years of research and writing. “From Dobbin to Diesel” was prepared from the files of the London Street Railway Company and its successor, the London Transportation Commission, from newspaper stories, the memories of veteran employees and from many other sources.
Don Sheardown began his career at Orenda Engines in 1952, and worked there until the Avro Arrow jet program was cancelled by the Federal government in 1956. It was the last time that Don ever worked for someone else. In 1959, he bought Sheardown Transport from his father, and continued to acquire various transportation businesses for the next two decades. In 1976, he owned and operated Atlantic Bus Lines, a 200-school bus operation in Markham, Ontario, which was one of the first subcontractors to the TTC's Wheel Trans service. In 1979 he purchased the assets of Ontario Bus & Truck from the estate of its late founder Arnold Wollschlaeger. While Don was initially attracted to the bus and truck repair expertise, he was intrigued with bus manufacturing. He named the new division Ontario Bus Industries and set off to build buses. In the subsequent fourteen years, Don and the tremendous team that he had assembled at OBI, continuously pushed the envelope of what was possible in new bus design. They built the first heavy-duty low floor bus in 1983, designed and tested hybrid technology in 1984, and launched CNG vehicles in 1985. Don exported buses made in Mississauga to Sweden, Denmark and the United States, and OBI became the largest bus manufacturer in North America, growing from 45 employees in 1979 to 1,200 people in the early 90s. Don was a major contributor to his community and his industry. He supported CUTA extensively, and received the highest honour that any Canadian can receive – naming of the hockey arena in his hometown of Bolton, Ontario.
M.T. Bancroft worked for the Quebec Railway, Light, and Power Company, the streetcar and bus operator in Quebec City, rising to the position of Vice-President and Comptroller. He was very active in the Canadian Transit Association, serving as its President in 1954-55.
George R Brady joined the staff of the Ottawa Electric Railway Company in 1928 as an office boy. By 1959 he had been named General Manager and in that capacity he saw the Ottawa Transportation Commission become the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission (now OC Transpo). George guided OCRTC through regionalization, was instrumental in introducing flexible working hours, oversaw the birth of Tele Transpo, Ottawa's dial-a-bus system, participated in the inter-provincial agreement which culminated in the single-fare program between Ottawa and Hull, opened Ottawa's exclusive bus lanes, introduced exact fare and OC Transpo's universal pass system and officiated at the sod-turning ceremony of the Commission's fourth garage. He was very active in the affairs of the Canadian Transit Association, serving as its President in 1964-65. George Brady retired in June 1976.
H.F. (Harry) Burns was Deputy Director of Streets & Transportation for the City of Winnipeg in the 1960s, in charge of public transit, which was one of the three branches making up this department. In 1972 the unified City of Winnipeg was formed at Harry became Director. In 1980, transit became a separate department and Harry led this group until his retirement in 1982. Harry passed away in January 2005.
Born in China in 1900, Ed Donald Gray-Donald came to Western Canada at an early age and went to Great Britain in 1915 to complete schooling in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1926, he joined the Shawinigan Water & Power Company and successively filled positions of Assistant General Superintendent and from 1937 to 1942 General Superintendent of the Quebec Railway, Light & Power Company which operated streetcar service in Quebec City as well as the electrified rail line between Quebec City and Charlevoix. In 1941 he was appointed member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Transit Association and was President in 1947-48.
J.G. (John) Inglis was an engineer and transit manager with the Toronto Transit Commission, and was instrumental in developing major technological improvements to transit vehicles. After graduating as an engineer in the 1930s, he moved to the United States to work with Westinghouse, where he was actively involved in the design and testing of the Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) streetcar. He joined the TTC in 1936, and rose from Department Engineer to General Manager of Operations, where he served from 1959 until his retirement in 1968, just after the opening of the Bloor-Danforth subway extensions. He modernized the operation and management of the TTC’s service during a time of expansion and transition. He advocated for the development of the TTC’s second-generation subway trains, which were innovative for their 75-foot length, and light-weight aluminum construction. John was President of the Canadian Transit Association in 1962-63.
Burt Scharfe was one of the longest-serving transit managers in Western Canada. He became Acting Superintendent of the Saskatoon Transit System in October 1949, two months after the name was changed from Saskatoon Municipal Railway, and after his two predecessors suddenly died or became severely ill within the space of just over two years. To him fell the task of completing the conversion of the transit system from streetcars to trolley coaches, already underway at the time. He presided over the last streetcar operation in 1951, and proceeded to build a long legacy of strong management and built a solid reputation for the department. Scharfe was President of the Canadian Transit Association in 1966-67 and remained in the Superintendent position until 1974, the same year that the last trolley buses were withdrawn from service.
L.C. (Currie) Young worked for the Nova Scotia Light and Power Company (NSLP), which operated transit service in Halifax. Young’s career spanned three major fields – electrical engineering, military and transportation. After graduating from college, he joined NSLP as a student engineer and in 1935 was appointed temporary general superintendent of the Demerara Electrical Company in Georgetown, British Guiana. His military career was from 1940 to 1946, when he served with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. Back at NSLP, he was put in charge of design and construction of a new trolley coach system to replace worn-out Birney streetcars. As Transit Engineer and later Superintendent, he presided over the transition which took effect in 1949 in a smooth and efficient fashion. Currie was very active in the Canadian Transit Association, serving as its President in 1967-68. He continued to serve as Superintendent of Transit Operations with NSLP until he retired when the City of Halifax took over the operation in January 1970.