The Florida Public Transportation Association welcomes Mr.Gary Brosch into its Hall of Fame. Gary has been directly involved in policy and research associated with public transportation since 1981 when he worked as a Special Economic Advisor for the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. During this time he assisted with what became the first ever federal dedication of one-cent sales tax to transit. Following his tenure with UMTA, he served as Vice President of the Rice Center for Joint Mobility Studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
His significant legacy to public transportation in Florida began in 1988, when Mr. Brosch was selected by the University of South Florida to be the Director of a new and unique transportation research center created by the Florida Legislature. The mission of the center as given by the legislature was quite broad. It was to be an objective resource for policymakers, transportation professionals, the education system, and the public. Starting with a relatively blank slate, and with modest state seed funding, Mr. Brosch was the driving force in shaping what came to be named the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR).
Virtually all of the 60+ university transportation research centers that exist in the United States focus on highways and bridges, and the policies, design, and technology associated with that primary mode of transportation. Very simply, his goal was for CUTR to become known as the very best in the nation at what it focused on, and he determined that the focus would be public transportation.
Since that time, CUTR has substantially contributed to the development of public transportation in the state of Florida. The research done by CUTR’s faculty is often evident at the sessions at FPTA workshops and conferences. CUTR faculty also assists in the development of the programs for both the FPTA Annual Conference and the Mid-Year Professional Development Workshop. In addition, CUTR, working in tandem with FDOT, arranges for substantial and successful training of mechanics and bus operator trainers throughout the state. CUTR faculty have also helped numerous transit agencies in the state develop strategic development plans, reduce accidents through careful research and analysis, and improve their management capabilities. No other state transit association in the nation enjoys and benefits from this type of close relationship with a major transportation research center.
In addition to the key strategic decision to focus CUTR’s resources on public transportation issues, Mr. Brosch aggressively pursued federal grants that have resulted in bringing over $15 million dollars in federal funds to Florida targeted to public transportation research. His insight, initiative, and experience resulted in the establishment of the National Center for Transit Research, the largest university-based transit research center in the country, within CUTR. In addition, he was a driving force behind the creation of the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute that now serves as a resource for the development of information on the enhancement of bus rapid transit services throughout the state, the nation, and the world. Mr. Brosch served as CUTR’s director from 1988 to 2003. He created and now serves as the Editor of the Journal of Public Transportation, the only academic journal in the world dedicated to public transportation issues, which is funded through the National Center for Transit Research at CUTR.
While many people at CUTR have contributed to the activities supporting the development of public transit in Florida noted above, none of this would be in place were it not for the vision, strategic decisions, initiative, and support of CUTR’s founding director, Gary Brosch.
The FPTA is proud to welcome Gary Brosch into its Hall of Fame Class of 2007.