SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Former San Diego Metropolitan Transit System CEO Paul Jablonski, who died earlier this year, has been inducted into the American Public Transportation Association Hall of Fame, it was announced Tuesday.
The award — the association’s highest honor — recognizes individuals with distinguished careers in the transportation industry, according to the MTS.
Jablonski, who died May 10 at the age of 67, spent 16 years as CEO at MTS, capping a transit career spanning more than 40 years.
“A steady theme throughout Paul’s career was about contributing to the advancement of transit in the United States and around the world,” said Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA’s president & CEO. “Paul had a team-first collaborative nature. Paul and his contributions moving our industry forward will be deeply missed, but he has helped us forge a promising path that other transit leaders can follow into the future.”
Jablonski is credited with steering the MTS as it set back-to-back annual ridership records in 2014 and 2015, overseeing the $660 million Trolley Renewal Project, launching a new network of Rapid bus service, and leading the agency to four consecutive perfect scores during its Trienniel Review with the Federal Transit Administration, among a host of accomplishments.
Jablonski was also recognized by APTA in 2014, as its Outstanding Transportation Manager of the Year.
“Paul had a unique ability to have real clarity and precise vision about what we needed to do as a transit agency,” said county Supervisor and MTS board Chair Nathan Fletcher. “He built a culture of professionalism and execution at MTS. He’s the reason MTS is such a great agency now. I’d like to thank APTA for recognizing Paul as a 2021 Hall of Fame recipient. It’s a befitting award that comes from an organization Paul sincerely admired.”
In addition to making Jablonski a Hall of Fame recipient, APTA’s foundation created the Paul Jablonski Scholarship, which supports students and transit professionals in pursuing their education.