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Posted on: January 27, 2021

Jeff Nelson named Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson, General Manager, MetroLINK, assumes national role as Chair of the American Public Transportation Association

Moline, IL – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has named Jeff Nelson as Chair of the APTA Board of Directors. 

“This is an exciting day for the Quad Cities, as Jeff Nelson takes the stage as Chair of the American Public Transportation Association,” says Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Our community has benefited from Jeff’s leadership and expertise for over 30 years. As he transitions to the role of Chair at APTA, he is well-positioned to lead the national public transit mobility and restoration efforts as Americans and our economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations which represent a $74 billion industry that directly employs 435,000 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.


As Chair, Nelson’s primary responsibilities will be overseeing APTA’s Mobility Recovery & Restoration efforts, working with Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration on priorities for public transit, and advancing APTA’s strategic plan.

“I am excited to welcome Jeff Nelson as Chair of the APTA Board of Directors. Jeff’s work as Vice Chair of APTA, combined with his four decades of experience in the industry, will serve him well as he leads the association during a challenging and transformational time,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas.  


“I have spent my entire career dedicated to public transportation, and have loved every minute of it”, says Jeff Nelson. “Not everyone has the distinct privilege of waking up every day, knowing they have the ability to positively impact one person, one ride at time.  For the past 35 years as General Manager at MetroLINK, I’ve hit the ground running, doing just that.  Public transit is one of those industries that allow us as individuals to share our enthusiasm and passion for our community, by giving us the opportunity to help people be successful in their daily lives. Public transit integrates a community and drives economic success. These are the reasons why I have dedicated my life to improving public transportation not only in my community, but throughout the country. I am excited about assuming the reigns as Chair of APTA, and using my many years of leadership experience to further APTA’s mission to strengthen and improve public transportation.”   


Jeff has spent the last 30 plus years serving APTA through a variety of leadership positions including two terms on the Executive Committee, serving on the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Legislative Committee, Small Ops Committee, and Diversity and Inclusion Council.  Jeff has also served on a number of other committees including the Member Services Committee and Bus CEO committee, to name a few.  Outside of APTA, his leadership consists of serving in a variety of capacities with the Illinois Public Transportation Association, Chair of the National Transit Institute, Chairman of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab, Trustee of the Two Rivers YMCA, member of the City of Moline Planning Commission, and member of the City of Moline Police and Fire Commission.  


Under his leadership locally, MetroLINK has received numerous accolades, including the APTA Outstanding Public Transportation System of the Year, the NAACP Business Image Award, the FTA Outstanding Leadership Award, numerous Eddy Awards, and the APTA Bus Safety Gold Award.



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