Arizona Transit Association honors MAG executive director
For Immediate ReleaseContact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020
PHOENIX (April 4, 2023) — Citing his contributions to improving the Valley’s transportation system for more than four decades, the Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) has named Maricopa Association of Governments Executive Director Eric Anderson their 2023 Transit Champion. The award was presented today at the 36th Annual Statewide Transit Conference hosted by AzTA and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
“Eric’s leadership in transportation over the past four decades — not only in our region but across the state — has made incredible changes for the people that we serve,” said MAG Regional Council Chair Kenn Weise, mayor of Avondale. “I want to wish him the best and congratulate him on this incredible award.”
Anderson first began serving MAG in 1983 and was hired in 2000 as transportation director. He was appointed executive director of MAG in 2018. Anderson also served as interim CEO for Valley Metro in 2016. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, MAG vice chair, thanked Anderson for his leadership at MAG and for stepping into the role at Valley Metro at a critical time.
“There are so many people who can get a ride to work or to school because of his work,” said Gallego. “It’s incredible to think about his contributions, whether it be multiple regional transportation plans or helping grow the Valley system from a few bus lines to a truly regional network. Our skylines have changed because of Eric’s work.”
Maricopa County Supervisor Jack Sellers, who serves as chair of the Transportation Policy Committee, also thanked Anderson for his efforts.
“Eric has always been a great champion for transit, because he realized early that many major employers wanted to locate in an area with a viable transit system,” said Sellers. “He also recognized that transit would be an important element in complying with environmental requirements. He is very deserving of this award.”
Arizona Department of Transportation Director Jennifer Toth stated she appreciates Anderson for his willingness to collaborate and looks forward to continuing a strong partnership with MAG in the future. “MAG has been a critical partner on transportation projects that have made the Valley a more prosperous and livable community,” said in a written statement. “Having worked closely with Eric Anderson for many years, I can tell you he is a true public servant and has worked tirelessly to improve transportation for MAG region residents and visitors.”
Anderson recently announced his retirement, which will be effective July 1. Over his career, Anderson’s work has focused on regional and urban growth, economic development, and economic impact analysis. He has been involved in planning and research efforts related to technology, including autonomous and connected vehicles. He has focused on the urban form and social impacts of new technology and the implications for the regional transportation system. Recent efforts include overseeing the development of a 25-year regional transportation investment plan known as MOMENTUM 2050. Funding for the plan would need to come through an extension of the half-cent sales tax for transportation, which was approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004 as Proposition 400. The current funding expires in 2025.
Photo: Valley Metro CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller presents MAG Executive Director Eric Anderson with the AzTA 2023 Transit Champion Award.