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Now Accepting 2019 Scholarship Applications

The APTF will award a minimum of twenty scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 each, to college students or transit professionals who are pursuing or advancing​ a career in the public transportation industry. Awards cover the academic year, beginning in the fall 2019 semester, and assist with tuition costs or other educational expenses.

The 2019 scholars will receive free registration and a travel stipend to attend APTA's 2019 TRANSform Conference, which will be held in New York, NY, October 13-16. At the conference, they will have the opportunity to attend workshops and sessions as well as meet with industry professionals from across the country.

Applicants must be college sophomores (30 hours or more satisfactorily completed), juniors, seniors, or those seeking advanced degrees at a fully accredited institution, with a 3.0 minimum GPA. All applicants must be sponsored by a member organization of APTA. Any member may serve as a sponsor.

All applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 (ET) on Monday, June 17, 2019. 

Visit the Scholarship Guidelines page to learn more and begin your application.​​

APTF Starts 2019 Off Big at BMBG Meeting

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) achieved two major milestones at the recent Business Members Board of Governors (BMBG) meeting in Naples, FL. With several APTF board members in attendance promoting the foundation, APTA’s business members demonstrated once again their personal commitment to the future of the public transit industry by contributing $23,900 to APTF’s scholarship programs.

With special thanks to APTF directors Fran Hooper, Jeff Wharton (BMBG immediate past chair/APTA Executive Committee), Huelon Harrison (BMBG chair/APTA Executive Committee), Jack Martinson (BMBG/APTA Executive Committee), Dominic DiBrito and others, APTF raised the highest total amount in the history of the annual BMBG meeting. This total also represents the BMBG’s largest single donation and the greatest number of individual contributions to date.

In addition, under Martinson’s leadership, APTF launched its new Corporate Recognition Initiative at the meeting. The program rewards corporate entities that make major and cumulative contributions over the years, offering successively higher recognition levels, including involvement in the scholarship selection process and consideration for placement on the APTF Board of Directors.

APTF Establishes the Paul J. Larrousse Scholarship

As the APTA family mourns the passing of Paul J. Larrousse, the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) Board of Directors approved the establishing a scholarship in his honor.  The Paul J. Larrousse Scholarship will continue Paul’s legacy of supporting a more inclusive workforce and will promote awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ community within the public transportation industry.

As Director of the National Transit Institute in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Paul was designated as a Faculty Fellow in 200e.  In this role, he taught the graduate Transit Management and Planning course and the Transit Planning Studio.  In this role, Paul supported several of his students as APTF scholars, and helped them to increase their network and understanding of the broader public transportation industry.  As a long-time supporter of the foundation, Paul was recognized as a Two-Star Diamond Fellow.

To learn more about the scholarship or to contribute, please visit our Memorial Giving Page​.

APTF Launches Mentoring Initiative to Support Scholars

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) has unveiled a new pilot mentoring initiative to support APTF scholars’ long-term commitment to the public transportation industry. 


The APTF Mentoring Pilot Program, created by APTF board members Jill Stober (TriMet) and Shalonda Baldwin (Los Angeles Metro), will help scholars build a professional network by exposing them to public transit leaders who can guide them as they further their education and explore the variety of career paths available in public transportation.Photo.jpg


Eighteen of this year’s scholars will be mentored by industry leaders including members of the APTF Board of Directors and alumni of the Leadership APTA and Emerging Leaders programs. Mentors and scholars have been matched based on their career interests and geographical location and will liaise via phone or in person once a quarter over the next year.


Prior to this program, APTF did not have a formal way to engage scholars beyond the scholarship. “We hope that this mentoring program will truly help the foundation further its mission of providing scholarships and engagement opportunities to the scholars in an effort to retain them in this industry,” said Stober.


f the pilot is successful, APTF will make it a permanent part of the scholarship program to “support scholars and create a deeper connection to the industry to ensure they develop into the next generation of public transit leaders,” said Baldwin.


APTF Celebrates 2018 Scholars at APTA Annual

The American Public Transportation Foundation celebrated its 30th year at the APTA Annual Meeting September 23-25 in Nashville, TN. The festivities began on Sunday, September 23 with a fundraising reception held at Acme Feed and Seed.  ​


Annual meeting attendees joined the 2018 APTF scholarship recipients, sponsors, and friends to celebrate the foundation’s 30th year and to raise money for future scholarships. Through sponsorships and donations at the reception, the APTF raised over $125,000, which will be added to the foundation’s general fund. The event also honored APTA’s 2018-19 Chair, David Stackrow. Friends and colleagues Stephen Bland, CEO – WeGo Transit, Carm Basile, CEO – CDTA, and Raymond Melleady, Executive Vice President - USSC Group (pictured), spoke at the reception and congratulated Mr. Stackrow on his chairmanship
At a ceremony held on September 25, the APTF board
of directors awarded $205,000 in scholarship funds—a record amount of funds dispersed—to 33 students and public transit professionals. This year’s scholarships included two new named scholarships, the Nathaniel Ford and Stephanie Pinson Scholarships.
Since the APTF was created in 1988, the foundation has awarded over $1,200,000 in scholarships to more than 350 scholars pursuing careers in public transportation
Please visit the Current Scholars page to see the 2018 APTF Scholarship Recipients.


30 Years of Driving the Future Forward ​

This year, the Foundation will be celebrating 30 years of providing scholarships and supporting the future leaders of our industry. To celebrate this milestone, the APTF would like the opportunity to share the impact of the Foundation and the scholarship program with the transit industry. It is because of your continued support and generous contributions that we can award scholarships year after year!​       

                                                                 Message of Gratitude 

                                                A video message from a 2017 APTF Scholarship recipient​


Shalonda Rountree

Chatham Area Transit

"Winning this scholarship has motivated me to continue enhancing my leadership skills for future advancement to a senior leadership role within the transportation industry. It has also inspired me to become involved in introducing minority youth to the wide variety of careers opportunities available in transportation."
- Shalonda Rountree, Graduate Student, Armstrong State University

APTF Scholar Spotlight 

Since its inception in 1988 the American Public Transportation Foundation has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships in pursuit of the APTF's mission of increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career. This spotlight shines on the scholars and professionals who have received awards and shares how they have progressed in the industry. ​


Simon Berrebi

Principal, Dynamic Time

Atlanta, GA

2016 Reba Malone Scholarship Recipient


1. Describe your role and the work that you do

I started a company implementing open-source software to help transit agencies improve their operations with big data. I help transit agencies implement a prediction tool based on machine-learning that give passengers cutting-edge real-time information. I also develop performance monitoring tools that enable transit agencies to monitor their transit network by time of day, at the stop, route and network level.

 2. Why public transportation?

Growing up in Paris, I always considered public transit as ubiquitous. It was only when I arrived in Atlanta to start my Ph.D. at Georgia Tech that I realized the social, economical, and environmental rifts left by insufficient and inadequate public transit. Public transportation provides the economic developments while minimizing the negative externalities of transportation.

3. How did receiving an APTF scholarship make a difference in your career?

By receiving the APTF scholarship and attending APTA’s annual meeting, I met many transit officials who have become customers.

4. What does the future of public transportation looks like

Ride-hailing companies are gaining ground and autonomous vehicles are coming. Transit agencies need to make sure that these new modes can connect people to high-capacity routes rather than short-circuiting them. I am working on this problem too, more on that soon…

5. What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

I am the founder of MARTA Army, a 400-volunteers organization helping to improve the transit ridership experience in the Atlanta region through programs including adopt-a-stop, crowd-funding bus stop amenities, disaster relief, and bus driver appreciation galas.

6. How can the industry encourage more young professionals to seek careers in public transportation?

There is a vibrant generation of transit enthusiasts in advocacy and academia. Transit agencies could do more to integrate them into management positions.

Help Scholars go BACK TO SCHOOL

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The greatest issue facing the public transportation industry is workforce development; leaders are retiring or otherwise leaving the industry faster than qualified replacements can be recruited and trained.

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is working to address this problem by providing financial assistance to students who are pursing education in a transit-related area of study or are already employed in the industry and seeking to advance. 

In 2017 the APTF awarded $149,000 in scholarships to 29 scholars and professionals working in public transportation. The APTF would not be able to support the next generation of transit leaders without the generous support of corporate sponsors and individual donors.

The goal of the BACK TO SCHOOL Annual Giving Campaign is to raise $50,000, which will allow the Foundation’s Board of Directors to increase both the size and number of scholarships that we are able to award over the coming year.


To donate, please click on the campaign flyer or visit the Donate Now link.​


APTF Offering Single-Year Scholarships


The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is pleased to announce the creation of a Single-Year Scholarship program. These scholarships are unique for the foundation because they are non-endowed, titled scholarships that are created and awarded in the same year. This program was created for individuals and organizations who would like to create an APTF sponsorship but may not have the budget to meet the $50,000 commitment necessary for a permanent, named scholarship. 


Single-Year Scholarships start at $5,000 and the program offers some flexibility for the donor(s). Scholarships may be funded by a single organization or individual, or through multiple smaller contributions. Individual donors contributing less than the $5,000 minimum (but at least $2,000) may fund a jointly-named scholarship, i.e., the Smith-Jones Scholarship. Contributions in multiples of $5,000 may be used to fund additional scholarships in succeeding years or to fund multiple scholarships in one year. Donors will be recognized in APTF materials and announcements as well as at the APTF scholar ceremony at the APTA Annual meeting. Donors will also have the opportunity to suggest scholar selection criteria for their scholarship, i.e. area of study, geographical location, etc.


Single year scholarship recipients will be chosen along with the named scholarships at the APTF Board’s scholarship selection meeting in August.  The scholarships will be awarded during the following APTA Annual Meeting. Additional information may be found on the program flyer​. If are interested in sponsoring a Single-Year Scholarship, or if you have any questions, please contact Lindsey Robertson at 



Our Mission: 'To increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career by providing scholarships and engagement opportunities to deserving students and transit professionals - our future leaders.'​ 

American Public Transportation Foundation
1300 I Street NW
Suite 1200 East
Washington, DC 20005


Phone: 202.496.4818