At their annual Transportation Summit in September, Mobility 21 recognized Ontario Councilman and SBCTA Board Member Alan Wapner with their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mobility 21 is a coalition that brings together elected officials, business, and community leaders to pursue regional solutions to the transportation challenges that face our region. Their annual event was attended by more than 1,000 transportation stakeholders to discuss critical transportation issues facing Southern California.
Councilman Wapner was honored for his decades of commitment to improving transportation and access to opportunity across Southern California through his leadership in every transportation environment throughout the region. As President of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA), he spearheaded the popular Inland Empire airport’s return to local ownership in 2016 and has overseen its emergence as one of the industry’s great success stories. He has served as President of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), Chairman of Omnitrans, and a director for Southern California Regional Rail Authority and the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.
Mr. Wapner has been a member of the Ontario City Council for 30 years, during which this centerpiece city experienced record economic success. During his long tenure with SCAG, Councilman Wapner helped shape transportation planning and policy for the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and a population of nearly 19 million people. Impressively, during Alan’s term as President of SBCTA, the organization secured $247 million in funding to improve San Bernardino County’s transportation infrastructure and sped forward with innovations such as the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, which is on track to introduce the first zero-emission, hydrogen fuel passenger trains in North America next year.
But it’s his leadership of OIAA that might have the most profound – and lasting – impact on the region. Today, ONT is the fastest-growing airport in Southern California, and with the addition of China Airlines, JetBlue and Frontier Airlines, is reaching passenger volumes not seen in more than a decade. Ontario also ranks among the Top 10 cargo airports in North America and plays a critical role in the inland Empire’s emergence as a global trade hub.
In addition to Mr. Wapner’s award, SBCTA was represented by Board President Supervisor Dawn Rowe, Executive Director Dr. Ray Wolfe and Deputy Executive Director Carrie Schindler on various discussion panels. The SBCTA representatives participated with other elected officials and transportation leaders to discuss pressing transportation issues facing our region, state and country, including transit funding and emerging technologies, goods movements, emmisions reduction solutions, as well as many others.
We congratulate Councilman Wapner on his well-deserved honor and thank our SBCTA representatives for their thoughtful participation at this esteemed transportation industry event.