OKLAHOMA CITY – Mass Transit Magazine’s annual 40 Under 40 nomination list includes EMBARK’s own Jesse Rush as one of its honorees. The list received hundreds of potential awardees each year from around the United States, with winners chosen based on their distinct contributions to the public transit industry.
Rush joined the City of Oklahoma City in 2014 as a project manager in the MAPS department, where he managed the design of the streetcar’s route alignment, storage, and maintenance facility and secured vehicle procurement contracts. He joined EMBARK in 2016, seeing the OKC Streetcar project through to completion in late 2018 and now serves as the first manager of the service.
“Public transit systems are crucial in helping to break down socioeconomic barriers in communities and creating economic development,” said Rush. “The OKC Streetcar is an integral piece in creating a diverse and thriving downtown environment in central Oklahoma. I am honored to have been recognized among my colleagues, knowing OKC streetcar has many good things yet to come.”
Driven to improve on the existing service, he now actively works with first responders by updating city ordinances to accommodate the streetcar, networks with the convention and visitors bureau to attract visitors to the system, teaches stakeholders about the streetcar, and engages in the service during hours of operation.
During the OKC Streetcar grand opening in 2018, Rush ensured a timely launch, providing over 20,000 rides during opening weekend and implemented the city’s first traffic signal priority technology for the streetcar routes. He continues to ensure the safety of the system by complying with state safety oversight requirements.
“Being a pioneer is not without its challenges,” said Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK Administrator. “However, Jesse showed a true propensity for innovation during the planning stages and carried that same adaptability and determination to completion. With his help, EMBARK has truly revitalized the streetcar and furthered its ability to connect residents and visitors to our ever-changing downtown Oklahoma City. We are delighted to see his hard work rewarded.”
Rush continues his dedication to public transit as a board member for Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA). He also serves as OKC Streetcar’s designated representative for APTA’s Streetcar Committee and the Community Streetcar Coalition. He is the Public Transportation and Parking Department’s liaison to the city’s Youth City Council.
For more information about Rush or the full list of Mass Transit Magazine’s 40 under 40 honorees, visit https://www.masstransitmag.com/40-under-40.
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EMBARK is the business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City. EMBARK is responsible for providing safe, efficient, and convenient public transportation and downtown parking solutions to the greater Oklahoma City area.