LANCASTER – Len Engel, Executive Director of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, was recognized by the California Transit Association (CTA) as the “Transit Professional of the Year.”
The award was presented last week at the 51st annual CTA Fall Conference and Expo in Oakland.
Engel was one of five nominees up for the award, and he was recognized for his leadership, vision, and notable contributions to public transportation, officials said.
“Len Engel has been instrumental in spearheading our groundbreaking decision to become the first all-electric fleet in the nation,” stated AVTA Board Chair Marvin Crist. “With Len at the helm, AVTA has become a leader in the transit industry for innovative transportation technologies, and as a Board, we are so proud that he has received this recognition.”
“I am extremely honored to receive this award, and the recognition of our efforts to implement electric bus technology here in the Antelope Valley” Engel stated. “It is our hope that our conversion to an all-electric zero emission fleet will serve as a model for other agencies.”
Engel oversees day-to-day operations at AVTA, which currently operates two all-electric buses, with plans to purchase up to 85 more over the next two years. The local transportation agency is also installing 50kW and 250kW inductive charging systems in locations around the Antelope Valley to ensure that AVTA’s longer routes will be electrified.
Engel joined AVTA in 2012 as the Director of Operations and Maintenance; and he was named Executive Director of the agency in 2015.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the CTA Small Operators Committee, Engel is a member of the American Public Transportation Association Small Operator Committee, and a Director and Co-Chairman of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade Transportation Committee.
Engel credits his wife of 29 years, Pat, with helping him accomplish so much. “I have been very blessed throughout my career to have her by my side,” Engel said. “Her strength and support of everything I do is what makes it all possible.”
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Transit Authority.]