Hidalgo-Cook elected to new term on transport board
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Sarah Hidalgo-Cook, general manager for the Southwest Area Regional Transit District (SWART), has been re-elected as the vice president of Rural Transit Systems of the Texas Transit Association’s Board of Directors.
The announcement was made during TTA’s board of directors’ meeting and strategic planning workshop held in August.
The re-election marks her 11th year on the TTA board of directors and her 6th year as the vice president of rural systems.
The TTA reports is mission as supporting the needs of Texas’ public transportation systems through statewide advocacy and education. The Texas Transit Association was organized in 1986 as a 501 (c)(6), non-profit business league. TTA’s membership is composed of Texas metropolitan, small urban and rural transit agencies as well as private and public entities from across the United States. The association’s purpose is to educate the people of Texas about issues affecting the public transit industry within the state. Additionally, TTA actively supports public transportation in the state of Texas and works with members of the state legislature in the pursuit of additional resources to support public transportation.
The TTA is governed by a board of directors elected from the general membership to include five members each representing the metros, small urban and rural operators. In addition, five associate members are selected by the board from industry supporters and businesses. TTA’s Executive Committee is elected by the board of directors from among its member-elected officers. The board’s current emphasis remains on the capacity building of transit professionals at all levels while supporting transit systems through the state while advocating for public transit.
Hidalgo-Cook also was selected as chair of the association’s Membership Committee and will remain active on the Legislative/Advocacy Committee. As a member of the Membership Committee for the last two years, she developed the Rural Caucus Focus Group and the Texas Women in Transit Focu Group which meets virtually every quarter to engage transit representatives throughout the state in specific strategic initiatives. The Texas Women in Transit Focus Group has grown from a statewide initiative that now includes female transit professionals from across the United States.
SWART’s assistant general manager, Cynthia Z. Rodriguez, also is active on the Events & Education Committee, while Laura Herrera, chief finance manager, is active on the Finance Committee.
“I am extremely honored to be selected as the rural vice president for another year,” Hidalgo-Cook said. “I am passionate about addressing the mobility needs of our rural population, but also want to promote how public transit can be an economic driver for our rural communities to enhance both the economic and community development of our rural towns where resources are limited.
“Also, I admit that I am extremely proud of the SWART staff for their interest and support oof transit by becoming involved with various TTA committees to ensure the success of the association which in turns guarantees the success of public transit in every community in Texas,” she said. “The ultimate goals is to give Texans – especially those who live in rural areas – the freedom to go anywhere they choose.”