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11.8.18 – Peter Varga
November 8, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Peter Varga is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emeritus of the Interurban Transit Partnership, known as The Rapid, an urban transit system with an operating budget of $43.9 million and an annual capital program that is currently $49.8 million.
Peter currently serves on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Board and served as its past Chair in 2013-2014. He served for 11 years on the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and was its Chair for two years in 2008 and 2009. He is also is a member of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Corporate Board. In addition, Peter served for six years as a Commissioner for City of Grand Rapids Mobile GR/Grand Rapids Parking Commission and has served on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Public Transit Association and was its president five times. Peter was appointed by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Transportation Funding Task Force in 2008.
Peter was born in the highlands of Ethiopia and moved to New York City when he was thirteen years old. He graduated from New York University in 1970 with a B.A. in History and Anthropology, and with an M.A. in Political Science from NYU in 1972. He also completed Masters’ level post graduate studies in Public Administration at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
Peter’s early transportation experience was as a New York City cab driver while attending New York University. He has worked in transit in several capacities since 1980 at Santa Cruz Metro, Santa Cruz, California, Muskegon Area Transit System, Muskegon, Michigan, and has served since 1997 as the CEO of The Rapid in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He lives in the Grand Rapids area in Michigan with his wife Susan. He has four adult daughters named Cecilia, Allison, Caitlin and Rica. He is the proud grandfather of Elizabeth, Leo, Cohen, Miles, Finn, Emma, Aria and Charlie.