College of Engineering News Room
Maurice Ferre to Receive 2017 CUTR Transportation Award
Thornton Williams, University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) Advisory Board Chair and Managing Partner of the Williams Law Group, P.A., Tallahassee, announced today at the Florida Transportation Commission Workshop in Boca Raton that Florida Transportation Commissioner Maurice Ferré will receive the 2017 CUTR Transportation Achievement Award at the annual transportation awards event on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at the University of South Florida Marshall Student Center on the Tampa Campus. During the October event, Ferré will also be inducted into the Florida Transportation Hall of Fame in recognition of his 50-year background in transportation.
In the 1960s Maurice served as a Commissioner for The City of Miami and in the Florida House of Representatives for District 112. He was elected for six terms as mayor of the City of Miami from 1973-1985. In 2010 Governor Rick Scott appointed him to serve on the Florida Transportation Commission. He has also served on the boards of the Miami Dade County Expressway Authority and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. Born in Puerto Rico, he earned a B.S. in architectural engineering from the University of Miami.
"I am honored to receive this prestigious public recognition because CUTR represents the highest professional standards, not only in Florida, but nationally," said Ferré. "Since I first served on the Transportation Committee in the Florida House 50 years ago, I have enjoyed the learning curve and serving the people of Florida in this important part of our state economy."
The list of committees and initiatives he has spearheaded for both Florida and the Miami community are numerous. He is best described as an innovative leader in transportation policy always looking for effective and creative solutions. Few leaders have left the type of effective and sustained imprint on transportation policy in Florida than Maurice Ferré.
In 1980, as Mayor of Miami, Ferré was instrumental in supporting the creation of the Metro Rail System. At the time, it was the single largest, self-driven people mover rail system in the U.S., which included 26 miles of track and 20 stations. In 1994, he was vice chair of the Miami- Dade Board of County Commissioners chairing the Miami Marketplace: Destination 2001. The committee analyzed the infrastructure investment needs for a master plan that included Miami International Airport (MIA), the Port of Miami and a principal transportation spine in Miami-Dade County. As a result, $16B of projects were planned, designed and constructed over the past 20 years in Miami which include the No. 1 cruise ship port in the world and the No. 1 container ship port in Florida. The panel also included $4B for the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC-MIA) for the principal access roadways to the airport.
"It has been a privilege collaborating with someone as visionary and committed to improving the lives of Floridians as Maurice Ferré. His ideas are bold and futuristic, but his heart is homegrown," said Ysela Llort, CUTR advisory board member and principal of the Renaissance Planning Group.
The CUTR Transportation Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to transportation. Some recent recipients of the Transportation Achievement Award have been Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando; Bill Johnson, Florida Secretary of Commerce, and Jim Sebesta, Florida Transportation Commissioner and Florida Senator (2014).
The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) was established in 1988 in the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida, located in Tampa, Florida. CUTR is an internationally recognized resource for policymakers, transportation professionals, and the public. CUTR provides high quality, objective expertise in the form of insightful research, in-depth policy analysis, comprehensive training and education, and effective technical assistance that translates directly into benefits for CUTR's project sponsors. CUTR's faculty of 40 full-time researchers, and 60 students, combines academic knowledge and substantial "real world" experience in developing innovative, implementable solutions for all modes of transportation. The multidisciplinary research faculty includes experts in economics, planning, engineering, public policy, and geography. CUTR logs over $19 million per year in expenditures through contracts and grants to support its research, education, training and technical assistance missions.