George F. Dixon III has compiled a history of public service and transportation experience on the national, state, regional and community levels.
For those efforts, in 2006, he received the prestigious Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
2003-2004, National Chair of APTA
- 2003, National chair of APTA, a non-profit international trade association representing public transit.
- 2002, Elected APTA's national first vice chair, the number two spot in the organization.
Accomplishments as National Chair
- Kept pressure on Congress to pass a reauthorization bill.
- Built strong relationships with advocacy groups.
- Pushed for more funding for rail security.
- Increased professional development opportunities for members.
- Developed a strategic five-year plan.
- Completed rail transit standards, a milestone project that will benefit the industry for years to come.
- Visited Russia, China and Spain as an ambassador for public transit.
Other APTA leadership experience
Dixon has chaired and/or been a member of numerous APTA committees, including:
- VIP NOW.
- Program Planning and Membership.
- E-Commerce task force.
- Workforce Development task force.
- Long-time vice chair of APTA's Governing Boards Committee.
- Former member, APTA Executive Committee.
He has been a speaker, moderator, and presenter at numerous APTA seminars and conferences.
National transit leadership (outside of APTA)
- For the Transportation Research Board, he formerly chaired the Oversight Panel for the Transportation Cooperative Research Program, "Public Transit System Policy Board: Organization and Characteristics".
- Active in the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). Both an individual and corporate member of COMTO's Cleveland-Northeast Ohio Chapter.
- Appointed by President Clinton to represent public transportation interests on the Federal Advisory Committee to Reduce Greenhouse Gases.
Leadership on a state level
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft appointed Dixon to an eight-year term on the seven-member Ohio Turnpike Commission in 2001. He was re-appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland in 2009. The Commission oversees administration of the 241-mile toll road. Annually, more than 50 million vehicles travel more than 3 billion miles on the Turnpike.
Leadership on a state, regional and local level
Dixon has enjoyed the support of three mayors of the City of Cleveland.
- 1992, Appointed to a three-year term on the RTA Board by former Mayor Michael R. White.
- Re-appointed by former Mayor Jane L. Campbell, and current Mayor Frank G. Jackson.
Dixon has served as Board President since 1994, and is believed to be the longest-serving Board President ever, for any transit system in Ohio. The Board Room at the RTA Main Office is named after him.
RTA, a multi-modal transit system, has an annual operating budget of more than $260 million. As Board President, Dixon has:
- Continued a personal commitment to diversity.
- Led RTA to six straight years of ridership growth.
- Made significant improvements in on-time performance, reliability, safety and customer satisfaction.
- Oversaw major upgrades to the bus and rail car fleet.
- Strongly supported the $200-million HealthLine, a state-of-the-art bus-rapid transit (BRT) service that began operation in October 2008.
- Worked closely with staff to balance the budget in a depressed economy.
- Taken steps that saved taxpayers an estimated $25 million annually.
- Controlled finances. For 13 years, there were no across-the-board fare increases.
Other local leadership positions
- Board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), the local metropolitan planning organization that oversees transportation planning in Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Medina and Lorain counties
- Board of Education, Cleveland Municipal School District, 1998-2003. The District includes 73,000 students, 122 schools, 12,000 employees, and an annual operating budget of $663 million. Dixon and the Board worked on a $1 billion plan to renovate aging facilities. A Board publication described Dixon as:
"A successful entrepreneur with a long record of public service, Dixon brings a unique blend of business savvy and public policy-making experience to the Board. He takes a business-like approach to the Board's work."
- Leadership Cleveland (Class of 2000)
- The Greater Cleveland Partnership (formerly the Greater Cleveland Growth Association)
- Civic Vision 2000
- MidTown Cleveland
- Destination Cleveland (formerly the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland)
- East Technical High School in Cleveland
- Bachelor's degree, Ohio University, government major, business minor
- Attended Graduate School of Urban Studies, Cleveland State University
- Owner-operator of several successful Cleveland businesses
Updated March 21, 2017
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"In more than 30 years in the transit industry, I have rarely met anyone who is as charismatic, dedicated, and passionate as George Dixon. He makes a lasting, positive impression on everyone he meets, and in my opinion, he is a great ambassador for public transit." -- Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO & General Manager
George F. Dixon III
President, Board of Trustees
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
1240 W. 6th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113