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“COMMUTING COMMISSIONER” NAMED TO HEAD TRI-RAIL BOARD
Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven L. Abrams was elected Chair of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) at the July 27 meeting of the Governing Board. At the same meeting, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro was elected Vice Chair. Commissioner Abrams has been a member of the SFRTA Governing Board since August 2010. Commissioner Barreiro has served on the Governing Board from November 2000 to July 2003, returning in January 2006.
Commissioner Abrams is the first SFRTA chairman to also be a regular commuter on Tri-Rail, which is operated by SFRTA. “I have a passenger perspective,” Abrams said. “I know first-hand what Tri-Rail means to the economy of South Florida when each day I join hundreds of workers, students, and tourists traveling throughout our region.”
Abrams has been serving on the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners representing District 4 since 2009, and was recently elected without opposition to a full four-year term. Commissioner Abrams has a lengthy record of public service. Abrams is the former mayor of Boca Raton, elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2003 without opposition and again in 2005 with the most votes in city history. He was named Mayor Emeritus when he stepped down in 2008 due to term limits.
The Commissioner also served five terms as a City Council member in Boca Raton from 1989 to 1999 and was a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board between 1987 and 1989. Abrams is a past president of the Palm Beach County League of Cities and a founding board member of the Florida League of Mayors.
Commissioner Abrams gained national exposure and local respect during the first bioterrorist attack in American history when anthrax was discovered at the AMI Building in Boca Raton, in October 2001. Abrams received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Israel National Police for his leadership during the ordeal. He testified on national television on the government’s response at the invitation of a United States Senate subcommittee.
Commissioner Barreiro has served four terms as the Chair of the SFRTA, first elected to the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners in 1988. He represents District 5 and serves constituents in parts of Miami, Miami Beach, Little Havana, Downtown Miami and South Beach.
He has long been a proponent of public transportation. In 1999, he sponsored a resolution for the creation of the Golden Passport to provide free transportation for senior citizens in Miami-Dade County. In 2002, he chaired the Transportation, Infrastructure and Environment Committee and sponsored a resolution for a half-cent sales tax to improve mass transit services as outlined in the People’s Transportation Plan.
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