Gary Thomas, the former president and executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), and current transit and rail market director for Lochner, was inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor on Oct. 16, 2023.
The Hall of Honor recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of transportation in Texas through their dedication, vision and leadership. Mr. Thomas has uniquely demonstrated these qualities throughout his illustrious career in the transportation sector.
Under his guidance, DART, which serves the North Texas and Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan areas, has flourished as one of the nation’s most innovative and efficient public transportation systems. His 20 years of visionary leadership transformed the agency into a model for sustainable urban mobility, promoting economic development, enhancing accessibility and reducing environmental impacts.
In response to the announcement of his induction, Mr. Thomas expressed his gratitude, saying, “I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and to join the ranks of esteemed individuals who have contributed to the advancement of transportation in our great state. I have been fortunate to work alongside a dedicated team at DART, as well as countless partners, who share a vision for a more accessible and interconnected Texas.”
Recounting the many accomplishments over the span of Mr. Thomas’ career were friends and colleagues Mr. Tim McKay, Jacobs senior program manager; Ms. Pamela Dunlop Gates, DART Board of Directors, 2007-2017; and Mr. Paul Skoutelas, American Public Transportation Association president and CEO. TTI Senior Research Fellow Katie Turnbull served as the emcee for the event.
In her remarks, Turnbull noted that Thomas was “known for successfully balancing regional, urban and suburban issues; he helped revitalize communities, spur economic activity, and improve connectivity through DART initiatives, including connecting light rail to the Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport, the nation’s second largest airport.”
Mr. Thomas joins the ranks of other prestigious Hall of Honor recipients including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson and 49 other exceptional leaders who have improved the lives of countless Texans and set an example for the entire industry.