Jeffrey Nelson

APTA Chair; CEO/Managing Director
Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District

Jeff Nelson is a seasoned transportation leader who specializes in urban design, land use planning and economic development. During his 30 years as General Manager for MetroLINK (Rock Island County Mass Transit), his strategic focus has been on implementing cutting edge programs with an emphasis on economic growth, environmental sustainability, enhanced technologies, and workforce development - separating MetroLINK from other transit districts of comparable size. Under his guidance MetroLINK was awarded the American Public Transportation Association “2012 Outstanding Public Transportation Award”. Other notable recent leadership recognition’s include the Federal Transportation Administration’s “State Leadership Award”, numerous APTA “AdWheel Awards, Quad City Chamber of Commerce Multi Modal Award (twice), various community and civic sustainability awards for excellence in environmental planning, Rock Island’s “Citizen of the Year” award, and the ARC “Community Partner of the Year” award.

Mr. Nelson has a unique ability to artfully maneuver through a multitude of environments and leverage a variety of resources to meet economic development expectations. Recognized as a progressive leader of exceptional skill and foresight, Mr. Nelson brings strong vision and leadership in the disciplines of sustainability, community growth, infrastructure and planning, creative public/private partnerships, and economic development. His experience in creating sustainable communities using transportation investment as a catalyst for future development include transit multimodal facilities in the downtowns of Moline, East Moline, and Rock Island. His most recent projects include the construction of a state-of-the-art 150,000 square foot “Operations and Maintenance Center” built to LEED Gold standards for the purpose of supporting a sustainable bus fleet and an energized workforce; the “RiverBend Commons” passenger ferryboat terminal supporting a fleet of 3 vessels and providing a number of consumer amenities to passengers; and the planning, development, and construction of the Moline Multi Modal station in downtown Moline, to accommodate passenger rail service from Moline to Chicago.

Mr. Nelson has served on a variety of community boards and committees throughout his professional career. Currently he is the Chairman of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab, a Board Member for the Illinois Public Transportation Association, a Board Trustee for Two Rivers YMCA, the Chair of the National Transit Institute at Rutgers, serves on the Moline Planning Commission, the Moline Police and Fire Commission, and is a Board Member for Quad City Chamber of Commerce Regional Opportunities Council. Additionally, he serves as Vice Chair of the American Public Transportation Association. Mr. Nelson holds a B.S. in Political Science from Western Illinois University, and an M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University.

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