Hiett inducted into Georgia Transit Hall of Fame


Robert Hiett


From Contributed Reports

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Robert Hiett, executive director of the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, was inducted into the Georgia Transit Hall of Fame during the Georgia Transit Association’s annual conference on Dec. 7 at the Jekyll Island Resort.

Hiett is the first person to receive a Hall of Fame award in Georgia. The Hall of Fame award is the highest level of recognition the association can award for leadership and having a positive statewide impact on the transit industry sector.

Hiett left Georgia in July to become executive director of the Council of Governments.

“I am honored to be the first person from Georgia to receive this prestigious award, and I look forward to being joined in the Georgia Transit Hall of Fame by colleagues I’ve worked with over the past 18 years to advance transit, workforce development and state and national policy issues,” Hiett said.

Hiett served for six years as the Georgia Transit Association’s president and he spent more than a decade as its legislative committee chairman. Under his leadership, the GTA built a new statewide coalition of rural and urban transportation advocates, successfully advocated for $175 million in new transit funding and convinced Georgia legislative leaders to begin an overhaul of the state’s transit governance and delivery systems.

Hiett served as the Georgia Association of Regional Commission’s designated representative for rural transportation and transit policy for 15 years, and he served six years as the Georgia State Delegate for the Community Transportation Association of America. Hiett was elected to the Rural Planning Organizations of America executive board in 2016.

Hiett administered Georgia’s first regional rural public transit system in a council of governments setting and Georgia’s first fully coordinated human services transit system. The transit program received two national excellence awards, one national performance award, and it was recognized as a state model for rural regional transit.

Hiett is already putting his expertise to work in North Carolina. He has been designated as the N.C. Association of Regional Councils of Governments’ state representative to the Rural Planning Organizations of America, and he is scheduled to become RPO America’s national vice chairman in 2019.

“Mobility access is a workforce development issue. It is also a vital component to improve employment outcomes and to maintain a higher quality of life for our area senior citizens. The UCPCOG, specifically our aging and workforce programs, invest a significant amount of funds purchasing transportation services from our area transit agencies. I look forward to working with local, regional and state leaders on mobility access and coordination to improve our regional prosperity,” Hiett said.

The Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments is a regional planning and development organization for Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton and Wilson counties and 41 municipal governments in the five-county region. The council administers several federal and state programs in the region. Its major program areas involve aging services, business and economic development, community planning programs and workforce development programs and services