Branning receives Friend of Transit awardDakota County commissioner Willis Branning helped found the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority. For his role he was one of three people recognized for being a Friends of Transit.
Commissioner Willis E. Branning, founding member of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority Board of Directors, was named one of three “Friends of Transit” at the Minnesota/Wisconsin Public Transit Association conference in LaCrosse, WI.
The Friend of Transit award is “presented to an individual who has distinguished himself through exceptional service toward the development and improvement of public transit in Minnesota by policy or legislative initiatives and/or leadership.” The other recipients were State Senator John Pederson (St. Cloud) and State Senator Roger Reinert (Duluth).
Tony Kellen, president of MPTA, presented the award to Branning.
“Known in the South Metro as ‘Mr. Transit,’ Will Branning has been advocating for transit for years,” Kellen said. “He is a founding member of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority Board of Directors and the Suburban Transit Association. He has been the force behind the Cedar Avenue BRT project, which will open as this state’s first BRT line in the Spring of 2013. At the end of this year, Will is retiring from a lifetime of public service, including serving as councilmember or mayor of the city of Apple Valley for more than 20 years and his most recent stint has been as a Dakota County Commissioner for the past 15 years. Transit is a passion for him, so we know he will continue to be out riding systems wherever he goes. Thank you for your dedication to transit, Mr. Branning.”