County Judge Robert Johnston was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Transit Association Thursday, Feb. 24 in Austin.
“I am honored to receive this award from TTA and am grateful for the recognition that comes with it,” Johnston said. “The reason why I decided to run for public office in the first place was that I wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of the citizens I serve. In my view, that is what is most important. Thank you to TTA for conferring this award on me. I appreciate it.”
The TTA’s Distinguished Service Award is given to a state or local elected official who has substantially assisted in the advancement of public transit in the state of Texas. Johnston was selected for the award because of his outstanding work supporting transportation in East Texas.
Johnston is the Chairman of the East Texas Council of Government’s Chief Elected Officials / Rural Transportation Planning Organization Board.
ETCOG’s rural transportation system, GoBus, is available for all rural residents to access safe, reliable, and friendly public transportation. GoBus provides daily local service within Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Harrison, Henderson, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties, and the non-urbanized areas of Gregg and Smith Counties.
GoBus has about 30 vehicles on the road making between 500 and 800 trips a day. It provides demand/response service, taking customers where they need to go, such as work, school, grocery store, or medical trips.
“Judge Johnston is not only a County Judge but Chairman of the 14-county East Texas Rural Transportation Planning Organization, a member of the ETCOG Board of Directors, Chairman of the ETCOG Chief Elected Board of Officials, and the President-Elect of the Texas Association of Regional Councils Board, among others,” said David Cleveland, ETCOG Executive Director.
“He has diligently worked with ETCOG since 2011 and has supported many positive improvements for public transportation during this time. His continuous support of GoBus and transit-related projects in East Texas has aided in the ability for the transportation of thousands of citizens in need. Judge Johnston is a well-respected member of the region due to his humble heart and commitment to public service. We appreciate his dedication to the entire East Texas Region and his commitment to providing excellence for our customers.”
More than 700 transit industry leaders, professionals and business partners gathered for the 2022 Joint Annual Conference, Expo and Roadeo hosted by the TTA and South West Transit Association at the Austin Convention Center.
TTA was organized in 1986, and its members are Texas metropolitan, small urban, and rural transit agencies and private and public entities from across the United States. TTA’s purpose is to educate the people of Texas about issues affecting the public transit industry within the state.
ETCOG is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts, and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region. ETCOG assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development.
Established in 1970, ETCOG, either directly or through its contractors, provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers, and job seekers.
ETCOG and its contractors also build the 911 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services, and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs and environmental grant funding for the region.