The Transit-Friendly Development e-newsletter notes the recent passing of L. Richard “Rick” Mariani, NJ TRANSIT’s first customer advocate and an early proponent of transit-friendly planning. Mr. Mariani was instrumental in seeking and winning federal funds for NJ TRANSIT’s Transit Friendly Communities for New Jersey pilot community planning assistance program. The work under this grant elevated the awareness and interest in transit-friendly planning in New Jersey. He also pursued his interest in community development and transit stations through his role on the Downtown New Jersey board and through his involvement in the Newark Downtown District–Newark’s Special Improvement District.
Rick served at NJ TRANSIT for 26 years. During his career he worked as Senior Director of New Services, where he was responsible for coordinating NJ TRANSIT’s launch of new services, including the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system, MidTown Direct service, the Newark Airport rail station and the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction.
His commitment to transit’s role in community development and his infectious enthusiasm and energy will be missed by all who have known him.