MARP elects officers and presents awards at St. Ignace meeting

The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, at its first-ever meeting in the Upper Peninsula, has elected officers to serve for the 2010-2012 period. The meeting was held on Saturday, September 25, at the Transportation Center in St. Ignace, the base from which Indian Trails motorcoach service to the Upper Peninsula  operates.

Elected to two-year terms are Robert Tischbein (Chair), Barney Whittier (Vice-Chair), Hugh Gurney (Secretary). David Randall will continue his appointment as Treasurer. Elected to At-Large Executive Committee positions are John Langdon (Governmental Affairs), Kay Chase (Communications), Kathleen Newell (Membership), and Jim Wallington (Meetings). Metro Detroit and Northern Regional Chair positions will be filled by Jim Hinkins and Don Monteith, respectively. Barney Whittier will serve temporarily as West Region Chair until a permanent Chair is found. The East/Central position remains open. Retiring from the Board are MARP founder John DeLora along with Clark Charnetski, who has served MARP in various capacities over a long period, Andrew Kent, Steve Sobel, Rich Vavra-Musser and Tim Fischer.

Harry Gow, founding President of Transport Action Canada (formerly Transport 2000 Canada), was honored with an International Friendship Award for his decades of work on behalf of consumers of transportation services and for promoting sustainable transportation options through advocacy and education.

Presenting the award, outgoing MARP chair, John DeLora, who has worked with Gow on many international projects, stated, “It is no exaggeration to say that the expansion of public transportation in Canada is largely based upon the foundation laid by Harry Gow’s work. His knowledge and the accuracy of his work are truly a resource not just for Canadians, but for the U.S. as well. He has long been an advocate of seamless, convenient cross-border transportation, which is something close to my heart as well.”

MARP also presented its Special Achievement Award to Indian Trails, Inc., a Michigan motor coach line, on the occasion of its 100th birthday. The company was founded as Phillips-Taylor Livery Service in 1910 by Cora and Wayne Taylor of Owosso and remains a family owned business. With facilities in Owosso, Kalamazoo, and Metro Detroit, Indian Trails employs 135 people and provides passenger services throughout all of Michigan, carrying one million passengers and traveling four million miles annually.

 “Despite the railroad in our name, MARP supports and promotes bus service for Michigan travelers and that is why we are pleased that Indian Trails has expanded its services to the citizens of our state,” said MARP spokesman Jim Wallington. “The motorcoach service can be accessed by residents of both the American and Canadian Soo communities and connects residents throughout the Upper Peninsula to Amtrak trains at Flint, East Lansing, Kalamazoo and Milwaukee.”

Executive Committee

ROBERT TISCHBEIN – Executive Committee Chair   (586) 907-1530


HUGH GURNEY – Secretary


JIM HINKINS – Metro Detroit Chair

DON MONTEITH – Northern Michigan Chair

BARNEY WHITTIER – West Michigan Chair (temporary, pending appointment)

open East/Central Michigan Chair

JOHN LANGDON – At-Large Committee Member (Governmental Affairs)

KAY CHASE – At-Large Committee Member (Communications)

JIM WALLINGTON – At-Large Committee Member (Meetings)

KATHLEEN NEWELL – At-Large Committee Member (Membership)

ROBERT TISCHBEIN – Outreach (temporary pending appointment)
J.R. VALDERAS – Michigan Passenger Editor