Public Transportation Expert William W. Millar to Speak at Pitt March 19 on How We Will Travel in the Future

Issue Date: 
March 11, 2013

The efficient movement of people and goods is one of the essential components of sustainable regions. So, too, is keeping public transportation both accessible and operative at the most efficient levels, according to William W. Millar, a nationally known expert in the fields of public transportation and transportation policy.

Millar will discuss these and other transportation issues during his 7:30 p.m. March 19 lecture, “How Will We Travel in the Future? The Role of Transportation in Building Sustainable Regions,” in the second floor ballroom of the University of Pittsburgh O’Hara Student Center. The talk is part of the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series of Pitt’s Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy and University Honors College and is cosponsored by the Center for Metropolitan Studies in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Pitt alumnus and trustee Dick Thornburgh (LAW ’57)—formerly governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. attorney general and currently of counsel to the international law firm K&L Gates LLP in its Washington, D.C., office—will moderate the Q&A session following the lecture. Although the event is free and open to the public, seating is limited; therefore, registration is requested at For further information, contact Kimberly Carson at

Millar served as president of the American Public Transportation Association from 1996 to 2011. Prior to that, he served for 19 years at the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the principal transit operator serving Pittsburgh. As executive director of the Port Authority from 1983 to 1996, Millar oversaw the development and operation of bus, busway, light rail, paratransit, and inclined plane service. He is the founder of Pittsburgh’s award-winning ACCESS paratransit service.

In the 1970s, Millar worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, where he developed and managed the Commonwealth’s Free Transit Program for Senior Citizens and led its rural public and community transit efforts. Millar served for more than two decades as a member of the Transportation Research Board’s executive committee, which he chaired in 1992. A strong supporter of transportation research, he received the Founding Father Award for his leadership in establishing the Transit Cooperative Research Program, and, in 2011, he was inducted into the Intelligent Transportation Society of America Hall of Fame. 

A frequent conference speaker and university lecturer, Millar has testified before Congress and is a senior advisor for rail and transit at H.W. Lochner, Inc. He also is a member of the High Speed Rail Expert Review Panel for the Texas Transportation Institute.

Millar earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography at Northwestern University and a Master of Arts degree in urban transportation planning and policy analysis at the University of Iowa.

The late Pitt faculty member Robert G. Hazo created the American Experience program at Pitt more than 40 years ago to offer Pittsburghers the opportunity to gain insight into political and economic thought with the intent of enlightening the public’s political discourse. The program’s director is Edward L. McCord, director of programming and special projects in Pitt’s University Honors College and the director of the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy.