Community Leaders Receive KCATA Rosa Parks SPIRIT Awards

Date:July 18, 2016

(Kansas City, MO. – July 19, 2016)  On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) will present the 4th annual KCATA Rosa Parks SPIRIT Awards celebrating individuals and organizations that, in the spirit of Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks, are making a difference in metro Kansas City and in public transit.

“Just as Rosa Parks devoted her life to equality and justice, this year’s winners have worked to provide access to opportunity in our region,” said KCATA President and CEO Robbie Makinen. “The recipients of this year’s Rosa Parks SPIRIT Awards are recognized for their demonstrated contributions to public transportation, a service that affords economic opportunity and greater quality of life to so many in the Kansas City area. We are deeply appreciative of their efforts.”

This year’s award will honor four difference makers at a reception beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, located at 1228 Main Street in downtown Kansas City. The honors include:

The Champion of Transit Award, presented to Emanuel Cleaver, U.S. Representative, 5th District, for demonstrating support and advocacy for public transportation in the Kansas City region. Cleaver has been a long-time supporter of public transportation, and is recognized nationally for promoting the importance of federal investment in transportation infrastructure. He has been instrumental in securing federal funding for regional transit improvements, including MAX Bus Rapid Transit, the downtown streetcar, TIGER grants and ShotSpotter.

The RideKC Award, presented to Jermaine Reed, KCMO City Councilman, 3rd District, for demonstrating great strides in building a more integrated regional transit system. Councilman Reed has been a long-time believer in public transportation’s role in transforming communities. He has led the Prospect MAX Advisory Committee, has successfully worked locally and nationally to secure federal funds for Kansas City’s third MAX Bus Rapid Transit line in the Prospect Corridor and has strongly supported improving transit access to opportunity as Chairman of the City Council’s Transportation And Infrastructure Committee.

The Community Partner Award, presented to KC Streetcar Authority, for commitment to working collaboratively and innovatively to improve the overall public transportation experience and the quality of life in the Kansas City region. The KCSA has worked collaboratively with residents and businesses to return streetcar service to downtown after 50 years, while ensuring streetcar service is integrated with regional transit service and is part of the RideKC brand.

The Business Partner Award, presented to Alphapointe, for private sector support of public transportation to improve the quality of life for its employees, residents and visitors to the city. KCATA’s partnership with Alphapointe has resulted in a higher level of customer service and sensitivity for the riding public by including users of the KCATA system in ongoing research, evaluation and quality control.  

To purchase tickets for the event, visit

Transportation and Parking

There are easy transit options to the event, as well as ample parking in the area. We recommend taking Main St. MAX to the 13th & Main stop or the KC Streetcar to the 12th & Main stop. There is also free parking at 3rd & Grand where you can connect to MAX or the Streetcar.

Visit the online trip planner for more options. 

Award Winners

Emanuel Cleaver
Champion of Transit Award
Emanuel Cleaver, U.S. Representative

Tom Gerend
Community Partner Award
Tom Gerend, Executive Director, KC Streetcar Authority

Reinhard Mabry
Business Partner Award
Reinhard Mabry, President, Alphapointe

Jermaine Reed
RideKC Award 
Jermaine Reed, KCMO City Councilman, 3rd District

Media: Click above photos for higher resolution versions of each photo.