First Recipient of the California Golden STAR Award

Linsey Ettlin Press Releases

Capitol Corridor, Amtrak and Caltrans Honors Emeryville Resident Doras Briggs
First Recipient of the California Golden STAR Award

OAKLAND, CALIF., May 10, 2008 — The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), Amtrak and Caltrans announced the recipient of the first California Golden STAR award at today’s National Train Day celebration in Emeryville. The three entities created the California Golden STAR (State Advocate of Rail) award to honor advocates from California who are dedicated to the cause of passenger rail.
“Doras Briggs is honored for her tireless devotion to passenger rail service, for her service on countless passenger rail advisory and advocacy groups and for creating the ‘Station Host’ program,” CCJPA Chair Forrest Williams said. “The Golden STAR award will be rotated throughout the state, but I am thrilled that the very first recipient of this award lives along the Capitol Corridor route.”
Examples of Doras’ leadership and support for passenger rail include serving as:
Director of both the National Association of Railroad Passengers and Train Riders Association of California;
Former member of the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee and the Contra Costa County Ad Hoc Intercity Rail Advisory Committee; and
Citizen Representative of the California Coast Rail Coordinating Council.
“My love of trains began when I was five years old in Waterloo, Iowa and it hasn’t diminished since,” said Doras Briggs. “When I was on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee I made 77 speeches until I ran out of steam.”
Briggs had the innovative idea to create the Station Host program. “Thanks to Doras, the Amtrak Station Host program began in March 2001, right here in Emeryville,” said Amtrak Assistant Superintendent Anthony Chapa. “Station Hosts are trained volunteers who help our passengers at Amtrak stations. The program has grown so successful for Amtrak that stations all over the country have adopted it.”
Eighty-nine-year-old Briggs still volunteers most mornings, donning her official Station Host cap to greet and help waiting Capitol Corridor riders.
“We unanimously selected Doras Briggs for this honor because her efforts have helped raise awareness that we can’t continue to pave our way out of congestion,” said William Bronte, Chief, Caltrans Division of Rail. “Celebrating National Train Day and promoting intercity passenger rail supports an important travel alternative that’s greener, cleaner and cheaper.”
Today’s first annual National Train Day celebration was hosted by the City of Emeryville, Wareham Properties, CCJPA, Amtrak and Caltrans. It was one of over 50 community celebrations held in passenger rail stations all over the country.