Longtime CARTA director Thomas 'Tom' Dugan dies

photo Tom Dugan, Executive Director of CARTA, talks about hybrid buses in this file photo.

Thomas "Tom" Dugan, 64, former chief of the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, was remembered Friday as a meticulous planner and a strong advocate for public transportation.

"Tom was one of the ... more forward-thinking public transit professionals in the Southeast," said Joe Ferguson, EPB's board chairman. "I think the track record that he established in the time he was at CARTA certainly would've put CARTA at one of the very best managed public transit organizations in the Southeast, maybe in the whole country."

Dugan, the authority's executive director for more than 30 years, died Thursday at age 64.

He oversaw the implementation of electric shuttle service downtown, as well as various parking projects.

Ferguson said Dugan was "serious-minded, a good people person and highly respected."

Rick Hitchcock, a former volunteer chairman for CARTA, said Dugan used his gifts to benefit the community through his transportation projects.

"Tom was a meticulous planner who understood how to move a project from the beginning to the successful end," Hitchcock said. "He had an ability to understand what needed to be done and who was capable of doing it, and an ability to convince them to do it."

He added that Dugan was big on providing public transportation to those who needed it most.

"He had a devotion to ensuring that transportation services were available to those who didn't have alternatives," Hitchcock said. "He was a very loud and insistent advocate for the folks who depended on public transportation."

A celebration of life service will be Monday at 4 p.m. at Hixson United Methodist Church.

Upcoming Events