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The original item was published from 12/1/2021 9:07:00 AM to 11/30/2023 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: November 29, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Mass Transit 40 Under 40 honors Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson Headshot

The City’s Transportation Director, Paul Nelson, was recognized by Mass Transit magazine as one of the nation’s top 40 Under 40 leaders for his dedication and commitment to the transit industry on Nov. 23, 2021.

Mass Transit is the only magazine exclusively dedicated to the public transit industry in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, the magazine selects 40 under 40 honorees who have shown the capacity for innovation, job commitment, industry involvement, and contribution. This year, the evaluation committee received more than 150 nominations, all of which were composed of young professionals who represented a diverse cross-section of skills and disciplines to make the transit industry what it is. 

“I am very honored to be recognized alongside this impressive group of leaders in the transit industry,” said Nelson. “But most of all, I am incredibly grateful and honored to have a fantastic team that supports my vision and the vision of our City. This recognition is for them - the City Transit family.”

Nelson, 39, a native of Madison, Tennessee, started his journey with the City of Clarksville in 2012 when he served as an accounting intern in the Finance and Revenue Department. Following that position, Nelson transitioned to the Clarksville Transit System (CTS), where he initially served as a full-time accountant, then transportation manager, and now, as the transportation director beginning July 2019.

Under Nelson’s leadership, CTS has increased the number of passenger shelters by more than 30%. He also created new positions to segregate the duties of procurement, planning, and grants, allowing the department to become more flexible to service needs and complete projects in half the time. 

Additionally, in March 2020, CTS launched “ETA SPOT,” a new bus information system that provides real-time information on bus location, arrival time, and soon - trip planning. His department has received multiple awards, such as the Excellence Award in Outstanding Efforts in Air Quality and numerous competitive grants for ten new ADA-accessible vans totaling over $444,000.

“We’re all extremely proud of Paul for receiving this recognition,” City Mayor Joe Pitts said. “Paul is a well-rounded exemplary leader, no matter what position he occupies. He leads by example and knows how to inspire people for positive change, and this recognition is a testament to that.”

To read more about Mass Transit’s 40 Under 40, visit:

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