Meet the APTA Staff: Melissa Mejias


Director, Government Affairs and Advocacy
Government Affairs and Advocacy Department

Q: What are your primary responsibilities at APTA, and those of your department?

A: In my role as director of government affairs and advocacy, I collaborate closely with my colleagues to enhance APTA’s visibility as the leading advocate for public transportation on a national scale. Our mission involves advocating for consistent and heightened federal investment in public transportation, as well as advocating for supportive policies through proactive engagement. Additionally, I assist in coordinating APTA’s Annual Legislative Fly-In activities.

Q: How do the initiatives and programs you work on contribute to APTA’s strategic goals?

A: APTA’s Legislative Fly-In and advocacy efforts unite APTA members in a collective voice, advocating on Capitol Hill for public transit and passenger rail. This advocacy is essential for securing funding, shaping policies, promoting accessibility and equity, fostering economic development, and ensuring the safety and security of transit systems and riders.

Q: To what extent do you have direct contact with APTA members?

A: I engage with APTA members regularly. The effectiveness of our advocacy and educational endeavors on Capitol Hill hinges on industry collaboration and the insights provided by our members.

Q: Please describe the type of advice and guidance that APTA members can turn to you for.

A: I encourage APTA members to maintain engagement with their representatives and senators throughout the year, not solely during APTA Fly-Ins. It is essential for APTA members to regularly connect with their Members of Congress to establish and maintain support, keep them updated on projects, and highlight successes in their districts as a result of federal investment in public transportation. I am here to assist APTA members in establishing connections with their Members of Congress.

Q: Which APTA committees are you involved with?

A: I serve as staff advisor to the Business Member Legislative Subcommittee and provide support to the Transit Board Members Legislative Subcommittee. My responsibilities include working closely with both subcommittees to organize APTA’s Fly-In activities. APTA’s advocacy efforts have been successful as a result of the collaboration between the two subcommittees.

Q: Please describe your professional background.

A: I joined APTA in October 2021. Prior to that, I served as a political appointee in the 45th Administration at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. My journey into transportation began with my studies at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. After sailing for a year, I dedicated my career to advancing transportation in the U.S., holding various roles focused on transportation policy in the Washington, DC, area. Working with APTA has afforded me the opportunity to be part of one of the most innovative, forward-thinking, and community-driven industries—of which I am incredibly proud to be a part. Additionally, I proudly served in the U.S. Navy Reserves for 10 years.

Q: Are you a member of any other organizations?

A: I am a member of WTS International, an organization committed to the progress and empowerment of women within the transportation industry. I particularly value the networking opportunities that WTS offers. It serves as a platform for women to engage with peers who share similar goals and facilitates meaningful professional connections.

Q: Could you share something about yourself that might surprise Passenger Transport readers?

A: In my leisure time, you can find me on the water fly–fishing, backpacking, or on the trails training for an ultramarathon. This year, I have completed three ultramarathons, with the Salt Lake City Marathon scheduled for April 20. It has been a joy to occasionally run with fellow APTA members during our conferences.

Contact Melissa Mejias at