Debra Collins of Salisbury to direct NCDOT division

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 20, 2014

RALEIGH — Debra Collins of Salisbury is the new director of the state Department of Transportation’s Public Transportation Division, the department has announced.
Collins begins her new duties on Feb. 1 and will oversee the day-to-day operations of the division, which fosters the development of intercity, urban and rural public transportation in North Carolina.
“Debra is a seasoned professional with a deep knowledge of public transportation,” said NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Transit Richard Walls. “Her experience and expertise will not only be of great benefit to the division, but also to the public transportation systems serving all 100 counties of North Carolina.”
Collins comes to NCDOT from N.C. State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) where she currently serves as co-director of the Institute’s Public Transportation Group, as well as program manager for the Urban Transit Assistance Program and manager of the North Carolina Transit Program.
Prior to her time at ITRE, Collins worked with the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation, the Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council and the City of High Point, and held several positions with the Winston-Salem Transit Authority.
She is a 1977 graduate of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va., where she received a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science. She also holds a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
In addition to her work experience and participation in national public transportation projects, Collins has served on several boards and committees including the N.C. Public Transportation Association, the American Public Transit Association Technology Procurement Working Group and the Institute of Transportation Engineers Technical Advisory Group on Planning for ITS Transit Training Standards Modules. She was also the recipient of the NCDOT Governor’s Award for Public Transportation in 2000.
A native of Lexington, Va., Collins lives in Salisbury with her husband, Rip. The couple has two children, Will and Casey.