Former Santa Monica Big Blue Bus director Stephanie Negriff has been recognized by the American Public Transportation Association with its Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award.

Negriff, who retired earlier this year, was honored with the award during the association’s annual meeting and expo in New Orleans. The awards are given to individuals and public transportation systems that have shown great leadership and advanced the state of public transportation in North America.

The association additionally honored the Big Blue Bus with its Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award based on its achievements from 2008-10.

“As the ‘best of the best,’ the 2011 APTA Award winners serve as role models of excellence to everyone in the public transportation industry,” APTA President William Millar said. “Their work in public transportation has made lasting contributions, not only for transit riders, but for the entire public transit industry.”

As the director of transit services for the Big Blue Bus, Negriff oversaw transit service delivery to over 22 million customers a year and a system that spans 52 square miles. In the past decade under Negriff’s leadership, the Big Blue Bus has become a leader in environmental sustainability, systems innovation, and alternative fuel technology, according to the association.

Negriff directed a period of rapid growth that has seen significant expansions of both the fleet and transit facilities. She also oversaw the development of new transit services that reach new and diverse markets, greater community involvement through public outreach programs, and the further adoption of green technologies and operation policies, the association said.