[IMAGE]Linda-Watson-full.jpg[/IMAGE]On Thursday, Austin, Texas' Capital Metro board of directors voted unanimously to begin negotiations with Linda S. Watson for the position of president/CEO.
“After much thought and deliberation, we believe Linda is the right person to lead Capital Metro moving forward at this critical time,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, Chairman of the Board. “We also took into consideration the feedback we received from the community; it has further solidified our choice. I want to thank the community for providing valuable input into this process.”
Watson is CEO of LYNX, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority in Orlando covering more than 2,500 square miles. Under her direction, LYNX became the first transit agency in the nation to build, operate and produce biodiesel blending for its entire fleet.
Other accomplishments include restructuring the system to maximize efficiencies, increasing annual ridership to all-time highs and introducing the popular and efficient curb-to-curb PickUpLine service. She also replaced and modernized an aging fleet. Orlando's Mayor Buddy Dyer noted she significantly improved community relations and developed many strong partnerships for the agency throughout the community.
Watson's last day with LYNX will be July 31. Plans for a replacement will be determined by the LYNX board of directors.
Prior to joining LYNX, she served as the GM of the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority and previously was the Assistant GM of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.
Watson has more than 25 years of transportation related experience. she is the past chair of the Transportation Research Board, a past member of the American Public Transportation Association Executive Committee, a lifetime National Associate of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and a past member of the Texas Transportation Institute Advisory Council.
She is currently serving on the:
• Board of the National Transit Institute at Rutgers University.
• Board of the University of Florida, Center for Multi-Modal Solutions for Congestion Mitigation.
• Board of the Florida Public Transportation Association.
• Transit Research Analysis Committee which serves as an adviser to the Federal Transit Administration on their strategic agenda for transit research.
• Board for ITS America, the leading advocate for technologies that improve the safety, security and efficiency of the nation's surface transportation system.
Watson graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a B.A. in
Political Science and an M.A. in Urban and Regional Affairs and was recently
honored as a “Distinguished Alumni.”
In January, 2010, the Capital Metro Board of Directors contracted with Gilbert Tweed Associates to conduct a comprehensive nationwide search to fill the president/CEO position.
Austin, Texas-based Capital Metro has the highest per capita ridership in the state, serving more than 3,000 bus stops with metro, flyer and express routes and UT Shuttle service. The transit system also provides MetroAccess service for passengers with disabilities, van and carpool coordination, and freight rail service.
METRO EXTRA: To read more about Linda Watson's leadership at LYNX, click here .