On Wednesday, the TriMet board of directors voted unanimously to appoint Neil McFarlane as the new General Manager for the regional transit agency. McFarlane replaces TriMet's current general manager Fred Hansen, who will leave the agency at the end of his contract after more than 11 years in the position.
McFarlane, 57, is currently TriMet's Executive Director for Capital Projects, a position he has held since 1998. In this role, he led the development, design and construction of TriMet's capital facilities, including the Airport, Interstate, I-205 and Portland Mall MAX extensions. From 1991 to 1998, he was TriMet's Project Control Director for the 18-mile, $963 million Westside light rail project.
Before coming to TriMet, McFarlane worked for Metro from November 1986 to February 1991 and helped manage construction for the 500,000 square foot $90 million Oregon Convention Center with landmark twin towers, successful public art program, and cost effective design.
McFarlane earned a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1977 and a bachelor’s degree from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona in 1975.
Board president George Passadore said McFarlane was selected after a national search both inside and outside the transit industry.
"Neil knows our region and its leaders extensively, and has a track record for innovation and success," said Passadore. "Neil's leadership and connections with transit and the region will help TriMet be successful in expanding transit service to meet the needs of this growing region."
McFarlane will begin to transition into the position beginning June 1, and will begin serving as general manager on Thursday, July 1, 2010.