Question of the Day- What is one other transit agency/operator you admire?

Posted on October 1, 2013

Eldridge F. Coles
Eldridge F. Coles
Eldridge F. Coles, CEO
Greater Richmond Transit Co.
Richmond, Va.
“Keith T. Parker, GM and CEO, MARTA. Parker was once with GRTC and greatly influenced my career path that led me to come from starting as a bus operator to the position of CEO of GRTC.”

Dan Blankenship, CEO
Dan Blankenship
Dan Blankenship

Roaring Fork Transportation Authority
Aspen, Colo.  
“Denver RTD. Denver RTD has managed to move forward with the development of light rail and BRT corridors in spite of the recession and, thereby, it has delivered on commitments it made to voters, helped to make the Denver Metro Area more attractive for business and livable for residents, and has put many people to work during challenging economic times.”

Joseph Casey
Joseph Casey
Joseph Casey, GM
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
“London Underground. It’s easy to use, heavily utilized and they know how to deal effectively with their aging infrastructure.”

Linda Watson, president/CEO
Linda Watson
Linda Watson

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Austin, Texas
“When I started at Capital Metro in 2010, I was able to take from my previous experiences in Orlando’s Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority and the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority and apply that knowledge in Austin. There are many opportunities for transit agencies to learn from one another and work toward our ultimate goal of connecting people, jobs and communities by providing quality transportation choices.”

Kim Turner
Kim Turner
Kim Turner, director
Torrance Transit
Torrance, Calif.
“I was highly impressed with the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) for their planning and coordination during the 2012 Democratic National Convention. CATS did an outstanding job providing light rail and bus services not only for their regular daily commuters, but also for the thousands of delegates, dignitaries, and visitors to the Charlotte area. CATS realigned their routes outside of the security perimeter and temporarily relocated their transit center nearby. The staff also minimized the impact on their customers by having transit ambassadors in the field to provide information and assistance. A truly well-organized event that was successfully executed through careful planning, teamwork and dedication.”

Dave Kilmer, executive director
Dave Kilmer
Dave Kilmer

Red Rose Transit
Lancaster, Pa.
“Right now, I would have to say SEPTA. I think Joe Casey has really turned the organization around to be more focused on customer service and it has paid off in increased ridership and a positive change in how SEPTA is perceived in the community and by legislators in their area.”

Joseph Calabrese
Joseph Calabrese
Joseph Calabrese, CEO/GM
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
“MTA New York City for the complexity of the work they accomplish every day.”

Phillip A. Washington, GM/CEO
Phillip A. Washington
Phillip A. Washington

Regional Transportation District
“I would not want to single out any one agency. All agencies and their general managers provide a vital service to the public and have an unbelievable responsibility to transport millions of people per day. I have always said, ‘A good day for me is when my operations person says we got everyone home safely.’”

Carolyn Flowers
Carolyn Flowers
Carolyn Flowers, CEO
Charlotte Area Transit System
Charlotte, N.C.
“I admire Denver RTD and what they have been able to attain during the economic downturn. They were able to renew their direction with innovative financing and project delivery methodologies. They provided an impetus for creativity. They also looked at how they could sustain their community with their investments by developing a unique job development program. Charlotte has looked to them as a model as we work to identify transit funding and develop toolbox options to continue to move forward our 2030 Transit Plan.”

Gary Thomas, president and CEO
Gary Thomas
Gary Thomas

Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority
“Rather than naming a specific operator, I’m impressed with how transit agencies, of any size, meet local demands by delivering excellent service. Those agencies are developing new ways to deliver service and prepare for expansion. The agencies that impress me are those who are woven into the fabric of their communities, whether it’s embracing transit-oriented development or delivering a new project or creating new customer service tools. I’m impressed by the agencies that deliver safe, efficient, and effective service day in and day out.”

Beverly Scott
Beverly Scott
Beverly Scott, CEO/GM
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

“There’s no easy answer to that question.  I’ll start by taking New York off the table – have to admit that I will always have a soft spot where they are concerned.  That said, my top of the list is the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).  I worked there briefly in the late 1980’s.  At that point, they had big visions, a significant downturn in their once rosy economic forecast; and significant community fragmentation and tension.  Nothing is perfect, but today their system’s tangible results and continued progress (almost meteoric) speaks volumes. Denver RTD is another transit system that has come a long way in a relatively short period of time — extremely innovative and inclusive.”

Paul Jablonski, CEO

Paul Jablonski
Paul Jablonski

Metropolitan Transit System
San Diego

“There are a number of systems out there that are doing an excellent job, effectively carrying hundreds of thousands of people every day and I feel very grateful in knowing many of the CEO’s who lead those systems. One system that I am continually impressed with however is SEPTA. Joe Casey has been an extraordinary leader of that organization, dealing with aging infrastructure, continual financial pressures and a tough operating environment. His cutting edge work in training operators to deal with difficult situations is impressive and  is just one example of the great work being done there.”

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