October 15, 2010

Florida's LYNX to negotiate contract for new CEO

After conducting a national search, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) Board of Directors (BOD) has determined John M. Lewis Jr. and Michael H. Setzer as the two finalists to be the agency’s new chief executive officer (CEO).  The BOD then voted to begin negotiating a contract for employment with Lewis.

Lewis has more than 15 years experience in the transportation industry.  Currently, he is the CEO for the Greater Richmond Transit Commission (GRTC).

If an agreement cannot be reached with Lewis, then LYNX Chairman Carlton Henley has been authorized to negotiate a contract with Setzer vice president of business development for Veolia Transportation in Cincinnati.

The transit system Lewis led in Richmond shares many similarities with LYNX. The GRTC is an all-bus system with a fleet of 260 vehicles. The system carries 11 million riders per year and Lewis is currently overseeing a study to determine the feasibility for a LYMMO style bus rapid transit system in Richmond. 

Under his leadership, GRTC was recognized in 2008 with the Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award from the American Public Transportation Association as the best transit agency of its size.

GRTC also was named one of the nation's 10 great transit systems to work for in 2009 by Metro Magazine, a bus and rail industry publication.

Lewis previously spent four years as director of rail operations and director of bus operations at the Mass Transit Administration for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Lewis has worked as MDOT director of special projects, office of planning and capital programs; state legislative director, office of policy and governmental affairs; and as a legislative correspondent for U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.)

The Baltimore native played football and earned his bachelor's degree in political science with a concentration in economics from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.

Lewis was selected out of 36 applicants to replace Linda S. Watson, who left LYNX in July 2010 for a similar position in Austin, Texas. Edward L. Johnson will continue to serve as interim CEO/chief administrative officer until the next CEO begins employment.

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