September 19, 2012

MARTA names top 2 CEO/GM candidates

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) board of directors named two highly qualified transit executives as finalists who are being considered to serve as MARTA’s next GM/CEO.

The candidates are Stephen G. Bland, CEO of the Allegheny County Port Authority in Pittsburgh and Keith T. Parker, president/CEO for VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas.

Bland has held his present post since June 2006. He oversees all aspects of the Pittsburgh region’s primary transit system, which provides bus, light rail and paratransit service, daily, to nearly 230,000 riders. His career in public transportation spans more than 20 years and he previously worked as executive director of the Capital District Transportation Authority in Albany, N.Y.

Parker has served as VIA’s president/CEO since July 2009. He oversees all aspects of the San Antonio region's primary transit system which provides bus, streetcar and paratransit service daily for nearly 150,000 riders. Prior to San Antonio, Parker served as CEO for the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). Parker joined CATS in 2000 as COO where he was responsible for bus and paratransit operations and helped develop light rail plans for the transit system.

Both candidates emerged as finalists after a nationwide search conducted by the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. They were among the top candidates interviewed who possessed the requisite background, expertise and leadership skills to run MARTA, the nation’s ninth largest transit system. Dr. Beverly A. Scott, who has been MARTA’s GM/CEO since 2007, informed the board last year that she would not seek to renew her contract.

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