The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) announced that Dwight Ferrell, the organization’s CEO/GM, will resign effective January 31, 2019. The SORTA Board and Ferrell have agreed to a six-month professional services contract to support SORTA’s leadership transition, certain operational matters and key relationships with regional, state and national transportation organizations. Executive VP/COO Darryl Haley has been appointed as interim CEO.
Ferrell, whose contract was supposed to go through 2019, said it is something he has been pondering for a while, according to Cincinnatti.com. He shot down any notion he was forced out or that his resignation was the result of any internal discord, the report said.
“We deeply appreciate Dwight’s dedicated service to this community and its transportation system. His knowledge and experience as a transportation professional leaves SORTA better managed and better prepared to address the important opportunities before us,” said Kreg Keesee, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
“SORTA is financially unsustainable and we need to change how we fund public transportation in this community. Dwight has helped to focus community understanding and awareness of this reality. He and his team of professional staff and transportation consultants have presented the Reinventing Metro Plan that is the foundation for what will be presented to Hamilton County voters.”
“I am proud of what our organization has accomplished in my time as CEO and General Manager of SORTA," said Ferrell. "At many levels, I feel as if my work is done here and now is the time for SORTA and the community to find the organization’s next leader. As you know, I am committed to help in that effort and to continue supporting the important efforts to change the way SORTA is funded.”
Keesee indicated that the SORTA Board will discuss at a future meeting the process for selecting the new CEO/GM for the agency.
Ferrell was hired by SORTA as its CEO/GM in January 2015. Prior, he served as county manager in Fulton County, Georgia (2013-2014) and deputy GM/COO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (2008-2012).
Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 14 million rides per year.