Bi-State Development President/CEO John Nations announced the appointment of Jessica Mefford-Miller as interim executive director of Metro Transit, effective July 1. Mefford-Miller, currently the assistant executive director of Transit Planning & System Development, will transition to the position held by Executive Director Ray Friem, who will retire on July 1. The Executive Director of Metro Transit oversees all three Metro Transit operations: MetroLink, MetroBus and Metro Call-A-Ride.
As Assistant Executive Director for Planning and System Development at Metro, Mefford-Miller has been responsible for developing and implementing mobility solutions for a regional transit system that spans nearly 600 square miles in Missouri and Illinois.
Mefford-Miller and her team are tasked with developing and implementing Metro Transit’s operational and capital programs; partnering and building relationships with critical stakeholders to grow the community in a cooperative manner; and successfully developing and managing local and federally-funded projects that enhance and expand transit service across the St. Louis region.
Since joining Metro Transit in 2006, Medford-Miller has employed an approach that balances customer input, technology, innovation, and data-driven analysis with the need to create truly meaningful and impactful mobility options for passengers. This approach allows Metro to address its practical demands, and at the same time develop customer-focused projects that go beyond meeting basic transportation needs to deliver a transit experience that is more personal, more accessible and more enjoyable.
Prior to joining Metro, Jessica held posts at the National Park Service, the Ohio Department of Transportation and The Ohio State University.
Friem joined Metro in 1995, and was appointed by Nations as Executive Director of Metro Transit in 2015. Prior to that, he held the positions of Chief Operating Officer for Metro Transit, Chief Mechanical Officer and Superintendent of Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) Maintenance.
As Executive Director of Metro Transit, Friem was responsible for managing the capital infrastructure and operations of the region’s public transportation system, which includes MetroLink, MetroBus and Metro Call-A-Ride. His leadership placed Metro Transit operations as an industry leader in the country in terms of reliability, and his innovations increased transit efficiencies that have saved millions of dollars each year for the St. Louis region, according to the agency.
Under Friem’s leadership, the ability to maximize the life cycle of MetroBus vehicles and save millions of dollars in the process, which led to Metro Transit’s recognition by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as a model for transit asset management. Specifically highlighted by the FTA in the July 26, 2016, Federal Register was a case study of Metro Transit’s industry-leading bus maintenance program and how it has been able to extend the lifespan of buses by 25% and decrease the rate of breakdowns by 85%, resulting in service reliability for the customer and substantial cost savings for the taxpayer.