At the Capital Area Transportation Authority's (CATA) regularly-scheduled board of directors meeting Wednesday, CEO Sandy Draggoo announced her plan to retire in February 2018. Draggoo is currently the longest-serving transit CEO in the nation. Her career with the authority spans 43 years, 32 of them as CATA’s CEO.
Draggoo began her career at Lansing, Mich.'s CATA as an executive secretary, eventually landing the top job. She became one of a select few females in the country to successfully lead a public transportation system.
Draggoo spearheaded the construction of a new transportation center in downtown Lansing in 1997. She negotiated public transportation services in 1999 and opened Ramp 1 in 2004 on Michigan State University’s campus. In 2016, Draggoo celebrated the grand opening of the Capital Area Multimodal Gateway, operated by CATA. Draggoo oversaw the quality of CATA’s daily delivery of service, increasing ridership from 4.5 million trips in fiscal year 1985 to 10.9 million in fiscal year 2016.
In 2003, Draggoo was named CEO of The Year by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), representing agencies in both the U.S. and Canada. Under her leadership, CATA received APTA’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 1991 and 2007, and was recognized as the No. 1 system of its size — an honor bestowed upon few agencies in the country.
Draggoo currently serves on the Lansing Economic Area Partnership board of directors, is an active member of the Rotary Club of Lansing, and volunteers for Meals on Wheels. She served as Chair of the Elders for The Peoples Church.