The Executive Committee for the Utah Transit Authority’s Board of Trustees recommended that Jerry Benson be offered the position of UTA president/CEO. Benson has served as UTA’s interim president and CEO for the last year and has more than three decades of public transportation experience.
“In searching for the best person to lead UTA into the future, we found ourselves comparing other candidates to Mr. Benson, who had asked not to be considered for the position in order to focus on his duties as interim president & CEO,” UTA Board Chair H. David Burton said. “After none of the candidates proved themselves more qualified than Mr. Benson, the executive committee asked him to reconsider. I am happy to say he has done so, and he is very excited at the possibility of serving as UTA’s president & CEO.”
The recommendation is now under consideration by the full board and will be voted on in a special board meeting Wednesday, Aug. 31. Benson’s salary will be negotiated with the board and made available to the public after it is finalized following the Aug. 31 board meeting. It will be in keeping with UTA’s official compensation policy, which sets salaries based on comparable public transit, non-profit and government organizations.
The recommendation comes after an extensive national search process over the past year. More than 120 applications were received from well-qualified public and private sector candidates across the country. The committee also reached out to potential candidates, sought recommendations and conducted interviews.
Benson has worked at UTA for 32 years, most recently serving as VP of operations. His career at UTA has been focused on service operations and operations support, and he has held positions in operations performance, human resources, and personnel and labor relations.
Benson has implemented several programs that have increased the reliability of UTA’s bus and rail network, led the operations planning to open five rail lines within three years and oversaw the deployment of UTA’s first fleet of compressed natural gas buses.
Benson also serves as an adjunct instructor at the University of Utah, where he earned a doctorate in organizational communication. He can often be spotted riding his bike and the bus on his commute to and from UTA’s downtown Salt Lake City office.