San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) board appointed Sharon Cooney to take over as CEO for the agency. Cooney takes over for Paul Jablonksi who passed away suddenly on May 10. Cooney is the first woman CEO in the history of the organization.
“I am honored that the board expressed confidence in me,” said Cooney. “I think the board also understands that Mr. Jablonski assembled one of the best staffs in the entire country. I am lucky to have been mentored by one of the nation’s most respected transit leaders and to have a group of professionals that are absolutely dedicated to advancing public transit in San Diego. We are all ready to take on the challenges today and into the future.”
Cooney has held many top-level positions at MTS during her 15-year career including the director of government affairs, director of planning, chief of staff, and deputy CEO. She has been integral to the success of two of San Diego’s largest infrastructure projects ever accomplished, the Trolley Renewal Project ($660 million) and the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension Project ($2.1 billion).
Her appointment comes on the heels of the board’s unanimous approval of the FY 2021 budget — a $346 million spending plan that is relying on COVID-19 federal stimulus funds to restore service and balance the budget and provides a $1,000 essential service worker stipend for all employees.