Management & Operations

Cleveland RTA board approves new CEO contract

Posted on August 20, 2019

As GCRTA's new CEO/GM, India Birdsong will oversee 2,300 employees and a $218 million annual budget.
As GCRTA's new CEO/GM, India Birdsong will oversee 2,300 employees and a $218 million annual budget.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Board of Trustees  unanimously approved the contract making India Birdsong RTA’s CEO/GM.

Birdsong’s official first day is Sept. 16.

“I’m thrilled to lead the RTA and serve the Greater Cleveland community. As a city undergoing lots of positive changes, there is no doubt that Cleveland residents deserve a vibrant transit system that will attract robust ridership and deliver the services that meet riders’ needs,” Birdsong said. “We’re going to commit every day to transparency and reliability. Communicating how and why we’re spending taxpayer money and making sure people know when their next train or bus will arrive will be a daily priority.”

Birdsong arrives from Tennessee, where she was Chief Operating Officer of Nashville’s public transportation authority. She spent nine years with the Chicago Transit Authority in a variety of roles.

“We are pleased that India is as excited as we are that she’s taking the reins of RTA,” said RTA Board President Dennis Clough. “There is no doubt that she is the leader who will help take this organization to the next level. She has a unique skill set that will establish the best transit priorities for this community, enhance RTA’s strengths and create solutions to improve access and service,” he said. “Our region is experiencing a renaissance that is just beginning. We are delighted to have an energetic CEO who’s going to drive our public transit system into that future.”

Birdsong’s appointment came after a 10-month nationwide search. She succeeds Joseph A. Calabrese, who left the CEO role in September after 18 years. Dr. Floun’say R. Caver, who served as Interim CEO for the past year, said the staff is excited to meet the new CEO.

In Cleveland, Birdsong will oversee 2,300 employees and a $218 million annual budget.

Birdsong earned her bachelor’s degree at Temple University and has a master’s in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been active in several transit industry organizations, including the American Public Transportation Association, the Transit Cooperative Research Program and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Global Ground Transportation Institute partners for educational content

The LMC Group provides a range of consulting services, from hiring and retention to social media and public relations.

NY MTA proposes historic $51 billion to modernize bus, rail systems

Proposed investment is by far the highest in the MTA’s history, increasing spending on infrastructure by 70% over current levels.

SEPTA GM Knueppel to retire at year's end

Knueppel, who joined SEPTA in 1988 as an entry level structural engineer, will close out a decorated 32-year career at the agency.

Valley Metro adds to executive leadership team

Alexis Tameron Kinsey joins as chief of staff and senior advisor, while Abigail Cooksey-Williams joins as manager, transportation demand management.

Carrasco to lead West Coast zero emissions for WSP USA

Based out of the Sacramento and Oakland WSP offices, she will also support transit and rail initiatives in northern California.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation