The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority in Cincinnati has announced its decision to hire Terry Garcia Crews as Metro’s chief executive officer and general manager, effective July 1, 2011.
Since joining Metro on an interim basis last November, Garcia Crews successfully settled the labor contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union without a work stoppage, realigned management staff to capitalize on individual strengths, made changes to improve efficiency, and established community connections to support transit. Ridership, which had been falling in 2010, is beginning to show positive trends in 2011.
“The SORTA board has been impressed with Terry’s ability to meet significant challenges in her first six months, and we want to retain her as Metro’s CEO for the long-run,” said Sean Rugless, SORTA chairman. “She’s a consummate professional, and we’re eager to move the organization forward under her leadership.”
“I appreciate the confidence the SORTA board has placed in my ability to lead SORTA,” said Garcia Crews. “This is a great opportunity to continue on the positive path to build a transportation network that meets the community’s needs. With the board’s guidance and the talents within Metro, we can translate our transportation goals into reality.”
Garcia Crews was previously general manager and president for Star Tran Inc., providing services to the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas, responsible for almost 400 fixed-route and paratransit vehicles, a $98 million budget, and a workforce of 1,000.
A transit professional with more than 20 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, Garcia Crews had served as general manager and CEO of LexTran in Lexington, Ky., and as assistant general manager for SunTran in Tucson, Ariz. As a national transportation consultant, she formulated strategic plans and awareness programs for transportation systems across the United States. She has experience leading multi-dimensional organizations to achieve financial sustainability, improve service, effect cultural change, improve labor and employee relations, and foster stakeholder support.
A recognized leader in the transit industry, Garcia Crews has been actively involved with the American Public Transportation Association as a regional board director and has served on several key committees, including her current work as interim vice chair of the Medium-Size Bus Operations Committee. Of Hispanic heritage, Garcia Crews also has served on APTA’s Diversity Council, and she was selected to serve on the Transit Cooperative Research Program oversight and project selection committee that awards funding for transit research.
Garcia Crews holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona, with a double major in finance and marketing. She is married and has two children.