On May 12, 2012, VTA will not skip a beat in the Operations Division as Michael A. Hursh takes the reins, becoming the new chief operating officer. Hursh joined VTA in 2006 from San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI), where he began his career there as senior operations manager overseeing track, signal and communications maintenance. He then advanced to deputy general manager of maintenance and finally onto deputy general manager for safety, security and training.
“This is a great time to work in public transit – there is a ‘cool factor’ that is helping to draw a generation of riders who are proactively trying to reduce their carbon footprint and making ecological choices when it comes to commuting,” said Hursh. “I am honored to further my transit career with VTA, and I look forward to being a part of the many new services, projects and innovations we have on the horizon for Santa Clara County residents and commuters.”
During his tenure at VTA, Hursh has achieved industry-leading results in key performance measures such as “Miles Between Major Mechanical Schedule Loss” for bus and light rail revenue vehicles. His passion and utmost regard for safety and security has contributed to new and innovative emergency communications systems and enhanced partnerships with other government agencies like the Transportation Security Administration.
Hursh was also an integral part of VTA’s JWI initiative, recently recognized by United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis as an innovative approach to improving employee health, wellness, retention and preparation for career advancement.
Hursh has played a fundamental role in VTA’s ecological programs and purchasing decisions that have helped VTA implement major sustainability initiatives to meet the mission of providing sustainable transportation options that are environmentally responsible and promote the vitality of the region. His leadership has resulted in VTA choosing diesel-electric hybrid buses for fleet replacement, new fareboxes, the installation of over two megawatts of photovoltaic solar generating stations in the VTA bus divisions, retrofitting to modern low consumption LED lighting systems, and the installation of water saving irrigation controllers throughout the divisions.
Hursh has more than 20 years experience in the communications, electronics and transit industry. He is also a veteran with more than 12 years experience in the United States Air Force (USAF) and California Air National Guard.
“Michael Hursh has proven throughout his career that he can lead. I know he will do well in his new role of COO and will continue serving the best interests of VTA’s customers and employees without fail,” said Burns. “We lose a great leader but gain another in return.”