Bill Spraul, a 30-year veteran of the transportation industry, has been hired as the chief operating officer of the Metropolitan Transit System’s Transit Services division, which is responsible for the entire bus operations of MTS.
Spraul, most recently the CEO of the South Bend Transportation Corporation and consultant with Veolia Transportation, had previously been the director of transportation operations for the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) in Cincinnati. He began his transportation career at SORTA in 1982.
“We are fortunate to get a person with Bill’s experience to take over our bus operations,” said Paul Jablonski, CEO of MTS. “His breadth of experience — from vehicle maintenance to transit operations to ADA Access services — will provide the expertise we need to keep our system operating at high levels of efficiency.”
Spraul replaces Claire Spielberg, who is retiring after serving MTS as its COO of transit services since 2004.
“Claire is responsible for the complete transformation of our bus operating division,” Jablonski said. “She implemented preventive maintenance programs and reorganized the division to vastly improve every aspect of our operations. Her leadership is one of the reasons why MTS was named the nation’s outstanding transit system in 2009.”
Spraul is scheduled to begin in his new position in June. He will take over an operation that includes 731 buses, more than 900 employees, two major maintenance facilities and oversight of contracts with Veolia Transportation and First Transit. Veolia operates about one half of MTS’ fixed-route services; First Transit provides ADA paratransit services to MTS.
While at SORTA, Spraul helped the agency improve on-time performance by 7 percent, improve system safety by 17 percent, reduce customer service complaints by 27 percent and implemented new vehicle communications, farebox and fare collection systems.
“I am stepping into a very well-run transit agency that has one of the best reputations in the country,” Spraul said. “I look forward to the challenge of maintaining the high standards at MTS as well as being at the helm when brand new bus rapid transit services are introduced to the region next year.”
MTS will also begin receiving the first of 250 new 40-foot Gillig compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and the first of 85 new 60-foot New Flyer Excelsior articulated CNG buses late this year and early in 2014. Additionally, maintenance facilities in Chula Vista and El Cajon will begin to receive major capital improvements to expand operational capacity later this year.
Spraul is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University where he in majored in public administration and political science.