The president and executive director of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) announced his retirement Sept. 16 during a meeting of the The T’s Board of Directors. Dick Ruddell told the board his last day will be Oct. 4.
Ruddell, 66, has been president/executive director of The T since February 2003. During his tenure, Ruddell expanded and modernized bus service in Fort Worth, and led planning and development for the regional rail line TEX Rail. A month ago, The T’s officials announced the first phase of the TEX Rail project will run from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine to the DFW Airport.
Board Chairman Scott Mahaffey recognized Ruddell for his years of service at The T, and highlighted his many achievements.
“Dick Ruddell positioned the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to grow from a primarily bus -based transit system to a regional transportation agency with a 100 percent natural gas powered bus fleet, park and ride service, vanpools, Molly the Trolley service, the Trinity Railway Express rail between Fort Worth and Dallas, and later this decade commuter rail service,” he said.
“Commuter rail has been a long time goal of Fort Worth leaders and Dick Ruddell navigated the agency through myriad planning, regulatory, engineering and financing requirements for commuter rail,” Mahaffey added.
Ruddell said he has been thinking about retirement for some time, and has discussed the timing of the decision with Mahaffey on several occasions.
“With the recent announcement of the first phase of TEX Rail from downtown to the DFW Airport, this is a logical time for transition of leadership,” Ruddell said. “While I plan to spend time with my family, I will remain active in the transit industry and will be available to assist Scott Mahaffey and the board if needed.”
Ruddell has more than 30 years experience in the transit industry including positions in Wichita, Kan. Topeka, Kan. and Toledo, Ohio before joining the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. He has served in leadership roles with several national transportation associations. Ruddell has been named as a finalist for the executive director of the Port Authority of Allegheny County.