Knoxville Area Transit (KAT)

TN: Dawn Distler Named Knoxville Director of Transit

Mayor Madeline Rogero has appointed Dawn Distler, a 27-year veteran in the field of public transportation, as the city of Knoxville’s director of transit.

Distler has been general manager of operations and maintenance for Davidson Transit Organization in Nashville since 2010. Prior to that, she served as director of operations, managing a $7 million budget, 270 vehicles and, in fiscal year 2013, a total of 10.45 million rides.

Distler started her transit career as a bus operator for 10 years with Metro Regional Transit Authority in Akron, Ohio, and rose to operations manager for ADA/paratransit services and assistant director of customer services.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Dawn’s experience and demonstrated leadership skills coming on board at a crucial time for transit services in Knoxville,” Rogero said. “We looked at dozens of high-quality applicants from all over the country, and Dawn’s knowledge, energy and accomplishments really stood out.”

Distler has been credited with introducing state-of-the-art technology and operational excellence initiatives to streamline services, improve efficiencies, build teamwork and enhance quality as well as grow ridership.

Her work in Nashville included efficient management of express bus routes, fixed routes, commuter rail and paratransit services that resulted in a 14 percent increase in passenger trips.

“I am excited to join Mayor Rogero’s team in Knoxville and continue the work to enhance public transportation throughout the city,” Distler said.

Distler will assume the role of director of transit on June 1. 

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