2018 Top 40 Under 40: Nicholas Biggar

Sept. 14, 2018
Nicholas Biggar, District Director, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
  • Alma mater: Emory University (undergrad), Ohio University (graduate, MPA)
  • Favorite book: "The Call of the Wild" by Jack London and "A River Runs Through It" by Norman MacLean
  • Favorite TV show: "The Wire"
  • Fun fact about yourself: My parents met on the rapid transit in Cleveland, Ohio, and I also met my fiancé through public transit.

In 2011 Nicholas Biggar started at the RTA as the district business analyst and since that time, has held positions of increasing responsibility at the RTA, including rail maintenance planner, budget management analyst, assistant transportation manager, acting district director and currently, Hayden district director.

In his current role as Hayden district director, he makes a significant impact on safety initiatives as part of the leadership team.

In his own words, his position is at the crossroads of the RTA’s tactical and strategic approach with work revolving around meeting service delivery demands and handling issues or crises as they arise, while finding ways to weave the strategic, long-term goals into what is done on a daily basis.

In his position he utilizes data to drive decisions and modernize management and accountability structures, which have enhanced daily accountability measurement and performance audits.

Biggar created the “Risky Driver Matrix,” which uses data collected from Lytx, formerly DriveCam, technology. The evaluation tool identifies risky driver behavior and provides individualized re-training and coaching sessions to improve performance. As a result, driver risk for operators who have completed this intervention have a 95 percent reduction in those risky behaviors. This program was awarded the 2017 American Public Transportation Association certificate of merit in recognition of bus safety program excellence.

Biggar has been recognized throughout his career at RTA. He has served as an examiner for The Partnership for Excellence (TPE) regional Malcolm Baldridge Organizational Excellence Award for 2015-2017. During his time in this role, the RTA was awarded a Silver Rating for Organizational Excellence.

"I love being charged with providing a public good and the logistics required to deliver quality public transit."

“It is challenging work, and I engage with a very complex ecosystem due to regulations, the workforce, the political environment and competing public interests, but it is very fun and rewarding.”

"Be transparent and honest in all that you do and treat everyone with respect, regardless of position."