2015 Top 40 Under 40: Rashidi Barnes

Sept. 18, 2015
Rashidi Barnes, Senior Manager of Transportation, County Connection

Rashidi Barnes 

Senior Manager of Transportation

County Connection

  • Alma Mater: University of Colorado Boulder
  • Favorite Book: "To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee
  • Favorite TV show: "The Cosby Show"
  • Favorite Movies: "The Color Purple" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" 

Rashidi Barnes, senior manager of transportation for County Connection in Concord, California, began his transit career as a regional sales manager 12 years ago and has seen his career grow on the public side.

Barnes worked for Transit Marketing Group where he met key players in the industry, then eventually took a job with Foothill Transit as director of procurement. There he oversaw the purchase of nine electric buses; two $30 million operation management procurement contracts; and other federally funded initiatives.

In 2011, Barnes graduated from the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Leadership APTA, then received a master’s in transportation management with emphasis in high-speed rail in 2012.  Barnes also took part in the Eno Transit Executive Seminar.

While his passion for transit grew over the years, Barnes also knew he had it in his blood. His great uncle Andre Guiton purchased a bus in the 1950s and began providing transportation services in the Oakland area. The charter service grew into a 10-bus transportation company, which transported many military members to Bay Area bases, who were headed to Vietnam.

Barnes manages 170 employees at County Connection and helped see the agency through the 2013 Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strike. He worked to coordinate services with the other Bay Area transit agencies. Barnes seized on the opportunity to grow relationships with staff between the agencies and grow collaborative efforts since the strike ended. Instead of just knowing who the general manager of another agency is, front-line workers were given a chance to forge relationships with each other so they can know each other.

Barnes has a past in collegiate sports, so he uses that experience to encourage others to work together and build a team effort toward a common goal of providing quality service to the community.

“What I enjoy here at County Connection is encouraging growth among the team members to do what they want to do career-wise. I’m going to try and give you as many opportunities as possible to better yourself career-wise, even if it’s not here at County Connection. If I can say I helped that person get to whatever that goal is, then I feel pretty happy.”