Tonilas departs L.A. Metro for RTD in Denver

Jan. 10, 2019
Tonilas will return to RTD as assistant general manager, communications.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Communications Officer Pauletta Tonilas will leave the L.A. area transportation agency to return to the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver to serve as assistant general manager, communications. 

Tonilas held the positions of FasTracks public information manager and senior manager, Public Relations & Public Information at RTD before joining L.A. Metro in August 2015. 

L.A. Metro credits Tonilas with leading and implementing the successful Measure M Public Education Program that contributed to the 71 percent voter approval of the sales tax measure, seeking board approval of a new advertising contract that will bring digital information displays to rail stations, building a bench of qualified consultants to help with L.A. Metro’s communication efforts and leading the effort to establish a new naming convention for L.A. Metro’s rail and bus rapid transit lines. 

L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington will name an interim CCO and said that a national search for a replacement will soon begin. According to a L.A. Metro's blog "The Source," Washington has made it a point of emphasis at L.A. Metro to attract people to careers in the transportation industry and grow leaders through professional development. He also wants Los Angeles to be a “Transportation Center of Excellence” with a workforce that serves as the farm team for the entire transportation industry.

In December, Stephanie Wiggins left L.A. Metro to become CEO of Metrolink. "The Source" noted that Washington takes pride in the promotions of Tonilas and Wiggins and considers them graduates of the "“LA Metro Leadership University.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.