Mike Griffus named Pierce Transit’s next CEO

Aug. 11, 2021
Griffus began his new role as Pierce Transit CEO Aug. 10.

Mike Griffus has been selected by the Pierce Transit board of commissioners to be the agency’s next CEO. 

Griffus has served as Pierce Transit’s chief operating officer since 2016, where he directly managed about 80 percent of the agency’s employees, including its 500 bus operators. As COO, Griffus oversaw and managed daily agency operations, including bus and paratransit services, system support and emergency services.  

He was also responsible for safety and security across the system, including serving as the agency’s chief safety officer, and negotiated the contracts for Pierce Transit to operate Sound Transit’s express bus service, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the agency’s bus operator positions.  

Prior to joining Pierce Transit, Griffus served as CEO of Keolis Transit America, a bus, shuttle, taxi and fleet transportation company with links to one of the largest company-owned light-rail system in the world. At Keolis, Griffus managed $140 million in annual revenue and a corporate budget of $6 million.  

From 2006 through 2009, Griffus was president and COO of Veolia Transportation, Inc., where he orchestrated the company’s North American Transit Operations. Griffus’s other transportation experience includes serving as senior vice president and regional vice president of operations at Laidlaw Education Services, a school bus transportation provider, and COO at Bauer Transportation, Inc.  

Griffus holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington. He has also completed the Achieving Breakthrough Services course from Harvard Business School and the Competitive Market Strategies for Business course from the University of California, Berkeley.  

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as Pierce Transit’s CEO,” said Griffus. “While the agency is doing a great job serving our community with the resources at hand, there are still many opportunities to improve and expand mobility options for the people of Pierce County. I look forward to partnering with our talented employees and community partners on that important work in the weeks, months and years ahead.” 

The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners began its nationwide CEO search earlier this year after former Pierce Transit CEO Sue Dreier announced she would be retiring this summer. Dreier served in the role for six years and retired June 15. Executive Director of Administration Amy Cleveland has been serving as Pierce Transit’s interim CEO since Dreier’s departure.   

“The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners is looking forward to working with Mike as he assumes the role of CEO,” said Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners Chair Marty Campbell. “We are confident he will make great strides moving the agency forward and providing excellent service to the people of our community.”  

Griffus began his new role as Pierce Transit CEO Aug. 10.