VCTC names Martin Erickson as executive director

Jan. 5, 2022
Erickson has been with VCTC since 2016 and brings more than 25 years transit and transportation experience to the role.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) selected Martin Erickson to serve as executive director. He currently is the public transit director for VCTC, Ventura County’s regional transportation planning agency.

Erickson succeeds Darren Kettle, who was named CEO of Metrolink in September 2021. Mark Watkins, former city manager for the city of Ventura, has served as VCTC’s interim executive director since September.

Erickson was selected after a four-month recruitment process that drew more than 30 applicants. The commission interviewed the final two candidates in closed session during a special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16, and ultimately chose Erickson. The commission will consider approval of a formal employment agreement during its regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 7.

“Mr. Erickson has a deep understanding of transportation and public transit issues,” said Ventura County Supervisor and VCTC Chair Kelly Long. “His knowledge of Ventura County combined with his experience building partnerships with local, regional and state agencies makes him the ideal candidate for this position.”

Erickson joined VCTC as public transit director in 2016. He oversees all VCTC programs related to public transit, including Intercity bus service, Regional Transit Technology and Rideshare, as well as VCTC’s partnerships with regional bus and passenger rail operators. Most recently, Erickson coordinated the rollout of VCbuspass, VCTC’s new regional bus pass and contactless payment system. Erickson also leads VCTC’s Transit Integration and Efficiency Study, a project aimed at identifying potential improvements in local and regional bus transit. He serves on the federal legislative committee of the California Transit Association, a statewide organization that advocates on behalf of transit agencies.

“I am grateful for the confidence the Commission has placed in me to continue my public service journey as VCTC’s next executive director. I am excited to work with and lead such a dedicated team of professionals that comprise the VCTC staff,” Erickson said.

Erickson has more than 25 years of public transit and transportation experience, including as manager of government affairs at the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District and deputy city manager for the city of Oxnard, where his responsibilities included management of the city’s transit services program. Before joining VCTC, he was deputy chief executive officer for Santa Barbara County. He started his career as director of government affairs at the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce.

Erickson received a bachelor’s degree in history from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in management, economics and politics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.