RTA of Northern Illinois appoints Maulik Vaishnav as senior deputy executive director of planning and capital programming

Oct. 12, 2023
Vaishnav will coordinate with the CTA, Metra, Pace, other government entities, civic partners and department staff to support regional and local planning and programs.

Maulik Vaishnav has been appointed as the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) of Northern Illinois' senior deputy executive director of planning and capital programming. Vaishnav will be charged with leading the implementation of the agency’s regional transit strategic plan, “Transit is the Answer,” which addresses adapting and improving the system post-pandemic.

“Maulik is deeply familiar with the challenges our regional transit system is facing and has a proven track record of collaboration and innovation to improve the rider experience,” said RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden. “Our transit system is facing unprecedented challenges and Maulik is ideally suited to coordinate with other agencies and partners to address those challenges head-on.”

Vaishnav will coordinate with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace, other government entities, civic partners and department staff to support regional and local planning and programs, the regional transit capital program, data services and analytics and grants management.

Vaishnav has spent his career in transit management and data-driven policy and program implementation, having most recently served as vice president, innovation, for the CTA, where he has worked in various roles in planning, budget, revenue and innovation for the past 11 years. Notably, Vaishnav was responsible for creating CTA’s first rider focused customer experience and marketing strategy and leading the implementation of the “Meeting the Moment” action plan to realign the agency toward post-pandemic customer success.

Vaishnav also served as a transportation policy advisor for the CTA for the Mayor’s Office between 2019 and 2022, partnering with the Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner to advance the first citywide strategic plan for transportation.

Before the CTA, Vaishnav was a transportation planner for Arup, a consulting firm in San Francisco. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and urban studies from Lake Forest College and a Master of Urban Planning and Master of Science in Applied Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“I am thrilled to be joining a dedicated and hard-working team at the RTA at such a critical time for our regional transit system,” Vaishnav said. “Public transit is the backbone of our regional mobility network and our collective climate, equity and economic goals cannot be met without a well-funded system that is accountable to our riders. RTA’s ‘Transit is the Answer’ charts a path forward to improve public transportation for our riders while securing long-term sustainable capital and operational funding. It’s the kind of plan that can change how we move for the better and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to lead its implementation with our partners.”