The announcement that Peter Behrman will be leaving the BJCTA at the end of March was still a surprise to some despite the insane number of recent closed door meetings.
More disturbing is the number of people who’ve held the position. The transit authority has had 25 directors in 25 years.
We decided to take a quick look at the list of individuals who’ve served since 1994 – all nine of them. Why? Because the official National Transit Database website helped make it easy to do so…
The list is a pretty impressive one when you look at where some of them have ended up. Mr. Copling is currently a general manager for First Transit in Washington, DC, the folks responsible for the DC Circulator. Mark Stanley – he just became the executive officer for the Watershed Conservation Authority in California; he’d been serving as the director of planning for the Riverside Transit Authority since 2006. David Hill still serves as the deputy director for transit services for San Fransicso’s Muni system – a position he returned to after serving as that organization’s acting director of transit for just a little more than five months beginning in October 2009. If you want to visit Paul Ballard, just head up the road to Nashville. He’s been RTA’s CEO since January 2002. Looks like they like him a lot too.
Incidentally, you can also read one of Jerry Haight’s short stories about his days as BJCTA general manager on his website or check out Jay Saxon’s thesis (or maybe even this entire day of programming about transit) examining why he believes the system isn’t functioning to its full potential. There are also fleeting references to Alfred Richards and Frank Martin online if you dig deep enough (including how the authority benefited from the 1982 beer tax).