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MTA boss Roger Snoble to retire

December 17, 2008 |  1:23 pm

Now that Los Angeles voters have endorsed a huge freeway and rail construction program in the form of Measure R, Roger Snoble, the 63-year-old chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, announced today that he plans to retire once a successor is named.

“After 43 years of public service in the transit industry, I think this is an opportune time to move on and pass the baton to another executive who will insure the implementation of Measure R,” Snoble said. “I did a lot of soul-searching and decided it’s in the best interest of the agency to have an executive on board soon who can commit the next four to five years in guiding the development of dozens of critical transit and highway projects that will be funded by the new sales tax, which will be collected starting next July.”

Snoble was praised by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, both of who serve on the Metro board. The MTA news release after the jump.

--William Nottingham

Career in public transit spans 43 years 
METRO CEO ROGER SNOBLE ANNOUNCES
PLANS TO RETIRE ONCE SUCCESSOR NAMED

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) CEO Roger Snoble today announced he would retire once his successor is on board. Snoble, 63, has headed Metro for seven years and, under his leadership, the agency garnered top national awards for excellence. He also played a key role in securing last fall’s passage of Measure R, a new half cent sales tax that will fund a comprehensive package of new rail and bus and street and highway improvements in the county over the next 30 years.

“After 43 years of public service in the transit industry, I think this is an opportune time to move on and pass the baton to another executive who will insure the implementation of Measure R,” Snoble said. “I did a lot of soul-searching and decided it’s in the best interest of the agency to have an executive on board soon who can commit the next four to five years in guiding the development of dozens of critical transit and highway projects that will be funded by the new sales tax, which will be collected starting next July.”

Snoble was praised by local elected officials including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who both serve on the Metro Board of Directors.

                "Roger Snoble is a dedicated public servant who has provided solid leadership 
                 and a steady hand in restoring the credibility of the MTA while improving public
                 transportation for millions of Los Angeles County residents and commuters," said
                 Mayor Villaraigosa.
                                                                                                                               
                 Supervisor Yaroslavsky added,
               "Roger Snoble has led Metro to new heights in the delivery of expanded,
               quality public transportation to the citizens of Los Angeles County.  What was a      
               troubled and moribund agency more than 10 years ago is now recognized as one of
               the highest performing bus systems in the nation.  On his watch the Orange Line,       
               Eastside Gold Line and Exposition light rail line have been or are being built. 
               With the passage of Measure R last month, Metro is poised to build the
               integrated public transit network that this region so desperately needs."

                                                                                     
    Metro will recruit for a new CEO to head one of the nation’s largest public transportation agencies that is responsible not only for bus and rail operations that transport more than 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday but also construction of new transportation projects such as the six-mile extension of the Metro Gold Line to East Los Angeles that is nearing completion.  Metro also is Los Angeles County’s lead transportation planning agency and programs local, state and federal funds for transportation for the 88 cities, county, Caltrans and transit operators.

Snoble plans to attend next summer’s opening of the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension, a project that is ahead of schedule, within budget and has maintained the best construction safety record of any public works project in modern history – nearly 4 million construction work hours without a lost time injury.

This project’s record is just one of the reasons that Metro earned the 2006 Outstanding Public Transportation System award for large transit properties given annually by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Snoble guided the Eastside light rail project from inception. He also oversaw development of the highly successful Metro Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley and expansion of the Metro Rapid system that now has 28 lines crisscrossing the county. Since Snoble joined Metro Oct. 1, 2001, the agency also has taken a lead role in expanding its green power initiatives. Today Metro operates more than 2,500 buses powered by compressed natural gas. Its El Monte transit facility earned a gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating for sustainability, and installation of solar panels on the roofs of Metro bus divisions annually saves Metro hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs.                                                                                                                                    

Moreover, extensive surveys show customer satisfaction for Metro continues to improve. One sign of that is the fact that Metro ridership remains high despite plunging gas prices.

Snoble’s career in public transportation spans four decades. Besides heading Metro, he also was the chief executive at Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) for seven years (1994-2001), and he served as president and general manager of the San Diego Transit Corporation where he worked for 20 years before DART. Snoble started his career in 1965 as a planner for the TriCounty Regional Planning Commission in Akron, Ohio. He also worked for Akron Metro Transit.

Snoble has earned numerous awards for his leadership. APTA named him Transit Manager of the Year in 1998. Under Snoble’s leadership, DART was cited by APTA as the Transit Agency of the Year in 1997.

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