Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stephen G. Bland named Nashville MTA CEO

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Stephen G. Bland Stephen G. Bland
The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority has appointed public transit veteran Stephen G. Bland as its new CEO, effective August 25, 2014.

During his 28-year transit career, Bland has held senior management roles in several agencies of various sizes. The MTA’s search committee said it “was especially impressed with Bland’s seven-year tenure in Pittsburgh, which is a multi-modal system with 1,000-plus vehicles, an annual operating budget of $350 million, an average capital budget of $140 million, and 66 million annual passenger trips. Under his leadership, his transit team completed a $500 million New Starts Light Rail subway extension.”

Additionally, during the development of Pittsburgh’s Connect ’09 Transit Development Plan, Bland’s team engaged thousands of transit riders and community residents in an interactive process. “Ultimately, this process led to the most comprehensive redesign of transit service in Pittsburgh's history,” the MTA said. “Bland also is credited for immediately recognizing the importance of multi-modal travel and integrating bicycling into the city’s transit system. Within a two-year period, bike racks were installed on the entire fleet of buses and fold-up bikes were permitted in all railcars. According to local cyclists, Bland’s actions introduced a new era for bicycling and transit in the city.”

Currently employed at Michael Baker International, Bland is serving as the program director of CTfastrak, a 9.5 mile advanced bus rapid transit system between New Britain and Downtown Hartford, Conn. Prior to the CTfastrak assignment, he was the assistant director/general superintendent of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey PATH rapid transit system.

MTA’s former CFO Ed Oliphant is serving as the interim CEO of the Nashville MTA and Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee. Bland will serve as CEO of both organizations. In addition to buses, the MTA operates the Music City Star regional/commuter rail service, a recent start-up now looking to expand.