Gonot to Lead Santa Clara VTA

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Carolyn Gonot, incoming General Manager and CEO, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Carolyn Gonot, incoming General Manager and CEO, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Carolyn Gonot will return to California’s Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) on July 12—this time serving as General Manager and CEO.

She takes over from VTA General Counsel Evelynn Tran, who was interim chief executive after Nuria Fernandez stepped down in January to become Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Before joining Utah Transit Authority (UTA) in August 2019 as Executive Director, Gonot worked for 23 years at VTA, holding multiple leadership positions, including Chief Engineering and Program Delivery Officer; Chief BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Program Officer; Chief Development Officer; and Deputy Director, Congestion Management Program.

Gonot is the first woman to lead VTA, where she currently directs and administers a district that spans six counties with an operating budget of $336 million and a capital budget of $255 million. She leads a workforce of more than 2,500 employees and is responsible for operation of three light rail lines, FrontRunner commuter rail, a streetcar line, 120-plus bus routes, two bus rapid transit routes, ski buses, paratransit, Flex (route-deviation) service, and vanpools. 

At VTA, Gonot will be responsible for 2,100 employees and for delivering projects, programs and transit services (light rail, bus and paratransit) for more than 2 million people in Santa Clara County.

“Carolyn has a proven track record in delivering major capital projects and programs, and establishing critical funding mechanisms to build and sustain them,” VTA Board Chair Glenn Hendricks said. “Her leadership will be critical to improve the overall transit experience for current and future riders as public transit recovers from unprecedented challenges.”

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