Metrolink’s Wiggins named as new LA Metro CEO
Stephanie Wiggins, currently CEO of Los Angeles-area commuter railroad Metrolink, will become the first female CEO of LA Metro, the Los Angeles-area transportation agency which operates buses, light rail, has a hand in highway projects and is one of the five county transportation agencies which oversees Metrolink. Her four-year appointment, with a board option for two one-year extensions, was announced Thursday evening by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti following ratification by the LA Metro board. Wiggins, the first Black and first woman to lead Metrolink, joined the commuter rail agency in 2018 from LA Metro, where she was deputy CEO, playing a key role in the passage of Measure M, a transit funding ballot initiative; previously, she had overseen vendor/contract management and development of the toll express lines on Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 in the downtown L.A. area. She began her transit career with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. She succeeds Phillip A. Washington, who announced earlier this year that he would leave the agency in May after six years as CEO [see “Digest: LA Metro CEO Washington to step down,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 3, 2021]. Wiggins was the subject of the Trains Interview in the June 2019 issue of the magazine; online bonus material from that interview is available here and here.
Metrolink receives FRA grant for campaign to deter suicides
Metrolink has received a $59,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to fund a campaign to deter suicides along its route. City News Service reports the commuter railroad says suicides account for 40% of the incidents of trains striking pedestrians along its system between 2017 and 2019. The grant will fund an outreach program focused on training and public engagement, as well as targeted efforts at four “hot spots,” two in Orange County and two in the San Fernando Valley. The commuter rail agency will work with psychologists from the University of Denver Transportation Research Center on the outreach program, scheduled to last 12 months.
MTA officials hold ‘rolling news conference’ to promote use of transit for sporting events
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority held its first “rolling news conference” on Thursday to promote use of public transit to attend sporting events, with MTA CEO Patrick J. Foye and Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng staging the event on a subway train and LIRR train bound for the New York Mets’ home opener. In the race to see who would arrive first, Eng’s train was first to reach the platform at the stop for Citi Field, although Foye was first to enter the stadium. More on the event and details on the agency’s service to the Mets’ ballpark are available here.