Phillip A. Washington was unanimously selected CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) by the LA Metro Board of Directors on March 12, 2015.
In his position as LA Metro CEO, Washington manages an annual operating budget of $1.6 billion and is responsible for overseeing $15 billion in capital projects and providing oversight of an agency that transports 1.4 million boarding passengers on an average weekday, riding on a fleet of 2,000 clean-air buses and six rail lines. LA Metro also is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for LA County. As such, it is a major construction agency that oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects – together representing the largest modern public works program in North America.
Washington was a leader in the successful effort to pass a new half-cent sales tax in LA County, which garnered 71.15% voter approval. Measure M will build 40 major highway and transit projects in the first 40 years, create 778,000 jobs through construction and various programs, and provide $133.3 billion in economic impact.
Washington came to Los Angeles from Denver, where he was Assistant General Manager for nearly 10 years, prior to being named CEO in 2009.
In Denver, Washington implemented the FasTracks program, one of the largest voter-approved transit expansion programs in the country. Under his leadership, Denver’s West Line Rail was completed under budget and eight months earlier than scheduled, and the award-winning Denver Union Station was completed five months early.
Also in Denver, Washington spearheaded implementation of the first-of-its-kind $2.2 billion transit Public-Private Partnership (P3). His emphasis on measuring and managing agency performance led to a nearly 90% on-time bus and rail service, and 96% ADA on-time performance.
Washington has had numerous prestigious assignments and honors. In 2007, he was appointed by the Mayor of Denver, to head the Host Transportation Committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2009, he was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to serve on the State of Colorado’s Workforce Development Council helping the State create a 21st century workforce. Washington was named 2013-2014 Outstanding Public Transportation CEO of the Year in North America by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
In 2014, he was selected by the editors of Engineering News-Record for special recognition as one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2013. In 2016, he was chosen by the National Safety Council as one of the CEOs Who “Get It” – an honor bestowed on CEOs who demonstrate leadership in safety at the highest levels. He has testified before U.S. Congressional Transportation Subcommittees and was awarded a White House Transportation Innovators Champion of Change award in 2012.
Originally from the south side of Chicago – the Chicago Housing Projects of Altgeld Gardens – Washington is a 24-year veteran of the United States Army where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. He retired from active duty being awarded the prestigious Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) for exceptional service to his country. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College and an M.A. in Management from Webster University. He is a past chair of APTA.