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Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington

Metro CEO Phillip A. WashingtonPhillip A. Washington, formerly of Denver’s Regional Transportation District, 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.

Washington comes to Los Angeles at a time when LA Metro has several major rail, plus highway projects, under construction – together representing the largest modern public works program in the United States. 

In his position as LA Metro CEO, Washington oversees 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 Los Angeles County. As such, it is a major construction agency that oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects. 

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. He was responsible for a total agency budget appropriation of $2.8 billion and managed more than $5 billion in active transit expansion projects. Under his management, 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 ahead of schedule. 

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 the agency to a nearly 90 percent on-time bus and rail service and 96 percent ADA on-time performance. In 2012, Washington’s emphasis on safety training led to a 40 percent decrease in preventable bus accidents. 

Washington has had numerous prestigious assignments and honors. He was appointed by the Mayor of Denver in 2007, 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 to help the State create a 21st century workforce. Washington was named 2013-2014 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager 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. 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 active duty veteran of the United States Army where he held the rank of Command Sergeant Major, the highest noncommissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. He is a disabled veteran and 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 immediate past chair of APTA.

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