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.
As LA Metro CEO, Washington manages a total balanced budget of $6.6 billion for FY19, is responsible for overseeing $15+ billion in capital projects, providing oversight of an agency of nearly 11,000 employees and transports 1.4 million boarding passengers daily, riding on a fleet of 2,000 clean-air buses and six rail lines. LA Metro is also 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 key leader in the 2016 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 and provide $133.3 billion in economic impact.
Washington came to Los Angeles from Denver, Colorado, 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 transportation expansion programs in the country. Under his leadership, Denver’s West Corridor Rail Line project was completed under budget and eight months earlier than scheduled, and the award-winning Denver Union Station project was completed five months early and is yet realizing tremendous revenue/value capture from the surrounding development.
Also in Denver, Washington implemented the first and only $2.2 billion transit Public-Private Partnership (P3), which is still in operation. 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 Colorado 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).
He has testified before U.S. Congressional Transportation Subcommittees and was awarded a White House Transportation Innovators Champion of Change award in 2012. 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 “Gets It” – an honor bestowed on CEOs who demonstrate leadership in safety at the highest levels. In 2017, he was awarded the Judge Harry Pregerson Public Service Award for his service to U.S. military veterans. And, in 2018, he was awarded the Honorable Ray LaHood Award (Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation) by the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS), for his outstanding contribution in promoting opportunities to advance and advocate for women in the transportation industry.
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 soldier can achieve. He retired from active duty being awarded the prestigious Defense Superior Service Medal for exceptional service to his country. He holds a B.A. in Business from Columbia College, an M.A. in Management from Webster University, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. He is also a past chair of APTA.