The San Mateo County Transit District is evolving to meet the changing needs of its customers and the communities it serves by bringing a new perspective to the agency’s executive management team.
In September, Michelle Bouchard was appointed Chief Operating Officer, Rail, and in October, David Olmeda was appointed Chief Operating Officer, Bus and Seamus Murphy was appointed Chief Communications Officer.
“The community and customers we serve are changing. We’ve taken many steps to reinvent the way Caltrain and SamTrans services are structured to meet these changing needs but I felt it was important to take a step back and evaluate whether the District itself was structured in a way that would make us most effective in planning for future challenges and opportunities,” said General Manager/CEO Jim Hartnett. “I’m confident that the addition of these talented individuals and the reorganization will enhance the District’s ability to be nimble, responsive and strategic moving forward.”
Chief Operating Officer, Rail
Ms. Bouchard joins the District as the Chief Operating Officer, Rail following her most recent role leading the eBART and Oakland Airport Connector projects as the Group Manager for the BART system. Before joining BART, Ms. Bouchard worked in Caltrain’s Rail Transportation Department for 14 years. Most notably Ms. Bouchard led the department as Director, Rail Transportation for five years before joining BART. She played a vital role in conceptualizing Caltrain’s Baby Bullet service in the early 2000’s, helping to lay the ground work for the overwhelming ridership demand Caltrain is experiencing today.
Chief Operating Officer, Bus
Mr. Olmeda has been with the agency for 15 years but his career spans 30 years of service beginning with his service as an Electronics Technician in the United States Navy. Most recently, Mr. Olmeda oversaw both Caltrain and SamTrans maintenance activities as the Director of Maintenance for the District. He excels as a leader and a strategic thinker, making significant improvements in the District’s fleet performance by improving preventative maintenance and reducing road calls for service. In Mr. Olmeda’s new role, he will harness his strategic planning and leadership skills to continue the work of modernizing the way SamTrans provides bus service to its customers.
Chief Communications Officer
Mr. Murphy has been with the District since 2008 when he came aboard to lead the Government Affairs effort for all three agencies. During his tenure, he has led successful efforts to secure legislative approval for Caltrain Modernization funding as one of the early investment projects funded through the High Speed Rail Authority budget and he has directed strategic communications around the agencies’ federal and statewide legislative efforts. Mr. Murphy began his career as a Public Affairs Consultant before joining late Supervisor and former SamTrans and Caltrain board member Mike Nevin’s team as Chief of Staff. Over the course of his career, he has played a vital role in leading communications and legislative efforts on a number of high profile Peninsula issues.
In August, General Manager/CEO Jim Hartnett laid out a plan for reorganizing the District to address the growing demands of modernizing and operating the Caltrain system and reinventing SamTrans services.
The reorganization also unified all of the District’s communication functions under one executive officer and organized all of the financial functions under another newly created chief officer position. The intention behind the executive-level reorganization is to bring equal visibility to the bus and rail services as service demands continue to grow and change, improve the consistency and reach of both internal and external communications, and place greater emphasis on the District’s finances as the agency seeks a solution to its structural deficit.
The District is conducting a national recruitment to fill the vacant Chief Financial Officer position. The other members of the executive team include, Deputy CEO, Special Projects Chuck Harvey, Deputy CEO/Chief Administrative Officer Gigi Harrington, Chief Officer Caltrain Planning/Caltrain Modernization Marian Lee, Chief Officer Planning/Grants/Transportation Authority April Chan, Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives Mark Simon and Executive Officer, District Secretary/Executive Administration Martha Martinez.
About the TA: Created to administer Measure A, San Mateo County’s half-cent sales tax, the Transportation Authority provides funding for transportation and infrastructure improvement projects. In 2004, more than 75 percent of San Mateo County residents voted to reauthorize Measure A for an additional 25 years.