Transit Systems 2020-05-14 2020-06-18

Executive Director -- TARC

Company: Transit Authority of River City (TARC) View more listings
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Job Status: Full-time
Job ID: 121289

Louisville, Kentucky, the 29th largest city in the U.S. and centrally located along the Ohio River, is home to some of the most recognizable icons of American culture. Home of the Kentucky Derby, Louisville Slugger, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, Louisville’s historic neighborhoods bring together art, culture, and entertainment, providing residents with a balance between history and modernity. Louisville is both the birthplace and burial place of Muhammad Ali. The Muhammad Ali Center, which is prominent on the city’s waterfront, attracts visitors from around the globe. Louisville is a great place to live and work, favored by both families and young professionals, with reasonable costs of living and job growth trajectories surpassing that of the national average. The city boasts being within a day’s drive of 2/3 of the U.S. population due to the fact that it is highly connected via three major interstates. While home to many established Fortune 500 companies, Louisville has also become a hub for new business and development, bringing in new nightlife, entertainment, and food for residents to enjoy.

The Transit Authority of River City (“TARC”) is a public transportation agency offering fixed route and paratransit services as well as a complimentary, localized, all-electric service (“LouLift”) operating in Louisville’s thriving downtown community. TARC’s service includes stops at concert venues, museums, and high-profile college sporting events. The agency is proud of its “TARC3” paratransit service which ensures that everyone in the community has access to transportation services that get them to and from where they need to go. TARC also offers commuter services and launched “The Rapid”, the first rapid transit line of the region earlier this year as part of an ambitious project to improve efficiency and mobility for TARC’s riders. TARC’s service area in greater Louisville includes services to southern Indiana and to The University of Louisville, spanning 5 counties in total and providing students and working residents with a safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation option.

TARC is governed by a board of 8 mayoral appointments approved by the Metro Council of Louisville. TARC is primarily funded through occupational tax revenue and federal aid, with fares contributing 12% of TARC’s overall revenue for a total operating budget of approximately $89.5 million. TARC’s commitment to becoming more environmentally sustainable over the years has been supported by federal grants, allowing TARC to expand the number of hybrid and all-electric buses in its fleet. Currently, TARC has 43 service routes with 225 buses, 20% of which are hybrid electric or all electric. In November 2019, TARC received $17 million in capital funds that will be used to purchase fuel efficient, clean diesel buses, and TARC has a state grant that will be used for an electrification study of the fleet.

With a ridership of approximately 13 million, TARC has developed TARC LINC, a short- and long-range planning study to assess current service, develop options for improving efficiency and effectiveness, and attract new passengers to the system. In addition, it will address how to best utilize emerging transit technologies to enhance all that TARC currently has to offer. TARC began gathering community input on current services in the summer of 2019 and short-term changes are expected to go into effect in fiscal year 2021.

More than 80% of TARC’s riders use its services to commute to/from work or school, demonstrating the central role TARC plays in the overall economic development of the Louisville community. Keeping in mind the crucial role TARC plays for its riders’ livelihoods, TARC will continue to improve services while maintaining dedication to being one of the most sustainable, mobile, and innovative transit agencies in the region.

More details on TARC can be found at

The Executive Director is responsible for the executive management of all aspects of TARC’s organization, including operations, maintenance, finance, planning and administration. Reporting to TARC’s 8-member Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides vision and strategic leadership for the agency to achieve its short- and long-term objectives and provide the highest levels of customer service to the community and stakeholders.

The Executive Director represents the agency to its staff, Board of Directors, community, local officials, customers, partner organizations, and other stakeholders at a time of new planning and innovation. The ideal candidate will have outstanding communication and management skills, in-depth knowledge of newer strategies in transit and transportation, and demonstrated experience successfully and strategically managing an operating environment similar to TARC. Additionally, the ideal candidate will have excellent business and financial acumen to balance existing and future service needs with available resources.

The ideal candidate for Executive Director will have the following skills, knowledge, and personal attributes:


  • Demonstrated knowledge of transit operations and ability to manage a large, complex organization while maintaining the highest possible levels of service, reliability, cost efficiency, and safety.

  • Demonstrated understanding of public transit in regard to its services, funding, related regulatory agencies, procedures, policies, technologies, key stakeholders, infrastructure, fleet, facilities, and ridership.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage, empower, motivate, and communicate effectively with staff at all levels of an organization and foster an inclusive environment for all employees.

  • Ability to represent the agency and its needs and objectives and to communicate effectively with elected officials, board members, partner organizations, community members, and other stakeholders.

  • Ability to work with a diverse community of stakeholders and provide accessible and equitable services for all members of the community.

  • Knowledge of or ability to quickly learn about the community and political environment in which TARC operates and ability to build, manage, and maintain community and stakeholder relationships.

  • Ability to manage a complex operating environment with the ultimate goal of providing excellent customer service.

  • Ability to respond quickly to complex and immediate challenges and make sound decisions both independently and collaboratively as appropriate.

  • Experience and demonstrated competency maintaining fiscal responsibility and managing limited resources even during uncertain circumstances.

  • Experience managing employees in a unionized environment, communicating effectively with collective bargaining units, and negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

  • Ability to balance the agency’s vision and service objectives with available personnel, financial resources, and infrastructure.

  • Demonstrated ability to understand and manage complex operating and capital budgets and make data-based decisions.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the financial management of a large organization including funding and grants, asset management, employee benefit programs, capital programs, local, state, and federal regulations, and the ability to clearly and concisely communicate financial information to the Board.

  • Knowledge and ability to embrace new technology and modernize systems within the organization in order to improve productivity and increase efficiency.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the latest technologies and innovations in mobility beyond traditional transit services, and ability to recognize and implement new opportunities and partnerships for TARC.

  • Demonstrates a strong public service mindset and dedication to TARC’s vision, services, and community.

  • Establishes and effectively communicates a cohesive vision to staff, board members, stakeholders, and the community.

  • Demonstrates unquestioned integrity, ethics, and excellent interpersonal communication in leading, managing and communicating with staff, stakeholders, community members, and customers.

  • Recruits, manages, and motivates a strong leadership team, and is able to recognize and utilize employee strengths to maintain a well-functioning and efficient organization.

  • Empowers staff to achieve individual, professional, and agency-wide goals, embraces diversity, values inclusion, and maintains a culture of respect, accountability, and trust among employees at all levels of the organization.

  • Balances empathetic leadership with clear and fair expectations for staff.

  • Supports and mentors staff at all levels of the organization and is a strong leader capable of resolving conflicts and building unity.

  • Has excellent written and verbal communication skills in both formal and informal settings and is able to present information in a way that is engaging, thorough, thoughtful, and clear.

  • Makes sound, fact-based decisions in response to immediate challenges or crises.

  • Maintains and balances a long-term vision and objectives with short-term goals, resources, challenges, and opportunities.

  • Demonstrates a collaborative mindset and open-mindedness to new ideas and innovations in public transit and mobility.

  • Demonstrates strategic leadership and has the ability to listen, understand, weigh different perspectives and opinions, and build consensus to make decisions that result in the best results for the agency.

The successful candidate will have a minimum of five (5) years executive management experience with a transit agency or another public or private entity of comparable nature, complexity, and size to TARC. A Bachelor’s degree in transportation, transportation management, engineering, business management, or equivalent is strongly desired, however, experience in lieu of a degree will be considered. A Master’s degree or other advanced degree is preferred.

Transit Authority of River City (TARC) is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to the community we serve. Applicants shall not be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class.

For additional information or to submit a resume, please contact Gregg A. Moser at

Transit Job Listing - Executive Director -- TARC