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Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
Location: San Jose, California
Job Status: Full-time
Job ID: 144289
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible, and promote the vitality of our region. VTA provides bus, light rail, and paratransit services, as well as participates as a funding partner in regional rail service including Caltrain, Capital Corridor, and the Altamont Corridor Express. As the county’s congestion management agency, VTA is responsible for countywide transportation planning, including congestion management, design and construction of specific highway, pedestrian, and bicycle improvement projects, as well as promotion of transit-oriented development.

VTA provides these services throughout the county, including Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale. VTA continually builds partnerships to deliver transportation solutions that meet the evolving mobility needs of Santa Clara County.

Role Definition
Under administrative direction from the General Manager/CEO, the Chief Operating Officer is responsible for providing a safe and efficient countywide transportation system by planning, organizing, and directing VTA's Operations Division.

Distinguishing Characteristics
This is an at-will executive management position and serves at the discretion of the General Manager/CEO. This position is VTA's point person for the transit system. The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for directing all VTA transit operations including Bus Operations and Maintenance, Light Rail Operations and Maintenance, Accessible Services, Operations Service Planning and Scheduling, and Facilities Maintenance.

The Chief Operating Officer impacts VTA's organizational success by providing management oversight of the day to day transit functions; guiding long-term decisions regarding the provision of public transportation with insight into operational/functional impacts; effectively managing the operating resources and capital assets while providing efficient transit service in Santa Clara County; ensuring that public transportation is maintained as a core business function of VTA and that key business functions are aligned to support those operations.


Typical Tasks
  • Provides executive-level operational oversight and direction for VTA's bus and light rail operations and maintenance;

  • Resolves operational issues with the VTA Board of Directors, staff, elected and public officials, riders, the general public and special interest constituencies;

  • Provides contract management and oversight of the provision of accessible transit service and contract bus services;

  • Participates in capital project planning processes to evaluate operational functionality and recommend enhancements for operational effectiveness;

  • Collaborates with BART Delivery Program staff to ensure integration of VTA transit service into BART Phase I and Phase II service;

  • Monitors transit service and identifies opportunities for improvements/efficiencies; develops and implements change initiatives;

  • Provides management oversight of the scheduling and service planning functions; Develops and monitors objectives, policy and procedure for the Division;

  • Monitors performance measures and enforces accountability;

  • Represents VTA before local, regional, state and federal government agencies, boards, commissions and conferences;

  • Establishes and maintains an effective system of communication throughout the Division;

  • Oversees the development and administration of the Division's operating and capital budgets;

  • Oversees and ensures a state of good repair for all VTA properties, including facilities and transit centers;

  • Maintains current awareness of potential, pending, and current legislation that may impact VTA and develops and implements strategies to impact potential, pending, and current legislation that will or could affect VTA;

  • Prepares, reviews, and approves detailed correspondence and reports;

  • Establishes and maintains effective communications with the Board of Directors, City Councils and other federal, state, regional and local agencies, boards, and commissions and represents VTA in public meetings and hearings as the need arises; Ensures compliance with VTA policies and procedures regarding equal employment opportunity and discrimination and harassment prevention;

  • Selects, supervises, trains, motivates, assigns, counsels and disciplines staff, including establishing professional standards for work quality, quantity, performance, and accountability;

  • Represents the General Manager/CEO as assigned.


Employment Standards
Sufficient education and increasingly responsible administrative and managerial experience in a large and diverse agency to demonstrate possession of the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Development of the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is typically obtained through a combination of training and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with a four-year degree in transportation/logistics, public administration, engineering, business administration or a related discipline, and extensive, increasingly responsible managerial experience working in a multi-modal public transportation operations and/or maintenance environment.

Experience as a manager in a major functional transportation area, or as General Manager of a smaller transportation organization, is highly desirable.

Managerial experience in a large public transportation organization is required.


Knowledge of:
  • Federal, state and local regulations regarding the provision of public transportation (bus and light rail) and accessible paratransit service;

  • Principles and practices of organization, administration, fiscal, and personnel management;

  • Principles, techniques, and processes of government at the local, regional, state, and federal levels;

  • Collective bargaining agreements and labor negotiating practices; Principles, practices, and techniques involved in transit scheduling; Safety and security regulations and procedures for transit properties;

  • Policies, regulations, and guidelines governing public agency procurement; Principles and practices of budget development and monitoring; Operational characteristics of a large public transit organization.

Ability to:
  • Effectively plan, organize, direct, coordinate, and manage Division work activities; Understand, interpret, and analyze complex technical information, including state and federal laws and regulations;

  • Resolve sensitive issues (e.g. ADA, community, labor); Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing;

  • Take initiative, reason logically, and be creative in developing and introducing new ideas;

  • Define problem areas and evaluate, recommend, and implement alternative solutions to complex issues and problems;

  • Establish cooperative working relations with staff, contractors, consultants, community and industry organizations, representatives of federal, state, regional, and city agencies, and the general public.

  • Draw responsible conclusions and make sound decisions; Manage large/diverse work groups;

  • Represent VTA before boards, city councils, and local, state and federal agencies;

  • Develop and administer budgets;

  • Analyze and resolve complex organizational, staffing, and other issues;

  • Prepare administrative and technical reports.

VTA has engaged Krauthamer & Associates (“K&A”), a retained executive search firm, to assist with the recruitment of the Chief Operating Officer. Interested parties should contact Gregg Moser, Principal at K&A, via email at to obtain more information or to apply for the position with an attached cover letter and resume.

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