Taking care of business

Op-Ed from Sunday’s Austin American-Statesman:

Watson: Capital Metro moving forward fiscally, transparently

Linda S. Watson, Local Contributor

Capital Metro is taking care of business and doing things differently these days. Some difficult but necessary budget decisions will put the organization on a stronger financial path for the future so we can continue to provide the high-quality service this community deserves.

Just like other public and private businesses and your family budget at home, we are facing tough economic times. But this is not the same Capital Metro that it was just a few years ago. We have raised the bar by strengthening our leadership, business practices and transparency. This progress is reflected in our proposed budget for the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, and in the recent recognition of Capital Metro by the Texas comptroller of public accounts as a leader in local government transparency.

Through disciplined budget work, Capital Metro has reduced spending across the board by carefully scrutinizing every line item, delaying construction projects, leaving vacant positions unfilled and adjusting lower-performing bus routes. Continue reading “Taking care of business”

100 Days with Linda

“Raising the bar within the organization and improving trust and credibility out in the community.”  That’s been the mantra of Linda Watson since her arrival as our president/CEO about 100 days ago. And let me tell you, things are definitely different around here; good things are happening.

Check out KXAN’s story from last night:

Linda Watson Q&A

Great profile of our new boss in Sunday’s Austin American-Statesman:

WATSON CLIMBS ABOARD

New chief taking the helm at area’s transit agency hopes to schedule an image U-turn



S
tatesman transportation writer Ben Wear: Let’s start with commuter rail. Why do you think ridership has been so low so far?

Watson: First of all, you have bus and rail competing against each other. Second, people don’t understand what it is or how to use it. I’ve had so many people in just the few days I’ve been here ask me, ‘What brings you to Austin?’ And when I tell what I’m going to do, their reaction is somewhere between being impressed and being horrified. ‘You’re going to do what?’ And the second thing they say is, ‘Are you going to run that monorail? Or, that light rail?’ (Light rail, unlike the MetroRail commuter line, generally runs on city streets and has more stops.) People don’t know what it is. So part of it is an educational process. Finally, I think that if light rail had been built first, it would have been a phenomenal success. Commuter rail service is basically just catering to work trips. And you really need both to be successful. It’s kind of like building a freeway with no feeder roads into it. Continue reading “Linda Watson Q&A”

Capital Metro Board Hires Linda Watson

Linda Watson signs a 5-year contract today with the Capital Metro Board.
Linda addresses the crowd at the Capital Metro Board meeting after signing a five-year contract for president & CEO.

Today the Capital Metro Board approved the contract with Linda Watson for the position of Capital Metro president and CEO. She was on hand today at the board meeting to sign the contract.  Her first day on the job will be Aug. 16.

Chairman Mike Martinez said, “Today I am happy to welcome Linda Watson as the new CEO of Capital Metro. I look forward to working with Ms. Watson and the rest of the board to help Capital Metro provide the vital service that this community deserves. Linda will be a vital part in helping transform our agency into a world-class transit provider. I am confident Linda is the right person to get this done and help CapMetro turn the corner as we address our agency’s challenges. She has a wealth of experience, knowledge and a track record that shows she can run a transit agency that is efficient and effective.”

Linda’s contract covers a five-year term and follows the CEO Compensation Policy that the board adopted last month.

Capital Metro Board selects Linda S. Watson for CEO

The Capital Metro Board voted unanimously today at a specially-called board meeting to begin negotiations with Linda S. Watson for the position of President/Chief Executive Officer.

“After much thought and deliberation, we believe Linda is the right person to lead Capital Metro moving forward at this critical time,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, Chairman of the Board.  “We also took into consideration the feedback we received from the community; it has further solidified our choice.  I want to thank the community for providing valuable input into this process.”

Continue reading “Capital Metro Board selects Linda S. Watson for CEO”

Can’t get enough of the CapMetro CEO finalists?

At 5:45 p.m. today, Channel 6 will be airing the video of the Capital Metro CEO candidates’ meetings with board members and community leaders that occurred today at City Hall.

If you can’t watch it via Channel 6, you can watch it here. Let us know what you think.

Deborah Wathen Finn

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Linda Watson

Vodpod videos no longer available.