The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) is pleased to welcome Richard Cowart as Director of Operations and John Jones as Director of Maintenance.
Cowart comes to TARTA after serving as General Manager of First Transit in Fort Bend County, Texas. He also oversaw the Bus Safety Department for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in the Houston area, and has over 11 years of experience in public and private transportation.
“As Director of Operations, we needed somebody who not only understands the vision we have for this agency, but has the skills necessary to help make that vision a reality,” said TARTA Chief Operations Officer Charles Odimgbe. “Richard is driven to not only improve on where we are now, but to make TARTA a 21st century organization that everyone looks to.”
“Richard is someone who is hungry and is willing to learn. He’s also someone who will question and challenge what’s become the ‘norm,’ and push that organization to be better than it has been.”
Jones brings 26 years of public and school transportation experience to TARTA, most recently as executive director of the Casper Area Transportation Coalition in Wyoming. He was also director of Charlottesville Area Transit in Virginia for six years and served as transit director for Summit Stage in Summit County, Colorado and for Medina County Public Transit in Ohio.
“Maintenance is one of the biggest challenges we face here at TARTA, and to address that you need someone with a wealth of experience and someone who understands how maintenance ties to operations and other areas to fit into the broader rider experience,” Odimgbe said. “John brings all of that and more to us. His experience gives him a unique skill set, but he’s also someone who can see beyond the day-to-day of maintenance and sees how maintenance and operations play a role in building a bright the future for this organization.”
TARTA is excited to welcome the contributions of Cowart and Jones as it pushes to become the modern, sophisticated public transit system serving seven communities in the northwest Ohio region. With the latest hire for these two critical positions at TARTA, the organization has assembled a new management team of transit industry professionals from around the country.