AC Transit picks VTA exec as new general manager

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District’s board said today that it has appointed Michael Hursh, currently the chief operating officer for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, to be the bus agency’s new general manager.

Hursh, who has more than 20 years of public service experience, will begin his tenure on Sept. 21. He will succeed Kathleen Kelly, who has served as interim general manager since April 13.

Kelly replaced David Armijo, who resigned suddenly on March 26 after three years on the job.

AC Transit Board President Chris Peeples said in a statement:

“We are thrilled to have someone of Hursh’s experience and personality to lead AC Transit to a bright future.”

AC Transit’s board engaged the services of Maryland-based Krathamer & Associates to lead a nationwide search for the agency’s top position and sought input from employees and riders on what factors it should consider in hiring a new leader.

Peeples said:

“We had many excellent candidates, but Mr. Hursh really stood out.”

Hursh has worked for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority for the past nine years, beginning as deputy director of operations for maintenance and security and then becoming its chief operating officer in 2012.

AC Transit officials said that in his current role Hursh is responsible for directing and leading all VTA transit operations, including bus and light rail operations and maintenance, operator training, accessible services, as well as planning, scheduling and facilities maintenance.

From 1999 to 2006, Hursh held several positions for the San Francisco Municipal Railway, including deputy general manager for maintenance, safety and training.

Hursh said in a statement:

“I am honored to be joining the AC Transit family. To be part of such a dedicated team that has been providing public transit for nearly 55 years is extremely exciting.”

Hursh is a native of Reno, Nevada, and is a U.S. Air Force veteran, having served six years in active duty and five years as a reservist in the California Air National Guard.

AC Transit provides service to 13 cities and adjacent unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.