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Meet the New Head of Public Transit in LA: Art Leahy

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Art Leahy | Photo via Metro
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From Orange County's transportation agency to Los Angeles County's Metro, Art Leahy was approved to be the new head under a four year contract that pays him $310,000 annually. He begins on April 6th.A bio from Metro says that "for the past eight years Leahy has headed the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), where he has overseen planning, financing and coordination for Orange County’s freeway, street and transit development as well as managing the 12th busiest bus system in the country last year along with commuter rail, and paratransit services for the disabled, among other transportation programs."

The general sentiment in the comments section of Streetsblog LA is that this is a good choice. "I was very pleased to learn that Art would be returning to the MTA. He is the best person for the job," one commenter wrote referring to Leahy's experience starting in transit as a bus driver.

Streetblog blogger Damien Newtwon agrees saying that he appears to be a "solid choice. As CEO of a neighboring transit authority, he is already experienced in dealing with a state government that cuts transit funding before breakfast and knows how to steer a transit agency in an area dominated by a car culture. Leahy also has a history with Metro, running bus bases during the 1984 Olympics and during the riots following the Rodney King verdict."