AUSTIN, Texas - Losing your bus driver between stops is a good way to describe the change in leadership coming to CapMetro.
Thursday morning outgoing CEO Randy Clarke and board chair Jeff Travillion explained the timing of Clarke's exit.
"I'm certainly not running out the door in any way. This is a very difficult decision, both on a personal and professional level," said Clarke.
Clarke is going to Washington D.C. He called it a dream job and a chance to be closer to family on the East Coast. He also said they called him.
"I've been asked, kind of recruiters have called me for a fair amount of opportunities over the last few years and every single one I've said no to," said Clarke.
Clarke was hired four years ago. During his tenure, he revamped routes and made more adjustments when readership numbers dropped because of the pandemic.
At the same time, voters expanded services with the multi-billion dollar project, Project Connect. And most recently a pull-out by Leander was avoided.
"You know, we are convinced that, you know, this organization is truly moving in the right direction. And we have built a team of leaders to make sure that we will continue the same trajectory," said Travillion.
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Clarke made it clear political turmoil and cost increases were not factors.
"There are natural times in a program, too, that do have kind of natural maybe transition points, and I think we might be at one," said Clarke.
According to officials, a wide net will be ensued to find Clarke's replacement. While that means a national search, hiring from within is also a possibility.
"He was a transit guy," said Travillion.
Travillion said he and the Board will try to replace other skills Clarke has.
"And they're also going to have to be able to talk to the community and build trust and confidence as well. We're going to have to make sure that people have an opportunity to meet, talk with, understand priorities and know that they will be heard. I think we had all of those things with Randy. We're going to be looking for all of those things going on," said Travillion.
Clarke was asked if he had any parting advice for his replacement and the agency.
"My advice is, is to lean into partnership. So CapMetro has to really do two things. It has to come out of the pandemic and really all in great service, rebuild the bus service, which we're doing. I think it's coming. It's coming together and get people back on the system. I believe the talent that we have here is capable of doing all those things. But it's a lot of work ahead, but it's going to be a lot of fun work ahead, too, because it's exciting what's happening here," said Clarke.
A last day on the job has not yet been set, but Clarke's departure for DC is expected to happen sometime in June.