Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Passenger Rail


Rail News: Passenger Rail

People news from Houston METRO, SEPTA, STB and NMB

Elisa Cunningham and Thomas Jasien
Photo –


The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO) recently appointed Thomas Jasien as interim president and CEO. He had served as deputy CEO since 2014. Jasien previously had an extensive career in Washington, D.C., where he was part of the White House advance team during President George H. W. Bush’s second term as vice president, and served stints as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. Houston METRO also recently swore in Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock as chair, the first Hispanic woman to serve in the role. She is vice president of utility infrastructure planning for CenterPoint Energy.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has named Elisa Cunningham as its first chief technology officer. Reporting to SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie Richards, Cunningham will lead the information technology department and develop and implement a long-term technology strategy. Most recently, she was the CTO for the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink). Cunningham previously served as assistant vice president of technology and information management for Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

The Surface Transportation Board has appointed Ryan Dreier to the Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council (RSTAC) as a large railroad representative. Dreier is vice president of industrial products for BNSF Railway Co., where he leads sales and marketing efforts for several commodities, including chemicals, forest products, construction products, and food and beverages. The RSTAC advises the board and others on rail transportation policy issues.

The Senate has confirmed the reappointments of Linda Puchala and Deirdre Hamilton as National Mediation Board (NMB) members, and the appointment of Loren Sweatt to her first term on the board. Currently the NMB’s chair who joined the board in 2021, Hamilton previously was a staff attorney for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Association of Flight Attendants. An NMB member since 2009, Puchala previously held positions with the Association of Flight Attendants and Michigan State Employees Association. Sweatt has more than 20 years of labor-related policy experience, including stints with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and House Education and Workforce Committee. She will succeed Gerald Fauth, an NMB member since 2017 who’s retiring.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/13/2024