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Hursh to succeed Smith as VTA's COO

On Friday, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Chief Operating Officer Donald “Dan” Smith retired after six years in the post. Michael Hursh, who has been VTA’s deputy director of operations for maintenance and security since 2006, was appointed to succeed Smith.

During his tenure, Smith oversaw a plan to cut costs, streamline operations and improve productivity, and helped implement several major projects to improve service, security and workforce development, VTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The major service enhancements included the institution of light-rail commuter express service and implementation of a high-capacity 4G Wi-Fi network on VTA’s light-rail fleet.

All the improvements contributed to ridership gains during Smith’s tenure, VTA officials said. In fiscal-year 2066, average weekday boardings for light rail and bus were 126,103; as of March 2012, average weekday boardings reached 137,111, up nearly 9 percent.

Hursh, who began his new duties on Saturday, joined VTA in 2006 from San Francisco Municipal Railway, where he was senior operations manager overseeing track, signal and communications maintenance.

He then moved into the post of deputy general mnager of maintenance, and later was named deputy GM for safety, security and training.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/14/2012