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Santa Clara VTA's Burns to retire as GM by year's end


Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) General Manager Michael Burns announced yesterday that he will retire by Dec. 31.

Burns has served in the transportation industry for 38 years, including in the VTA's GM post since 2005.

"Michael Burns has made a tremendous impact on improving transportation in Silicon Valley, while doing so during some of the most challenging times this industry and valley have ever faced," said VTA Chairman Joe Pirzynski in a prepared statement.

VTA's board is scheduled to meet March 7 to approve an Ad-Hoc Selection Committee to recruit and recommend a new general manager, agency officials said. Committee membership will include Pirzynski, Vice Chairperson Ash Kalra, and board members Ken Yeager, Margaret Abe-Koga and Jamie Matthews.

The nine-month search will "help to ensure a seamless transition to new leadership while keeping the focus on advancing major operating and capital programs," VTA officials said.

During Burns tenure, VTA achieved a number of milestones, including the securement of a $900 million Federal Transit Administration grant for the Bay Area Rapid Transit Silicon Valley project; the start of construction on the largest infrastructure improvement project in the agency's history; and the launch of the Commuter Express light-rail service, VTA officials said.