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The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority's (MTA) board on Wednesday named transit industry veteran Stephen Bland chief executive officer. He will start his new duties on Aug. 25.Currently employed at Michael Baker International, Bland is serving as the program director of CTfastrak, a 9.5-mile advanced bus rapid transit system between New Britain and downtown Hartford, Conn. Prior to his CTfastrak assignment, Bland was the assistant director and general superintendent of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s PATH rail system. His transit industry experience spans 28 years.MTA's former Chief Financial Officer Ed Oliphant has been serving as interim CEO of Nashville MTA and the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee — which governs the Music City Star — since the departure of former CEO Paul Ballard, who left the agency in March to become president and CEO of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. Bland will serve as CEO of both organizations as well, Nashville MTA officials said in a press release.
"[Bland] can help us move to the next level, which is to increase ridership, provide more and better transit options for citizens and visitors, and implement new technologies that will enhance our customers’ transit experience,” said Jeff Yarbro, the agency's chairman.Agency officials said they were particularly impressed with Bland's seven-year tenure in Pittsburgh, where under his leadership the transit agency completed a $500 million New Starts light-rail subway extension.
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