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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has appointed Joseph Leader chief operating officer in charge of rail, bus and paratransit services, the agency announced yesterday.He'll also provide executive management of WMATA's Transit Police, parking and support services. Leader will take up the position Aug. 1.
He has more than 30 years of experience in transportation operations. As an associate for Bianco Associates, Leader recently served as consultant to WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld on rail organizational and fleet management."Working with Joe on restructuring Metro’s rail operations gave me an opportunity to learn his strategic approach to operational safety, day to day safety culture, and his customer service orientation, which are consistent with the way I want Metro to conduct itself moving forward," Wiedefeld said in a press release.Leader also served as senior vice president of MTA New York City Transit's (NYCT) Department of Subways, which includes 27,000 employees, 800 track miles and 469 stations. Before that, he served as chief of safety investigations for NYCT.Leader and his team were credited with restoring New York City's subway service in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, WMATA officials said.He also led a comprehensive maintenance program that accelerated track work and improved safety and productivity, WMATA officials added.News of Leader's appointment comes as WMATA embarks on its own accelerated maintenance program known a "SafeTrack."