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Transit insight podcast

Join us for a conversation about issues that surround transit by three transit professionals with decades of experience planning,operating, and running transit systems.  Whether you are a transit professional, enthusiast, or an end-user, you will find these discussions by a CEO, Planning Director, and Operations Professional informative and hopefully even fun.  Our goal is to get episodes posted about every two weeks, but sometimes our real jobs slow us down.  So far we are generally on a monthly schedule of getting episodes posted, but please stay tuned as we have already recorded several more shows and will have great episodes coming down the track, including a few interviews.

Podcast Participants:

The T.I. Podcast

Discussion of Transit Related Topics by Industry Professionals

​Paul Ballard, President and CEO - The T - Fort Worth Transportation Authority

Paul Ballard has been President and CEO of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) since April 2014.  He began his rail transportation career as a conductor and brakeman on the Boston & Maine Railroad, serving in both commuter rail and freight service.  Then, as an undergraduate at Indiana University, he learned the rubber-tired end of the business as a bus operator for the university’s Campus Bus System.

Prior to coming to Fort Worth, Paul served as CEO of two public transit agencies in Tennessee; the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee, where he built and placed into service the Music City Star commuter rail line and increased ridership of the public transit services from 6.4 million annual trips to over 10.5 million annual trips.

He holds a B.S. Degree in Business, Transportation and Public Utilities Management from the Indiana University School of Business and an MPA Degree from Webster University in St. Louis.

Jim McAteer, AICP, President - Transit Insight

Jim created Transit Insight in June of 2014.  Prior to this, he served as the Director of Planning and Grants at the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for 8 years.   During this time, his responsibilities expanded to include planning for the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), which included the Music City Star Commuter train, regional bus service, and vanpools.

McAteer has provided leadership and direction for both local and regional transit planning efforts, including day-to-day system analysis as well as the development and implementation of new services for both MTA and RTA.  Over Jim's career, he has focused on working collaboratively with other agencies to expand the role of transit in the community.  This included active engagement with local city planning departments, chamber’s of commerce, business and non-profit organizations, as well as anyone willing to partner in making transit a success. 

He has also served as a transit advisor for a Sustainable Design Assessment Team sponsored by the American Institute of Architects.  Prior to joining the MTA in 2006, McAteer spent four years at the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization as a project manager on a wide range of transportation projects with a focus on transit and bicycle and pedestrian issues.  Jim worked as the MPO and Planning project manager for the first ever Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways in Nashville.

McAteer attended Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he attained a Masters of Arts in Geography and Environmental Planning with a specialization on Transportation Planning in 2002.

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Edward Johnson, Chief Executive Officer - LYNX - Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority

Edward L. Johnson, 47, has more than 20 years’ experience in the transportation industry including 13 prior years with LYNX.  Previously, he was the chief administrative officer (CAO) for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). 
As CAO, Johnson oversaw MARTA's architectural services, information technology, human resources, police, safety and the strategic planning departments.

During his tenure at MARTA, Johnson led the development of service and financing plan for two sales tax referendum packages for the expansion of bus and rail operations. The first was overwhelmingly approved by voters and the other will be on the fall 2016 ballot. Johnson also led a team in establishing a pilot to test a mobile fare payment system across all modes of transit services. Additionally under his leadership MARTA installed Wi-Fi on buses, CCTV on buses and rail cars, video analytics in facilities and developed a real-time mobile application.

During his previous tenure at LYNX, he served as the interim CEO, GM, CAO, chief of staff and the manager of operations support/development.

Prior to joining LYNX, he worked in his native Alabama with the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (MAX), where he served as the grants and planning manager. While working at MAX, he successfully saved tens of millions of dollars in grant funds that were in jeopardy of being returned to the federal government and he was one of the forerunners in Alabama for the Federal Transit Administration grant administration program.

While in Orlando, Johnson served on various local boards including the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region, METROPLAN ORLANDO Economic Development Commission – Investor Relations Committee, Central Florida Urban League and the Hankins-Johnson Education Foundation.

A recipient of the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award, Johnson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.  He also is a graduate of the Eno Transportation Executive Leadership Program, Leadership Orlando and served in the U.S. Army Reserves as an infantry platoon leader.

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Transit Insight Podcast​