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Austin transit agency CEO hired to lead in Washington, D.C.

He's been with Capital Metro for four years.

AUSTIN, Texas — Randy Clarke, the CEO of Capital Metro, is leaving Austin's transportation agency.

On May 10, it was announced that starting this summer, Clarke will be the next general manager and CEO of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in Washington, D.C. He will begin his new position at WMATA in late summer. The process "included important stakeholder and public input," the WMATA said.

At a press conference in D.C. on Tuesday morning with WMATA leaders, Clarke said it was a privilege to be there and he was honored by the new opportunity.

"I give the community my commitment to ensuring that Metro delivers world-class safe, reliable, customer-centric services that this region definitely deserves," he said. "We're really excited to come back and be a part of this active, diverse community." 

He has led Austin's transit agency for the last four years, including through the November 2020 election when voters approved the $7 billion Project Connect plan.

"All along, my desire has been to see more communities served through providing better access to high-quality transit, and it’s been an honor to have served the people of Austin and Central Texas,” Clarke said in a statement. “I want to thank the incredible staff at CapMetro, our board members, customers, community stakeholders and partners for your support and friendship for the four-plus years that I’ve called Austin my home. This place and you all will be always near to my heart."

Deputy CEO Dottie Watkins will serve as interim chief executive officer of CapMetro as the board conducts a national search to fill the position.

Travis County Commissioner and CapMetro Board Chair Jeffery Travillion also commented on his planned departure.

“We will certainly miss Randy at CapMetro,” Travillion said. “I’m proud of the work that we’ve accomplished under Randy’s leadership over these last four years. He’s brought us together in so many ways, from building the community’s trust to secure funding for Project Connect to building trust with our staff that led to improved operations and better relations with our labor union. I’m grateful for his time with us, and our board wishes him great success in our nation’s capital."

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