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GRTC’s CEO picked to lead Orlando’s transit system

The Times-Dispatch reports that GRTC’s CEO John Lewis has been tapped to head up the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority in Orlando, Florida.

I think it’s a great opportunity,” [Lewis] said. “I think, [with] the Orlando LYNX [system] and their plans for the future with a commuter-rail line . . . central Florida is going to be the center of the universe from a transportation standpoint for the next decade.”

The LYNX system is significantly larger than GRTC, and Florida has been awarded $1.25 billion by President Barack Obama’s administration to develop high-speed rail between Orlando and Tampa.

GRTC Chairwoman Linda G. Broady-Meyers credited Lewis with changing the way many people in the Richmond area think of public transportation and said she regrets that he may not be around to finish projects he has helped to launch, including a planned transfer center downtown.

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Under Lewis’ leadership, GRTC has pursued an aggressive agenda for the city and region, opening a new operations center off Belt Boulevard, agreeing to sell its former headquarters property near the Fan District, revamping its fixed routes and expanding its commuter service. In addition to the transfer center project, GRTC has started planning for a faster, more reliable “bus rapid transit” service along Broad Street, as well as increased bus fares with the approval of the City Council.

Lewis was one of 36 candidates for the position. Contract negotiations started yesterday. No word yet on when Lewis will be heading down to Florida.

Read more about it here.

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