Metrolink Hires Art Leahy As CEO, To Start April 2015

Art Leahy riding the Metro Red Line in December 2014. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Mertolink’s new CEO Art Leahy, riding the Metro Red Line in December 2014. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The Metrolink board of directors voted unanimously this morning to hire Art Leahy as CEO.

Streetsblog readers are probably aware that Leahy served as the head of Metro since 2009. In January, Leahy announced his retirement from Metro effective April 2015. Yesterday, Metro approved Leahy’s replacement, Phil Washington.

Metrolink approved a $330,000 annual salary for Leahy. This is actually slightly more than the $326,000 his successor, Washington, will earn at Metro, despite Metrolink having a much smaller ridership and budget, though a broader geographic scope, with commuter rail serving six Southern California counties.

Leahy is scheduled start at Metrolink on April 20. His contract runs through 2018.

Art Leahy appeared at this morning’s Metrolink board meeting, stating that he was honored and pleased, and pledged to “deliver the goods” for the public, taxpayers, and Metrolink board and employees.

Leahy assumes the helm at Metrolink at a time when the agency is facing numerous crises, including failing ticket machines, declining ridership, service cuts, finance audit questions, and (despite a very good overall safety record that should be the envy of highway engineers) a recent newsworthy train crash in Oxnard.

The story is still not entirely clear on why Leahy stepped down from Metro. The Los Angeles Times‘ Laura Nelson tweeted confirmation of a widely-rumored assertion that Leahy’s departure was shepherded by Metro board chair, and Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti.

Leahy is seen as having ties to transportation rain-maker Richard Katz. Katz is a former state legislator who actually wrote the law that created Metro, a former long-time Metro boardmember, and current Metrolink board alternate. Katz served on the Metro board as a mayoral appointee during Antonio Villaraigosa’s administration, and was replaced after endorsing Garcetti’s opponent in the mayoral race.

So, coincidence or not, Metro’s transition from Art Leahy to Phil Washington, and Leahy’s move from Metro to Metrolink, represent a changing of the guard that reflects the current political tides.

  • This isn’t the first time a new Mayor has done this. Richard Riordan saw Franklin White as being the choice of Tom Bradley and Riordan (assisted by Richard Alatorre) engineered White’s ouster. BTW White was horrible but I was disappointed things were done for political reasons not incompetence.

  • You did not mention that Art’s previous job was with OCTA which is now the lead agency for the LOSSAN corridor. Hopefully, through these contacts, Metrolink can become better integrated with the other passenger railroad operators in the region, namely Amtrak’s Surfliner and NCTD’s Coaster.
    And if you want high salaries, take a look at what the construction authorities’ CEOs make.

  • ivan kalchen

    I would agree in full they would hire for now,

    When in comes to art and more particularly the idea of painting and the knowledge they present it’s difficult to say that it comes of like a challenge(at least I think so) and you should never thing of is a something else but expression. Even DK Paints and said it.

  • Nick A

    Can’t they just raise the rates to expand the bus service at night time? The bus service in LA should be as good as NYs


    The Metrolink train is an untapped wealth of potential ridership. An increase the frequency and amount of trains on each line will be needed if the true potential ridership is to be realized. Furthermore, an increase in the bicycle infrastructure is an emerging issue. As daily bicycle commuters on Metrolink, we have noticed an increase in bicycle filling up the Ventura County line — which is one of the least populated lines. If this is the case for the Ventura LIne, we can only imagine that there is a greater need on more populated lines. We need to have a dedicated bicycle car on every Metrolink train to accommodate a growing culture of bicycle commuters/tourists. Visit our site and sign the petition if you enjoy riding a bicycle and train — blended commute —

  • ranzchic

    Yeah, the current NCTD integration is very poor in particular. The daily connection between the Coaster and Metrolink at Oceanside is only a 4 minute wait!

    The countless number of times I have seen people rush to ONE Metrolink machine only to be left by the connecting train (because it is on the other side of the track). It’s pretty heartbreaking to see, especially since A) there is no convenient way to pay for metrolink or the coaster in advance and B) Metrolink and Coaster fares are non refundable if you miss the only train connecting both.

  • Metrolink Pomona Valley Line

    Our Metrolink’s Southern California Regional Rail Authority to 536 miles of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties, and also our New 8th line to the voted to the Pomona Valley Line is coming soon to Ontario, California one for Ontario-Downtown and one for Ontario Airport until year 2020.

    Metrolink Ventura County Line
    Metrolink Antelope Valley Line
    Metrolink San Bernardino Line
    Metrolink Riverside Line
    Metrolink 91/Perris Valley Line
    Metrolink Orange County Line
    Metrolink Inland Empire-Orange County Line

  • Metrolink Pomona Valley Line

    Metrolink’s Pomona Valley Line we have two (2) future new Metrolink Stations in Ontario, California one for Downtown Ontario and one for Ontario Airport is coming soon in Summer 2020 to start a test train in early-May 2019 and will be start a new train service in June 22, 2020 on the Metrolink’s Pomona Valley Line from San Bernardino to L.A. Union Station the first train is departing from San Bernardino at 5:05 AM, the next train is San Bernardino at 5:50 AM, the next train is San Bernardino at 6:45 AM & last train is San Bernardino at 7:15 AM in the morning commute headed to work be ready, and also to peak trains is going to Downtown Pomona from San Bernardino also is departs San Bernardino at 8:30 AM, 12:00 PM & 3:45 PM is arrival time to Pomona-Downtown at 9:15 AM, 12:48 PM & 4:30 PM, and also to to return back home from Downtown Pomona is departing at 9:40 AM, 1:20 PM & 5:00 PM is arrival time to San Bernardino at 10:25 AM, 2:05 PM & 5:57 PM is last arrival stop to San Bernardino also to lunch appointments, work or school and also the Omnitrans Bus Route 61 in Pomona Transit Center and also to Omnitrans Bus Route 1 and also to the new Omnitrans Bus Route 13 the buses are rolling in to the Omnitrans Bus Route 13 from San Bernardino Metrolink Station to Cal State San Bernardino, the afternoon & evening commute getting home for after work is depart from Los Angeles Union Station at 3:30 PM, 4:20 PM, 5:35 PM and 7:00 PM on last train also the final destination stop is arrival time to San Bernardino at 8:45 PM

    Los Angeles Union Station
    Downtown Pomona
    Downtown Ontario
    Ontario Airport
    San Bernardino


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