Metrolink Names Darren Kettle New CEO
At this morning’s meeting of the Metrolink Board of Directors, Darren Kettle was officially named the new CEO of Metrolink. Kettle takes over for Stephanie Wiggins, who began her tenure as CEO at Metro last month. Kettle is currently the executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), one of the five regional transportation agencies that comprise the joint powers authority that governs Metrolink.
“Darren’s breadth of leadership experience includes executive roles in three of our five member counties. From the inland areas to the coastal communities of Ventura County. Darren’s transformative vision and passion for public transportation will well serve Metrolink as the agency continues to meet the needs of and provide more opportunities to Southern Californians,” writes Metrolink Board Chair and Glendale City Councilmember Ara Najarian.
Kettle joins Metrolink at a critical time for the agency. Not only is Metrolink walking the same tightrope of restoring service while insuring rider safety that every transit agency is walking; it has also started a $10 billion capital campaign to improve rail safety and service prior to the 2028 Olympics. The agency has received $2.8 billion funding for the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) Program to date.
“Darren Kettle has been used to working without any money,” said longtime passenger rail advocate Paul Dyson, referring to a failed Ventura County transit ballot measure. “Hopefully he’ll be able to make some progress with the SCORE program in Southern California.”
Kettle’s professional career spans 32 years working for local and regional government agencies including the City of Rialto, the County of San Bernardino, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), his positions with the transportation agencies of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and his position with VCTC. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, San Bernardino.
Metrolink is Southern California’s regional passenger rail service enabling people to connect to their jobs and explore all that the region has to offer. Metrolink is the largest passenger rail agency in California and the third largest in the United States operating seven lines along a 538-mile network that travels across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.