Transit Director

Organization: Blacksburg Transit Department

Location: Blacksburg, Va.

Deadline: Initial application review will begin on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Salary: The projected starting salary range is $90,000 – $112,000 per year, and is negotiable, based on qualifications and experience. The town provides excellent benefits that include health insurance, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits through the Virginia Retirement System.

Description: Blacksburg Transit Department seeks a Transit Director. Blacksburg Transit (BT) provides safe, courteous, reliable, accessible and affordable public transportation to the citizens of Blacksburg, Virginia Tech, and partnering communities within the New River Valley. The department serves a diverse customer base in Blacksburg and Christiansburg through a variety of public transportation services including: fixed route, demand response/paratransit and commuter services. Ridership for fiscal year 2019 was 4.6 million passenger trips, making it the fourth highest ridership of all bus systems in Virginia. Growth in ridership was 33% over the three-year period prior to the pandemic. The department’s 2020-21 operating budget is $10.8 million, along with a Capital Improvement Program, (CIP) planned budget of $8 million. A significant portion of the local funding for transit services comes from Virginia Tech.

Blacksburg is a beautiful town located in the New River Valley of Virginia, nestled on a plateau between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. Blacksburg serves as the hub of the Roanoke/New River Valley region. Established in 1798, Blacksburg has grown from a town of a few dozen families to a population of over 42,000 people, making it the largest town in Virginia. The town is comprised of a healthy, highly educated and diverse population, making it a very progressive community with a high quality of life. Blacksburg has activities that appeal to young professionals, families and seniors. There are numerous parks to choose from, making the town an excellent venue for the outdoors lover.

Duties and Responsibilities: The successful candidate for the director position will exhibit the skills and traits as outlined below:

Professional Skills, Personal Traits and Management Style

  • Demonstrates honest and ethical leadership
  • Functions as a department leader with the ability to inspire, motivate, guide, direct and challenge department employees to achieve organizational goals, maintaining accessibility to all.
  • Participates as a member of the town’s Leadership Team, developing and maintaining a positive relationship with other team members, town council and town staff
  • Values a culture of innovation and creativity, and consistently invests in employee development
  • Develops and maintains a strong relationship with various stakeholder groups including federal, state and local governmental agencies; Virginia Tech; regional transit systems; regional authorities/commissions; as well as other system partners throughout the region and state
  • Values, develops and maintains good public relations with citizens and applicable community groups, as well as the local news media
  • Acknowledges the necessity of staying current in the use of technology throughout the system

Expectations of the New Director: Blacksburg is a highly progressive community with substantial resources, but one that faces challenges and opportunities now and in the future. Several focus areas have been identified which the town manager feels will need to be addressed by the new director working with the manager, deputy manager, fellow department heads and department employees. A representative listing of these includes:

  • Recognize the challenges and opportunities presented by a university community
  • Analyze departmental staffing needs, allocation of existing resources, and cohesiveness of the divisions to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness
  • Build upon the success of existing services and foster an environment that encourages creative thinking and proactive solutions
  • Address changes in federal and state grant funding and the impacts on local funding, including a review of the existing fare structure
  • Prepare the organization for the retirement of key staff members over the next 5-10 years
  • Complete the construction of the Multimodal Transit Facility (MMTF) in coordination with DRPT, FTA, Virginia Tech and other regional stakeholders
  • Complete the construction of the renovation and expansion of BT’s administration, operations and maintenance facility
  • Continue the transition to electric buses
  • Implement route analysis and operational recommendations in conjunction with the creation of the MMTF
  • Provide an environment that encourages creative solutions to improve and maintain positive morale within the department
  • Expand and enhance interaction and feedback from the public regarding service for the entire customer base

Qualifications:

Education and Knowledge: A bachelor’s degree with coursework in business or public administration, transportation planning or a related field is required. A thorough knowledge of the principles, practices, methods and equipment related to public transportation is also required, along with a general knowledge of the geography of the service area. General knowledge of federal, state and local funding and laws governing vehicular movements is required.

Experience: Extensive experience in public transportation planning/management with a minimum of 7 to 10 years of progressively responsible experience, including a minimum of 5 years in senior management. An additional requirement is experience preparing and monitoring budgets, services, and performance as well as the ability to prepare and present reports.

Other Requirements: The candidate must have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other town and university officials, other government officials, stakeholders and representatives, vendors, businesses, consultants, employees and the general public. The ability to serve on various committees and boards, as well as facilitate the same, is also a requirement.

Additional requirements include the ability to plan, organize, direct, evaluate, motivate and supervise others. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both written and oral formats, including group presentations, is required. The successful candidate must possess a valid Virginia driver’s license with a good driving record. Relocation to Blacksburg is required to occur within a reasonable time after hire. Moving expenses will be reimbursed by the town.

Application Procedure: A Town of Blacksburg application, cover letter, resume, and three professional references must be submitted via https://www.blacksburg.gov/departments/departments-a-k/human-resources/employment-opportunities/blacksburg-transit-director/. Initial application review will begin on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

The Town of Blacksburg is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.