Richard Sarles was appointed General Manager and Chief Executive Officer by the Metro Board of Directors effective January 2011.
Sarles has more than 40 years of experience in the transit industry with WMATA, NJ TRANSIT, Amtrak, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
He was appointed Interim General Manager of Metro in April 2010 and in his short tenure at the helm of the Authority, Sarles has set the agency on a course to improve safety, reliability and financial stability. He has led dozens of actions to improve safety including strengthening the safety department, expanding training agencywide, establishing a new Roadway Worker Protection program, creating a safety hotline, enhancing a Whistleblower Protection policy, as well as establishing a new employee safety recognition program. He has spearheaded the replacement of buses and MetroAccess vehicles, and the acquisition of new rolling stock -- 7000 series rail cars equipped with advance crashworthiness technology. Under his leadership, Metro has a $5 billion six-year capital improvement program dedicated to improving safety, customer reliability and state-of good repair. To enhance transparency and public accountability, Sarles also established a new online Vital Signs performance measurement system.
Metro has approximately 10,000 employees and provides approximately 1.2 million passenger trips daily on rail, bus and MetroAccess.
Prior to joining Metro, Sarles served (2007-2010) as Executive Director of New Jersey TRANSIT. There he opened River LINE light rail service in southern New Jersey, and oversaw the extension of both the Newark Light Rail and Hudson Bergen Light Rail services.
From 2002 to 2007, Sarles served as New Jersey Transit's Assistant Executive Director for Capital Programs and Planning, managing the agency's $1.3 billion annual capital program as well as all three light rail operations in the state. In that capacity, he oversaw a customer-focused design process and introduction of New Jersey's first ever multi-level rail cars, which proved extremely popular with customers and have become the standard for the system's fleet.
Sarles served at Amtrak from 1996 until 2002 as Assistant Vice President, then Vice President leading the Northeast Corridor's High-Speed Rail program. He directed Amtrak's $2 billion high-speed rail project that brought Acela train service to the Northeast Corridor and electrified the railroad for the first time in history from New Haven, CT, to Boston, MA.
Sarles previously served for more than 20 years in construction, project management and project planning roles with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. During his tenure with the Port Authority, Sarles led a successful effort to overhaul and manufacture new PATH cars. He also oversaw the modernization of major trans-Hudson facilities, including vehicle tunnels, bridges and PATH.
His long career has been spent entirely in public service, inspired by both life and educational experiences. Sarles earned his Masters of Business Administration degree from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Engineering from The Cooper Union in New York.