Paul J. Wiedefeld
General Manager and CEO, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
In his first year as General Manager/CEO, Metro began moving to improve safety, reliability and get its financial house in order. Paul recruited a high-caliber executive team, including a new Chief Safety Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Internal Business Operations, and General Counsel. A new set of accountability measures for employees were introduced, including rules governing nepotism and ethics, and all managers were designated “at-will.” Under his leadership, Metro is making tough choices to curtail expenses, including reducing the workforce by 500 positions, cutting health care expenses, privatizing parking, and marketing its headquarters real estate.
Importantly, Metro riders are beginning to see more customer-friendly features such as the new rail exit/entry grace period, a modern website geared for mobile users, and online customer service support through social media. Twenty-two of the popular new (7000 series) trains have been placed into passenger service. And Paul has launched an aggressive plan to accomplish three years of track rehabilitation work in about a year. SafeTrack has received broad regional support for improving safety and reliability. In just a little over 4 months, the program has replaced thousands more rail ties than Metro previously achieved in an entire year.
Prior to joining Metro, Paul served as the CEO of BWI Airport. Under his leadership BWI grew to become the leading passenger airport in the Washington metropolitan region. To support this growth he managed the largest capital expansion in the Airport's history, including the construction of a 26-gate terminal for Southwest airlines, an 8,400-space parking garage and a modern consolidated rental car facility.
Paul also served as the CEO of the Maryland Transit Administration, managing day-to-day operations of the nation’s 13th largest transit system, including MARC commuter rail, subway, light rail, buses and paratransit.
In the private sector, Paul has ten years’ experience as a consultant with the international engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff.