Paul J. Wiedefeld
General Manager and CEO, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
After 35 years in the transportation industry, Paul accepted one of the transit industry’s top positions in 2015 as General Manager/CEO of Metro. Since that time, he has led Metro through some of its most challenging times, including ensuring essential service for the region during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Prior to the Pandemic, many of the programs put in place under Paul’s leadership helped Metro make steady progress in improving safety, service reliability and financial management; rail ridership began to increase after a lengthy decline; and, for the first time in the Authority’s history, Metro secured dedicated capital funding from local, state and federal governments.
This progress was made possible through a series of hard choices to put safety first. In 2016, Paul launched SafeTrack, an aggressive maintenance program that achieved three years of critical track work in just over a year. Following SafeTrack, Metro transitioned to its first-ever preventive maintenance program with longer work hours to improve safety and service reliability for customers. And in 2019, with dedicated revenue bolstering the capital program, Metro started the multi-year Platform Improvement Project to repair crumbling platforms and modernize 20 of Metro’s oldest outdoor stations.
Through his Back2Good program, Metrorail delivered nine out of every 10 customers to their destinations on time. Customer satisfaction reached the highest levels in recent years, and Metro has received a clean, on-time financial audit for four consecutive years. Paul has focused on improving the customer experience, introducing new customer amenities, such as the Rush Hour Promise—the first service guarantee of its kind in the transit industry. As Paul continues working to make Metro the transit provider of choice in the Nation’s Capital, he is also focused on becoming an employer of choice in the region.
Prior to joining Metro, Paul was the CEO of BWI Airport. During his tenure, 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 served for a decade as a consultant with the international engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff. He has a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.