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A Playbook for the New Metro Transit General Manager 

Metro Transit Bus 21A in Saint Paul

Since the departure of the previous Metro Transit General Manager, Move Minnesota has been advocating for a leader with a strong vision to make the Twin Cities transit system among the best in the nation. Following the announcement of Lesley Kandaras as the new GM, Executive Director Sam Rockwell published a commentary in the Minnesota Reformer highlighting key priorities for her first 100 days.

Just months ago, Metro Transit faced a projected $130 million annual operating shortfall. 

Now, thanks to decades of advocacy from community members and bold leadership from legislative champions, Metro Transit is a solvent agency with abundant resources to invest in our region’s future.

With upwards of $450 million annually in new funding, Metro Transit’s strong financial footing allows the agency to build a faster, more efficient transit system to attract new riders and better serve existing patrons, which in turn will help reduce climate pollution, provide excellent and affordable access to opportunity, and create healthier communities.  

But money alone isn’t enough. 

We also need strong, visionary leaders at Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council who can seize this moment of opportunity with the level of urgency and initiative necessary to meet the needs of our people and our climate. And we need Gov. Tim Walz’s administration to clearly voice its backing of bold Metro Transit and Metropolitan Council leadership.

As a longtime transit rider and Met Council staff member since 2012, Lesley Kandaras has the experience, knowledge and relationships to transform public transportation in the Twin Cities. Her first 180 days as General Manager will be critical in setting a new tone and trajectory for the agency…