Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide)

Manager of Bus Operations

To Apply

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries and/or resume and salary requirements may be directed in confidence to:

Christopher Boylan, Director
Transportation & Infrastructure Practice
Harris Rand Lusk Executive Search
122 East 42 Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168



Reporting to the Deputy CEO, Operations, and as a member of the Senior Management Team, the Manager of Bus Operations provides divisional leadership and management oversight to ensure the TheRide’s fixed-route bus services maintain the highest standards of safety, customer satisfaction, efficiency, and overall excellence in service delivery.  S/he also ensures the department has appropriate processes, procedures and systems in place to meet the Authority’s service and strategic goals.  Direct reports include Transportation Supervisors, the Operations Training Supervisor, and an Administrative Assistant.

Essential Functions

Lead/oversee all activities associated with fixed-route bus operations for the agency in order to advance the agency’s overall direction, ensure compliance, and manage risks.

  • Oversees, through supervisory staff, the implementation of an effective, reliable and courteous fixed-route bus operations services in order to advance the agency’s goals and ensure a high level of customer satisfaction. Maintain and strengthen the department’s reputation for excellence in service delivery.
  • Proactively enhance workplace and customer safety in order to minimize injuries associated with department activities. Assist the Deputy CEO, Operations to cultivate a culture of safety in the department. Work with Human Resources to advance organizational safety.
  • Create a culture of teamwork, continuous improvement, collaboration and proactive problem solving. Assist the Deputy CEO, Operations with major change initiatives and improvements in order to enhance service delivery.
  • Foster excellent workforce communications, working relationships and personal connections. Oversee consistent implementation of work rules and labor contract administration and compliance. Coordinate with Human Resources in labor relations and collective bargaining.
  • Foster excellent relationships with outside stakeholders including operational staff in nearby local government in order to enhance service delivery, advance agency objectives and maintain the agency’s credibility.
  • Assist with reporting for agency-wide compliance (i.e. FTA Triennial Review, NTD reporting), and lead coordination as required.
  • Limit the agency’s exposure to risk, proactively identifying risks and establishing internal controls and mitigations.
  • Ensure integrity of resource allocation and budgets. Proactively work to coordinate resource priorities. Develop and utilize performance metrics to monitor performance of operations.
  • Lead the agency’s preparation for and implementation of emergency operations situations (i.e. disaster response and recovery).

Provide senior leadership and supervision for the Bus Operations Department for the purpose of developing a high-performance team that can deliver services effectively and efficiently in a changing environment.

  • Model and promote appropriate behaviors to foster a positive workplace culture.
  • Inspire staff to enhance employee engagement. Help staff to understand the agency’s common purpose, values, ideals, and goals. Help staff to understand how their role contributes to the overall success of the team and impacts in the community. Translate the agency’s strategic direction into divisional strategies.
  • Encourage reflection and innovation in order to create an atmosphere of learning, growth and continuous improvement. Identify emerging trends, challenges and opportunities. Assist with change leadership.
  • Ensure effective communication and coordination within the department, and between the department and other parts of the organization. Assist in communication with Executive Team, Senior Management Team, Board members, staff, and partners. Establish cross-functional teams as needed.
  • Foster delegation, empowerment and collaboration for staff in order to encourage staff growth, organizational productivity and superior results.
  • Ensure recognitions and celebrations to enhance employee engagement, pride, loyalty, and commitment to team and community (esprit de corps).
  • Help staff reach their potential in order to enhance individual and organizational capacity. Provide clear expectations, coaching and feedback to direct reports in order to build on strengths, and foster learning and continuous improvement. Hold staff accountable for decisions, behaviors and actions. Establish employee development and succession plans.

Ensure effective and efficient approaches to resource management throughout the department for the purposes of delivering agreed upon results.

  • Work to ensure the department delivers agreed-upon results with the appropriate balance of quality, cost and timeliness. Oversee the implementation of key projects or initiatives.
  • Establish and recommend appropriate allocation of people and resources to ensure successful and efficient fixed-route bus service delivery to internal and external customers.
  • Establish and recommend appropriate policies, processes, procedures, and systems to help effectively and efficiently handle workload. Establish appropriate organizational structures, and vertical and lateral communication flows. Ensure all are documented clearly.
  • Demonstrate strong fiscal management including overseeing budgets, monitoring and managing financial resources, deadlines, and performance measures.
  • Work towards smooth functioning between departments.
  • Manage compliance with all relevant agency, regulatory, legislative and policy requirements, including those related to safety and privacy, confidentiality and record management. Manage risks, assets, and liabilities.
  • As delegated by the immediate supervisor, arrange/negotiate contracts, agreements, partnerships and other undertakings with outside organizations, ensuring the parameters of Authority policies are met.

Participate in senior agency leadership to ensure the development and success of the overall organization.

  • As a member of the Senior Management Team help to clarify and implement the agency’s strategic direction, administrative policies and decisions as required.
  • Operate as an interface between Senior Management Team and staff in order to foster strong and effective vertical and lateral communications and information flow.
  • Ensure intra and inter-divisional communication and collaboration to clarify expectations, maximize integration, resolve misunderstandings, minimize overlaps, leverage economies of scale, improve overall organizational capabilities, and realize efficiencies.  Support cross-functional teams as needed.
  • Perform other leadership duties, which may include acting for his/her immediate supervisor.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in operations, logistics, Business Administration, Public Administration, or related field; or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively more responsible leadership roles related to operations, preferably in a public transit agency, government, or similar environment.
  • Minimum of 3 years supervisory experience required.
  • Experience with transportation operations is essential.
  • Experience with Federal Transit Administration programs and requirements strongly desired.
  • Ability to analyze, recommend, and implement solutions to complex operational problems.
  • Considerable knowledge & skill in assisting w/preparation, development and administration of short & long-range strategic plans, complex and comprehensive reports and documents.
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, Board members and the public.
  • Ability to contribute to senior leadership of agency, lead and work in teams, inspire staff, and work without close supervision.
  • Ability to inspire direct reports while helping them succeed and hold them accountable.

Competitive, dependent on experience.
Equal Employment Opportunity
AAATA/TheRide is an equal opportunity employer.

AAATA/TheRide reserves the right to revise the functions and duties of the position, or to require that additional or different tasks be performed when circumstances change (i.e. organizational restructuring, emergencies, staff shortages, work load changes, or technological developments.)

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168