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Head of TransLink steps down as pandemic impacts ridership

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Oct 20, 2020 at 10:50 pm PDT

TransLink has announced CEO Kevin Desmond will step down February 2021. (CityNews)
Summary

Kevin Desmond announced Tuesday he will resign as chief executive officer of the transit authority in February

During Desmond’s tenure, more than $9-billion worth of investments were approved for transit expansion projects

TransLink will hire an executive search firm to try to find his replacement

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As transit ridership plunges due to COVID-19, the head of TransLink says he’ll be leaving in the new year.

Kevin Desmond will be stepping down in February to return to the United States, to seek out a new position.

“It’s a fair amount of time that has gone super fast, running a transit agency that’s 24/7 and my family’s in the United States, and it’s time in consultation with my wife, and family that I return to the U.S,” said Desmond.

RELATED: Head of TransLink leaving as ridership struggles to recover from COVID-19

During Desmond’s tenure, more than $9-billion worth of investments were approved for transit expansion projects.

“I’m really pleased and happy to say that the customer experience side, I think we’ve made a difference. The very large North American leading ridership growth for three years in our region, is a testament I think that if we put a good product out people will use it.”

TransLink has struggled to bounce back from unprecedented low ridership caused by the pandemic. They project between $2 billion to $4.5 billion of revenue losses over the next decade.

“It’s been tough. We had to in March, and April and May kind of reinvent how to deliver transit services. We’re still thinking about different ways to provide transit services to get the general public and our customers feeling confident that it can be safe.”

In the last five years, TransLink has introduced the ‘tap to pay’ fare gates, the 10-minute SeaBus, and the RapidBus Service.

“It’s been an honour to serve this great region,” said Desmond.