TriMet wants your help to select their next general manager

Posted by on March 11th, 2021 at 4:19 pm

TriMet’s three previous GMs: Fred Hansen, Neil McFarlane, and Doug Kelsey.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The resignation of TriMet’s head honcho back in December has set off a flurry of organizing to make sure the agency picks a different kind of leader this time around.

Now the folks in charge of our regional transit system are asking for your input to make the choice. An online survey wants to know, “What experience, values and priorities are most important to you when it comes to selecting a new general manager?”

Given the importance of transit to our climate change and livability goals, the Getting There Together Coalition has led an effort to educate the community about the stakes of this position.


Among their demands are a commitment to an equitable and inclusive hiring process that includes transit-dependent people who’ve been historically left out of these decisions.

“We are in need of fresh, new leadership from TriMet with a clear vision to proactively champion transit as an essential ingredient to addressing our region’s growing inequality, carbon emissions, and as a job creator to tackle the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic,” reads a statement from the coalition. “Local community stakeholders have spoken loudly and for too many years about the need for basic improvements such as shelter at stops and increased bus frequency, as well as expansion of bus service to reach more people and essential destinations in the region.”

If you care about transportation reform in Portland and beyond, please take a few minutes to share your input via the survey. To learn more about the hiring process, check out

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I visited this article earlier, and there was a comment about the similarity between the three prior GMs (a pretty snarky one, but honestly what I was thinking too). That comment has since been deleted? But the BikePortland instagram story had almost the exact same comment? I don’t follow.


That’s what they said about ODOT. ODOTs want your opinion on who to hire, lots of input ignored….faceplant…. Look who they hired. Until that situation is cleared up I don’t have a lot of hope. Hiring conservative persons of color and importing them from other parts of the USA is not diversity. Lets make sure they have the right OREGON values of environmental ethics. Not some fantasy end of the Oregon Trail pow wow circle jerky.