|HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner on Thursday nominated a well-respected engineer, long-time community leader, and current METRO board member to serve as the next Chair of the public transit agency.
Watch full news conference hereSanjay «Ram» Ramabhadran has served on the METRO Board of Directors since May 2015 and is the current Chair of the Capital & Strategic Planning Committee and a member of the Finance & Audit Committee. He has helped oversee the planning, design, construction, and launch of major projects, including METRONext, that enhance mobility throughout the region. These projects include a multi-million-dollar program ensuring universal accessibility for passengers with a range of disabilities. He also worked to expand METRORapid, the agency’s bus rapid transit (BRT) service. Initially a single north-south route connecting Uptown to two major transit centers, the service will also include the Inner Katy Line, connecting Uptown and downtown, and the University Line, which will be the longest BRT line in the nation. He is working to enhance the travel time, reliability, and access for 17 of METRO’s high ridership bus routes as part of the BOOST initiative.
«As a prepared and proven leader, Sanjay is ready to steer Texas’ largest metropolitan transit authority,» Mayor Turner said. «His leadership will play a big role in getting the ambitious METRONext and other projects right.»
«It is an honor of a lifetime to serve the City of Houston and the entire region. I truly appreciate the trust and confidence in me to build the future of METRO. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the METRO Board, the CEO, and the 4,100 strong METRO family,» said Ramabhadran. «These men and women are frontline heroes in their own right. 24/7 and 365 days a year, they work to move Houstonians. Not just during a regular work week or for a baseball game, but when it is most needed, during a flood, hurricane, or pandemic.»
Ramabhadran will replace Carrin Patman, who is stepping down following her nomination by the Biden Administration to serve as ambassador to Iceland.
She is METRO’s first woman to serve as board chair, appointed in 2016 by Mayor Sylvester Turner. She previously served as a METRO board member from 2010 to 2013.
As Chair, Carrin led the successful passage of the $3.5 billion METRONext bond measure. METRONext calls for 500 miles of travel improvements in the region over the next 20 years.
«I am grateful to Carrin Patman for all she has done in the advancement of providing safe, clean, reliable, accessible, and friendly public transportation services to our region,» said Mayor Turner.
Patman’s last day as METRO Chair will be Thursday, February 24, 2022.
Ramabhadran will be the first Indo-American who will serve as METRO’s Chair. Combined with his historic appointment of Patman as the first woman to lead METRO’s board of directors, Mayor Turner said the appointments of two accomplished individuals underscore Houston’s strength as a diverse and inclusive city.
«There is incredible talent in our city. That gives me hope that no matter what challenges we face, we will overcome those challenges if we work together,» Mayor Turner said.