SANTA MONICA—Media Contact, Robert McCall of the city of Santa Monica indicated in an email to Canyon News that the city’s Department of Transportation Director Ed King announced that he will retire in August 2023. King has over 46 years of service in public transportation, spending the last 12 years as director for Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, and recently the Department of Transportation. His tenure in Santa Monica is preceded by leadership roles at Long Beach Transit and the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority.
“I started my career in transportation as a traffic checker, then bus operator at the Regional Transportation Authority in Chicago, and am grateful to have worked alongside many remarkable, innovative, and resilient colleagues along the way,” said King. “I have been driven by the meaningful work of keeping communities connected to essential services and opportunities that improve social and economic well-being, and expanding access to safe, sustainable, affordable, and equitable integrated transportation options.”
During his time with Santa Monica, King has led teams whose accomplishments include:
-Developing a state-of-the-art, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certified bus maintenance facility, completed in 2012.
-Becoming one of the country’s first municipal transit agencies to convert its entire fleet to renewable natural gas (RNG), rated 90 percent cleaner than clean diesel, in 2015.
-Completing an award-winning transit system redesign in 2016, resulting in six new bus routes; 53,000 additional annual revenue service hours; construction of over 230 Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible bus stops, and first-last mile improvements through integration with seven E Line (Expo) stations.
-Publishing the Council-adopted Big Blue Bus Service, Design, Performance and Evaluation Guidelines, approved in 2018 and setting clear standards for effective and efficient transit service and ensuring transparent and inclusive stakeholder engagement on service delivery.
-Partnering with rideshare company Lyft to launch Santa Monica’s Mobility On-Demand Every Day (MODE) Program, which has provided nearly 200,000 sedan and wheelchair van rides to eligible residents since its inception in 2018.
-Introducing Big Blue Bus’s first battery-electric bus in 2019, and establishing a Fleet Electrification Master Plan, which outlines the agency’s transition to a 100 percent zero-emissions fleet by 2030.
-Expanding Santa Monica’s bikeway network to over 120 miles and implementing pedestrian access and safety improvements along high-traffic corridors in Santa Monica, including Olympic Boulevard, Ocean Avenue, and Wilshire Boulevard, and at Vision Zero Priority Intersections.
-Maintaining and operating 5,600 on-street parking meters and 46 parking facilities in Santa Monica.
“In his distinguished tenure, Ed has made tremendous improvements to Santa Monica’s transportation network,” said City Manager David White. “He adopted sustainable solutions for our transit fleet, restored services through our economic recovery efforts, and led the Department of Transportation through the challenges of COVID-19. I thank Ed for his steadfast leadership and years of service to our community.”