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CapMetro CEO departs, leaving two Austin transit organizations without permanent leadership

Capital Metro Chief Randy Clarke speaks to media at Capital Metro headquarters in 2019.
Michael Minasi
Capital Metro CEO Randy Clarke speaks to the media at Capital Metro headquarters in 2019. Clarke will leave this summer to work at the transit authority in Washington, D.C.

Capital Metro CEO Randy Clarke will leave Austin to head the public transit agency in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced this morning Clarke will take over in late summer as general manager and CEO.

Clark'e five-year agreement with WMATA includes an annual salary of $485,000 and a $4,000 per month housing allowance for up to to six months. At CapMetro, Clarke's 2021 earnings were $376,687.

During his four years at CapMetro, Clarke oversaw the transit agency's biggest overhaul to the city's bus route system. He presided over the agency as Austin voters in November 2020 authorized the single-largest expansion of transit in the city's history.

Clarke’s departure means both transit agencies responsible for overseeing the implementation of that multibillion dollar expansion will be without permanent leaders.

The Austin Transit Partnership — a local government agency created to oversee Project Connect — voted last month to remove Clarke as CEO after a consultant's report recommended a change in governance structure. An interim director was named during the search for a permanent replacement.

And now Capital Metro, which has been struggling to keep routes running on time amid a driver shortage, will be without an executive.

Capital Metro's board of directors will meet this month with Clarke to figure out a transition plan.

"We will certainly miss Randy at CapMetro," Jeffery Travillion, Travis County commissioner and CapMetro board chair, said.

This story and headline have been clarified to reflect that Austin Transit Partnership has an interim leader.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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