Litchfield named permanent transit director
Brian Litchfield was named permanent transit director Monday after about 10 months serving as interim director.
Town Manager Roger Stancil announced the appointment in an email to the Town Council.
Stancil said Litchfield has “proven his leadership skills” and has become an integral and contributing member of the town’s senior management team.
“He is the right leader in place as we consider the challenges of public transportation in our community for the future,” Stancil said in a statement.
Litchfield replaces Steve Spade, who left to take the top post for Wichita Transit in Wichita, Kan.
“I am humbled and honored to be appointed as the next director for Chapel Hill Transit and am excited to continue working with our excellent team of employees, customers, and our funding partners to provide high quality and customer focused transit services to the communities we serve,” Litchfield said in a statement.
He added that his goals will be to focus on employees, safety, finances and providing the best possible service to customers.
“While we have our challenges, together we will build on our past success to help move Chapel Hill Transit forward in the coming years,” Litchfield said.
One of those challenges to which Litchfield is referring involves maintaining the state’s second largest transit system during a time when state and federal funding is decreasing.
One penny of the town’s recent 2-cent tax increase was earmarked to shore up an $872,000 decrease in state funding for fiscal year 2013-14.
During his 10-month stint as interim director, Litchfield has also guided the transit system through a stretch involving controversial bus ads that led the council to adopt new rules for such ads.
Litchfield has also guided the transit system through the development of a new fee structure under which motorists who use the town’s park and ride lots will pay $2 per day, $21 monthly or $250 per year to use those lots.
The announcement that Litchfield had been named the permanent director drew praise from members of the Town Council, who rushed to congratulate him in email and on Twitter.
“I’m delighted, but not at all surprised by this decision, as I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand how ably Brian has managed and led CHT through the significant challenges he’s faced over the last 10 months,” Councilman Jim Ward said in a council email.
Mayor Pro Tem Ed Harrison said the town’s transit partners and the Triangle’s regional transit providers will be pleased that the Litchfield has been selected to fill the permanent slot.
“The regional transit providers will be very delighted about this,” said Harrison, vice chairman of the Triangle Transit’s Board of Trustees.
Litchfield came to Chapel Hill in 2008 to become the assistant transit director.
Before that, he was chief development officer for the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) in Des Moines, Iowa.
Litchfield also held a previous position as a community development planner at the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council in Sioux City, Iowa, where he managed grant programs for the Sioux City Transit System, Siouxland Regional Transit System, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Litchfield has a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing and a master's degree in business administration, both from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.