Is the SF MTA’s Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel Ford actively looking to get out of San Francisco and away from our beleaguered transit agency? If an article from a D.C. area radio station is correct, it sure looks that way, as he’s reportedly applied for the top position at Metro, Washington’s transit system.
According to WTOP, a Washington, D.C. area radio station, Ford, renowned as San Francisco’s highest paid public employee, is “one potential candidate” for the role of General Manager of Metro, which has been searching for a new GM since the previous GM abruptly announced his resignation in January.
Metro reportedly hopes to move swiftly to fill the role, with reports suggesting that they’d like to bring on a new GM as soon as October.
If Ford were to be awarded the Metro job, he’d be joining former Muni Chief Safety Officer and Director of Transportation Safety Jim Dougherty, who left the SF MTA after little more than a year for the role of Chief Safety Officer at Metro.
However, Ford’s ascent to Metro GM is hardly a given — according to WTOP‘s Adam Tuss, “Ford’s name is just one on a list that sources now say contains more than 20 names.”
Today, however, it’s business as usual for Ford, who’s expected to present the SF MTA’S annual report “on the state of the Agency and discuss future plans” (from a press release from the MTA) at a special meeting of the MTA board of directors at 9 AM today (here’s the agenda).
How badass would it be if Ford was all “I’M OUTTA HERE (drop mic)” at the meeting? Unlikely, I know, but fun to imagine.
An early morning call to hardworking SF MTA spokesperson Paul Rose yielded neither a confirmation nor a denial on Ford’s possible exit plans, with Rose saying he’d check with Ford and get back to us. We’ll, of course, update when he does.
Update: Rose followed up with me by phone this afternoon, giving me the identical speaking points Ford gave to other news outlets: that Ford was approached by Metro (not the other way around), that he’s had neither any serious conversations nor an interview with D.C.’s transit agency, and that Ford is “focused on the MTA and building a framework for its future.”