CITY HALL — Ed King, the executive director of the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority, has been named the new director of the Big Blue Bus, city officials announced Thursday.

King, who will receive a base salary of $182,040, will oversee a department of 419 employees and an annual budget of $58.9 million. The BBB system provides service to over 22 million riders a year and spans 52 square miles across some of the most densely populated areas of Los Angeles County.

King was selected by City Manager Rod Gould after a nationwide recruitment effort that attracted more than 50 candidates. Gould conducted interviews with seven finalists over the past month.

“Ed King is an exceptional manager with a proven track record in operations management and transportation planning for several large organizations,” Gould said in a prepared statement released to the media. “He brings in-depth experience ranging from transit system improvements focus on service quality and reliability, to strategic transit service planning. He is known for strong management, staff development and budgeting skills.”

During his tenure as executive director in San Luis Obispo, King oversaw all regional and fixed route transit services as well as the capital program for the purchase of buses, paratransit vehicles, trolleys, and bus stop amenities. He focused on operational and funding management improvements, including increasing system-wide ridership and on-time performance, according to City Hall.

Before becoming director in San Luis Obispo, King was deputy director of Valley Metro Regional Public Transit Authority in Phoenix, Ariz. where he oversaw transit operations, fleet and facility maintenance, customer service and capital programs.

He also served as vice president and operations and security for Long Beach Transit; deputy executive director for operations for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority in Clearwater, Fla.; general manager of operations for Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority in Tampa, Fla.; and deputy director of the North Suburban Mass Transit District of Des Plaines, Ill.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next director of the Big Blue Bus …,” King said in a press release. “I look forward to establishing collaborative relationships with our stakeholders as well as working with the city and Big Blue Bus employees to provide transportation services that improve and enhance the quality of life for the residents and visitors of the city.”

King received a master’s degree in urban planning from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He and his wife have three grown children, city officials said.

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