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METRO President & CEO Announces Plans to Retire

Tom Lambert
Tom Lambert
HOUSTON, TX — METRO's longest serving President & CEO Tom Lambert announces plans to retire from the agency at the end of this year. Lambert began serving as President & CEO in 2013.

During that time, Lambert has led a team of more than 4,000 working each day to deliver safe, clean, reliable, and accessible public transportation for customers across the authority's 1,300 square mile service area.

“I have been blessed to have worked with talented staff, a dedicated board, and a wonderful community of partners to provide outstanding multimodal transit options to this region. But after nearly 45 years at METRO, now is the right time to retire,“ Lambert said. “I look forward to working over the next 11 months to advance the METRONext transit plan and other important initiatives. I also look forward to celebrating the people at METRO and in the community who are dedicated to providing the best in transit.”

Lambert negotiated an extension to his current contract to continue with the agency until December 31, 2023.

“METRO and the region have benefited tremendously from Tom's leadership and service. I certainly understand his desire to close out his very successful career at METRO and spend more time with his family,” said METRO Board Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran. “This time frame ensures that we continue to focus on services and build on the momentum of METRONext while transitioning to the next chapter of leadership.”

Under Lambert's leadership, METRO expanded light rail service, launching the Green and Purple lines in 2015. That same year the agency also redesigned its entire local bus network, improving transit options seven days a week. The reimagined service became a template for transit organizations across the country and the globe. Just a few of METRO's other successes on Lambert's watch include:

  • Providing community support and special services in the wake of Hurricane Harvey
  • Improving and expanding METROLift, the paratransit service for persons with disabilities
  • Receiving the American Public Transportation Association’s Outstanding Public Transportation System Award in 2015 and 2020
  • Receiving the Texas Transit Association Outstanding Metropolitan Transit System of the Year Award in 2017
  • Enhancing the customer experience with real-time service alerts, Next Bus Arrival Texting, Q Mobile Ticketing, and digital signage at transit centers, bus stops, and Park & Rides
  • Improving coordination with the city of Houston, the 14 smaller cities, Harris County, and other regional partners
  • Creating an Office of Innovation that established a Climate Action Plan to reduce METRO's carbon footprint and move toward zero emissions vehicles
  • Hosting a Super Bowl, two World Series, and two Astros Victory Parades, breaking ridership records
  • Receiving multiple awards for transparency and financing

Lambert, who was named American Public Transportation Association's Outstanding Manager in 2018, is currently overseeing the implementation of a $7.5 billion voter-approved plan, which includes 500 miles of travel improvements including new METRORapid bus rapid transit projects, BOOST enhancements to high frequency bus routes, and upgrades to 9,000 bus stops to ensure they meet or exceed ADA standards.

Lambert joined METRO in 1979, its first full year of operation. Following the creation of the METRO Police Department in 1982, Lambert became its first Chief of Police. He has also served as Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President.
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