Chief Operating Officer

City of Madison, Full time

      City of Madison Metro Transit

Seeks People Oriented Chief Operating Officer

TransPro Executive Placement, leaders in public sector executive recruitment, is pleased to present the following opportunity.

Job Title:                    Chief Operating Officer

Description:  The Chief Operating Officer is an executive level position, reporting to the General Manager and provides leadership and direction for Metro’s directly operated fixed route and contracted paratransit operations to optimize organizational effectiveness. Passionate about customer experience, racial equity, and employee morale and retention, the position is expected to identify and implement innovative approaches and technologies to improve customer service, performance, safety, and teamwork on a continuous basis. This position is responsible for infusing racial equity, social justice and inclusion goals, principles, and tools, into all aspects of work at Metro Transit and the City of Madison. The position shall exemplify and set the tone for continuous improvement throughout the organization and assure cost-effective use of available resources.


Location:                    Madison, Wisconsin


Salary Range:            $104,672 - $141,308

Why Metro Transit:   Madison is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the country. A flourishing restaurant scene, more than 200 miles of bike paths and trails, excellent healthcare, a world renowned research university, and five beautiful lakes make our community a thriving, vibrant place to call home.  Madison was ranked as the #1 best place to live in both 2021 and 2022 by

Metro Transit is a department of the City of Madison but operates regionally through nine separate partnership agreements with surrounding cities, the University of Wisconsin, and the Madison School District.  In 2019, Metro Transit provided more than 13 million fixed-route and paratransit rides and has recovered nearly 70% of that as of summer 2022. The region is ranked 24th nationally in ridership per capita for Urbanized Zone Areas over 200,000 people and #5 in the country on WalletHub’s Cities with the Best Public Transportation list.

Metro Transit is leading an innovative mobility program of expanding transit options. Metro is breaking ground on a $186 million Bus Rapid Transit line in late 2022, which is expected to be operational in 2024.  A complete Network Redesign has been approved by the City Council and is planned for implementation in 2023.  And Metro is upgrading technology and fare collection systems, while also bringing a second operational facility online.

With a new organizational alignment in place, a portfolio of cutting-edge projects, and a strong culture of transit ridership, Metro Transit is a great place for a strategic, creative, leader to bring expertise and actionable strategies to life.


The City of Madison is committed to fairness, justice, and equal outcomes for all. People of color, people of diverse genders, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Essential Responsibilities and Knowledge:

  • Provide overall leadership, strategy, coordination and monitoring of the operations and staff of Metro Fixed Route and Paratransit Operations through subordinate managers, supervisors, and front line staff.
    • Be visible and accessible to employees to maintain strong unit morale and accountability
    • Establish roles, unit priorities, long-term plans, equity approaches and strategies to meet objectives
    • Review, develop, implement and monitor enforcement of policies and procedures through an equity lens necessary for the effective management and operation of these units.
    • Evaluate services provided by these units and make adjustments as needed
    • Establish and monitor goals and objectives with subordinate managers
    • Provide necessary coordination between the units and their programs to maximize efficiency and quality of services.
    • Develop business management systems, strategic objectives, and key performance indicators; analyze and utilize data to make management decisions and measure organizational performance


  • Lead high-level labor relations activities and the implementation of policies and procedures as defined by the GM and the City’s Labor Relations Manager.
    • Develop relationships with Union Business Agents
    • Lead negotiations of new contracts
    • Resolve issues where a policy may be unclear and/or procedures are lacking.


  • Lead the operational planning of major projects, including:
    • Develop operational plans
    • Determine and project staffing, training, and operating budget needs
    • Execute City processes to ensure unit needs are met
    • Develop new processes for specific organizational needs, including equity goals and processes
    • Develop and coordinate purchased or supplemental transportation services
    • Identify grant opportunities and participate in the development of grant applications


  • Keep up to date on industry trends, technologies and peer agency projects. Share information with other Metro units.


  • Understand, interpret, and/or act as official accountable executive for a variety of mandatory federal processes and programs, including but not limited to:
    • Public Transit Agency Safety Plan
    • FTA Triennial Reviews
    • National Transit Database
    • Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Complementary Paratransit


  • Represent and speak on behalf of the division in meetings with various entities, including:
    • The Federal Transit Administration
    • City of Madison Common Council, boards, and commissions
    • Partner cities’ Council, boards, and commissions
    • Business partner organizations
    • Neighborhood, community, business, and other special interest groups


  • Coordinate with other City of Madison departments and divisions, including the development of modification of processes.


  • Serve as a member of the Metro Executive Team and act for and on behalf of the General Manager as needed.


Key Competencies & Characteristics:

  • Ability to serve and engage with the community and employees
  • Strong project management skills and techniques
  • Ability to handle crisis situations effectively and quickly
  • Thorough knowledge of public sector processes.
  • Proficient in planning, organizing, and administering programs, services and activities.
  • Thorough knowledge of related staff management principles and practices
  • Knowledge of racial equity, social justice, inclusion, and belonging concepts and principles
  • Strategic planner and thinker, including ability to lead long-term planning efforts.
  • Ability to represent departmental interests in a wide variety of inter-agency contexts.
  • Ability to plan, develop, administer and evaluate departmental programs.
  • Implement plans to create an inclusive workplace and provide equitable services.
  • Ability to effectively lead and participate in diverse committee efforts
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a team environment.
  • Ability to exercise considerable judgment in the development, interpretation/application of departmental work rules, standards, policies and procedures.
  • Ability to present before large groups.
  • Ability to manage a large staff and multiple facilities



  • 5 years experience in a transportation or logistics role
  • 3 years of progressively responsible leadership including leading a group of people
  • 3 years of project management experience


The incumbent of this position will be expected to attend frequent Common Council and Board of Public Words as well as other public meetings as required. Such meetings generally take place outside the regular workday during evening hours.

Employment will be subject to a five-year employment contract negotiated by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council and a term of the contract requires residency in the City of Madison. Non-residents will be given time to establish residency if necessary.

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