Today was the 100th day on the job for Ms. Nuria Fernandez, the newly appointed General Manager for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). For Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 8, she joined a 30-strong VTA bike convoy from downtown San Jose to the VTA headquarters facility on North First Street. You can also see Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager behind and to her left (your right).
Ms. Fernandez lives within walking distance of her office and biked seven miles from her home to downtown San Jose for this ride.
She overseas an agency with over 2,000 employees and contractors. VTA operates the bus and rail transit system, congestion management programs, specific highway improvement projects, and countywide transportation planning for Santa Clara County, California.
Prior to joining VTA, Ms. Fernandez ran the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority as Chief Operating Officer. Before that, she managed operations at O’Hare International Airport, and managed the design and construction of multi-billion dollar rail expansion projects in both Chicago and Washington DC. Fernandez has a BS in Civil Engineering from Bradley University in Peoria, IL and an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Besides these technical qualifications and her experience, she brings a positive vibrancy to the agency. She’s far away from the stereotype of the dour government bureaucrat and is a welcome addition to the team of people changing the face of transportation in California.