SLO Regional Transit Authority hires new executive director

Geoff Straw
Geoff Straw

Geoff Straw, who managed the largest student-run public transit system in the nation, has been named executive director of the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority.

The SLORTA board selected Straw after a nationwide search that drew 30 applicants.

As general manager at UC Davis’ Unitrans, Straw oversaw a $4.5 million operating budget that served more than 22,000 riders daily and 3.5 million annually.

Before his tenure at Unitrans, Straw managed bus systems in California and Utah and served as a transportation consultant, focusing on transit needs of university and resort communities in the American West.

Bruce Gibson, president of the SLORTA board of directors, called Straw “an exceptional manager with a proven track record in operations management, capital and transportation planning and proven abilities to develop and mentor staff.”

“He began his career as a driver for Unitrans at UC Davis, and worked his way up. Geoff knows the ins and outs of this business,” Gibson said in a news release. Straw describes himself as “an avid bicycle commuter.”

He and his wife, Nancy, have a 15-year-old daughter.

Straw, who begins Jan. 30, will earn $116,709 per year.

RTA is a joint powers authority in San Luis Obispo County that operates public transit fixed-route bus and ADA Paratransit services. It connects residents in cities throughout San Luis Obispo County, serving 60,000 people per month, according to Aimee Wyatt of SLORTA.