Alex Clifford assumed the role of RTD’s Chief Executive Officer on January 31, 2022 with over 30 years of experience in transit leadership, including 8 years of transit policy experience as a Riverside City Councilman.
Prior to joining RTD, he served as CEO at Santa Cruz METRO for over seven years. Under his leadership, the agency:
- Resolved a fiscal structural deficit of $6 million that he inherited, which involved complete transparency, extensive public outreach and numerous Board workshops.
- Completed the Judy K. Souza Operations building.
- Developed the Agency’s first 10-year unfunded Capital Plan, identifying State of Good Repair capital needs of over $200 million.
- Developed a plan for transitioning to all zero-emission buses by 2040 and purchased Santa Cruz’s first five zero emission battery electric buses.
- Initiated the planning phase for a South County zero-emission bus division, including a hydrogen bus pilot plan; started work on the plan for a new paratransit facility; and started the process for replacement of the Pacific Station Transit Center.
- Provided fiscal resiliency for the agency by creating fully funded designated and restricted Reserves, including an operating and capital reserves. Upon his retirement from Santa Cruz METRO, the agency had over $20 million in Reserves.
- Led the agency through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, complying with all Local, State, Federal, and CalOSHA regulations and prevention measures, keeping passengers and staff safe while at the same time keeping service on the street to serve the transit needs of essential workers and avoiding layoffs and furloughs.
For his many accomplishments at METRO, he was named Small Transit Operators’ 2017 Transit Professional of the Year by California Transit Association (CTA). The award honors an outstanding individual who has provided strong leadership and vision. He is a Fellow of the Eno Transportation Foundation and he is the California Baptist University 2020 Alumnus of the Year.
Mr. Clifford currently serves on several industry boards, including Executive Committee Member of the California Transit Association (CTA) and is a CTA State Legislative Committee Member; CALACT Board Chair and Legislative Committee Member; and Board member of the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Board of Directors 2021 – present, and the Vice-Chair of the APTA Small Operations Committee.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic, Pomona, and a Master in Business Administration from California Baptist University.