City's Tranportation Director Set to Retire

Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011, 12:02:00 AM

Mirror Staff

A Santa Monica bus.
Courtesy of Big Blue Bus
A Santa Monica bus.

The woman who has helmed Santa Monica's bus system through a number of crucial transitions and tough times will be leaving come this fall. Stephanie Negriff announced her decision to retire in October 2011 from her position as the Director of Transit Services for the City’s Big Blue Bus. Negriff has spent 25 years in transit service with 10 years as the BBB Director.

“I feel only gratitude for the opportunity to have served this community, as I reflect on the many accomplishments that we have achieved together,” Negriff said. "The Downtown Transit Mall, the implementation of two bus rapid transit lines, and the completion of the Big Blue Bus campus expansion project are tangible examples of the collaborations that have produced improved transit services in our area."

City Manager Rod Gould accepted the announcement with acknowledgment of Ms. Negriff’s accomplishments as the director.

"I honor Stephanie’s deep commitment to public transit, with the majority of her professional time being at the Big Blue Bus. Her dedication and passion are unquestionable," Gould said. "There have been a number of advances in the BBB system during her tenure—most recently a state of the art maintenance facility and equipment.”

Negriff rose through the ranks of the BBB to become its director in August 2002. She was first appointed to City service in 1986 and served in various capacities, including assistant director for operations, manager of transit development and intergovernmental relations and senior administrative analyst. Negriff was interim director in October 2001 before being appointed as director. Prior to joining the BBB, she worked with transit agencies in Austin, Texas, St. Louis, Missouri, and Oklahoma City.

In addition to the Downtown Transit Mall, Stephanie was instrumental in the redesign of the award winning BBB maintenance facility that features the latest in sustainable maintenance technologies and materials. The SMC Anytime Any Line, UCLA BruinGo and regional EZ Pass programs have flourished, as a result of the partnerships forged with Santa Monica College, UCLA and LA Metro. She effectively oversaw the conversion of the entire BBB fleet to alternative fuels including adding gas/electric hybrids, bio-diesel, and CNG articulated buses to the fleet. In 1996, Ms. Negriff established the first community outreach program for Big Blue Bus which guided a 30% expansion of BBB transit services. Perhaps one of her greatest achievements was her role in developing regional funding, including negotiating regional funding policies for the distribution of Prop C, Measure R, and other regional formula programs in order to ensure that the City and other municipally owned transit systems obtained their share of regional transit dollars.

“Of course, none of these programs or projects would have been possible without the knowledge, professionalism and dedication of our Big Blue Bus team. Through their commitment to the Big Blue Bus values, teamwork, community service, integrity, innovation and continuous improvement, I have witnessed our operation’s transformation to a state of the art and sustainable transit system,” Negriff said.

The City has commenced a nationwide search for Ms. Negriff’s replacement.

This report was based on a City of Santa Monica press release.

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