“This decision was made with my wife, who recently retired, and my family. At this point in my life, I am looking for more flexibility in work commitments and want to explore new ways to use my skills and experience,” said Varga. “This is a bittersweet time for me, as I look back with pride on my years at The Rapid and also look to new opportunities which, I hope, will keep me engaged in the work of public transportation.”
“Peter has been a driving force in The Rapid’s success. While we will miss his leadership and his passion for public transportation, I am confident that Board and staff are focused on the long-term health and success of The Rapid. As we look to this next chapter, the Board will be working on a CEO recruitment plan and transition strategy over the next several months so that we are well-positioned for a smooth transition when Peter leaves,” said Barb Holt, Chair of The Rapid’s Board of Directors.
During his 20-year tenure at The Rapid, Varga has led the agency through a number of improvements including:
- Ridership has more than tripled, growing from 3.4 million annual trips to 11.9 million annual trips.
- Revenue service hours have grown by 157 percent and routes increased from 17 to 23, increasing coverage and increasing opportunity and access across the region. Service frequency has also improved, with more than half of the routes at 15-minute peak service.
- The launch of the Silver Line, Michigan’s first bus rapid transit line.
- Twice being named the Outstanding Public Transportation System by the American Public Transportation Association in 2004 and 2013.
Over the next 18 months, Varga will be focused on working with staff to finish up projects that are underway or will launch in the next fiscal year.