Publish date:

Surprise at ousting of Metro Transit general manager Brian Lamb

Lamb will leave the position he has held since 2004.
Author:

There has been a surprised reaction to a move taken by the Metropolitan Council to not re-appoint Metro Transit general manager Brian Lamb.

The council announced an executive shake-up earlier this week that will see Lamb leave the position he has held since 2004 by the end of January.

Lamb's tenure included the opening of both the blue and green light rail lines, the Northstar rail corridor, and the A-Line rapid bus service. Under his leadership Metro Transit was named System of the Year by the American Public Transportation in 2016.

The sudden decision therefore by new Met Council chair Nora Slawik to replace him was met with surprise, with Met Council regional administrator Wes Kooistra named as Lamb's replacement.

Speaking to the Star Tribune, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 president Ryan Timlin said he was in "complete shock," noting that he "always ... made things acceptable for both sides" despite the odd disagreement between Metro Transit and the union.

More critical of the Metro Council's decision was Aaron Isaacs, who for 33 years worked as a planner and manager for Metro Transit before retiring in 2006.

Writing for urban planning and transportation website Streets.MN, Isaacs described the ousting of Lamb as "incredibly stupid."

"I know how important a good general manager is to this transit system because I served under all of them," Isaacs writes. "At least three of them were disasters. Others were adequate, but except for Mike Christensen, none came anywhere near the excellence that was Brian Lamb’s administration.

"Because of the positive culture he worked hard to create, Metro Transit is one of the most financially efficient, innovative, well-run transit systems anywhere," he added. You can read his full piece, entitled "Brian Lamb and Metro Transit deserved better," here.

In the Met Council statement, Slawik thanked Lamb for his "years of service and work to build a talented and dedicated staff," saying the metro area "will benefit from his leadership for decades to come."

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

Of Kooistra, she said: "I’m confident he can lead Metro Transit into the future, as we look to bring financial stability to the bus system and embrace sustainable options for our future operations."

She then added: "He understands the importance of collaboration, listening, and relationship-building – especially with employees and communities – and I know he’ll prioritize the work of One Minnesota to bring more people to the table and ensure everyone has a voice."

She provided more context to the Strib, saying the decision was about "looking at the future."

Lamb, a 62-year-old Minneapolis native, sent an email to employees revealing his imminent departure, with KSTP obtaining a copy.

He thanked his colleagues, before adding: "Regardless of my next professional step, I will continue to use the outstanding service you provide on a regular basis. See you on the buses and trains."

Next Up

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.

Fleck

Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Jamal Smith

New 1st-degree murder charge for man accused in youth coach's killing

A grand jury indicted the suspect in connection with the shooting of Jay Boughton.

trick or treating halloween

COVID: Mayo Clinic's tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

A layered approach, especially for those who aren't vaccinated, is recommended.

Walz

'My patience level is gone': Walz calls on lawmakers to help hospital strain

The governor said only legislators can enact some of the needed measures.

landscape-g555db6b6e_1280

Jeep driver dies after hitting two deer, rolling into oncoming vehicle

As the SUV rolled, it struck another vehicle approaching the other direction.

carver county dog

Family's dog 'senselessly' killed with arrow in Carver County

The beloved dog was shot with an arrow on Tuesday.

Related

Blue Line light rail Metro Transit

Metro Transit workers threaten strike

Unionized Metro Transit workers rejected a contract offer from the Metropolitan Council by a 94% vote.

Metro Council to spend over $1M on protective barriers for bus drivers

There's been a rise in driver assaults in the Twin Cities this year.

Metro Transit to use undercover cops to stamp out light rail smoking

There has been an increase in complaints about it since the start of the year.

Eddie Frizell

Minneapolis inspector is named new Metro Transit Chief of Police

Eddie Frizell was one of two finalists for the position.

Metro Transit considers cutting overnight Green Line services

It would halt trips between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. to tackle various issues.