Harbour Leaves Transit Legacy
Michael Harbour, a 17-year veteran of Thurston County’s Intercity Transit, announced today that he will leave Intercity Transit to be Deputy CEO of Sound Transit. The public is invited to celebrate Mike's service to Intercity Transit on Thursday, October 25, 2012, 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Olympia Community Center in Downtown Olympia.
Harbour has held the General Manager position at Intercity Transit for 17 years. He has a total of 35 years experience in the public transportation industry, 25 of those years at the helm of several successful transit organizations. Under Harbour’s leadership, Intercity Transit – as well as his previous transit agency in Savannah, Georgia - was recognized by the American Public Transportation Association for being the best mid-sized public transportation system in the nation. Other recognition includes awards from the Federal Transit Administration, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce. The agency was also recently recognized as the nation’s first transit system to receive a Gold level rating for its sustainability commitment.
Harbour is credited with developing a well-run and productive multi-modal public transportation system that witnessed record growth and has helped shape the communities in the South Puget Sound region. He has guided Intercity Transit through significant funding challenges, including a 40 percent service reduction in 2000 following the passage of Initiative 695. Harbour led the development of a local funding restoration measure in 2002 approved by 58 percent of voters. In 2010, 64 percent of voters approved another ballot measure to maintain transit services amidst the national recession.
"I leave Intercity Transit with mixed emotions," Harbour said. "I am extremely proud of the quality and range of service we provide to the community, our many partnerships, and the agency’s great employees and leadership."
Since relocating to Olympia in 1995, Harbour made his mark on the community through his professional and personal commitments. This included numerous leadership roles for the Washington State Transit Association, Transportation Choices Coalition, the State of Washington Commute Trip Reduction Task Force and Board, and the Agency Council on Coordinated Transportation. Harbour has a long history of involvement with United Way and was recognized as United Way Volunteer of the Year in 2005.
Harbour will join Sound Transit effective October 29. As Deputy CEO he will play key roles in maintaining safe and efficient operations of Sound Transit trains and buses and managing the planning and construction of more than 30 miles of light rail extensions in the coming decade. He will lead the agency’s annual budget process.
Previously, Harbour worked eight years as General Manager of the Chatham Area Transportation Authority in Savannah, Georgia, overseeing significant service expansions and a 35 percent increase in ridership. Earlier industry roles included serving as Assistant General Manager to Tri County Transit in Orlando, Florida; Senior Consultant at ATE Management and Service Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio; Transit Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Transit Administration in New Orleans, Louisiana; and Director of Planning for the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Nashville, Tennessee. Harbour received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University.