Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins to become next CEO of Metrolink

Stephanie Wiggins.

The Metrolink Board of Directors this morning hired Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins as Metrolink’s next CEO. Metrolink runs regional commuter rail across five counties — Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura with service also to Oceanside in San Diego County.

Here is the statement on Stephanie’s hiring from Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington:

Over the last decade, Stephanie Wiggins has distinguished herself as a talented, resourceful and hardworking leader at Metro, most recently in her role as Deputy Chief Executive Officer since 2015. She has been a tremendous asset to Metro and will be a fantastic CEO. I often say that I want Metro to be the farm team when it comes to producing the next generation of leaders in the transportation industry. On behalf of the Metro family, we wish Stephanie the best of everything going forward and we look forward to continuing to work with her and the Metrolink team to deliver great mobility options for our region.

Here is the news release from Metrolink:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2018

Metrolink Board Names Stephanie Wiggins as Chief Executive Officer

LOS ANGELES – The Board of Directors of Metrolink today named Stephanie Wiggins Metrolink’s Chief Executive Officer. Wiggins is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

“Stephanie has held high-level positions at three of the five member agencies that comprise Metrolink. She is well known as a leader who finds solutions from a regional perspective. Stephanie is the right person to lead Metrolink now and going forward,” said Metrolink Board Chair Andrew Kotyuk. “Stephanie’s extensive experience in transportation and infrastructure development will be essential as Metrolink brings its service to more people in the coming years.”

Wiggins was responsible for overseeing the Metro departments of Vendor/Contract Management, Congestion Reduction, Human Capital & Development, Management and Audit Services, and Systems Security & Law Enforcement.

“I am pleased to accept the unique challenge of leading Metrolink at this important time,” Wiggins said. “Metrolink is a nationally-recognized leader in safety with the installation of Positive Train Control and I will continue the commitment to safety. As a mobility provider that reduces congestion and air pollution in the Southern California region, I look forward to having a laser focus on enhancing the customer experience for current and future riders.”

Wiggins will lead a 261 employee-strong regional commuter railroad that covers 2.8 million train miles per year and 400 million passenger miles per year.

The Agency is embarked on the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) Program, a $10 billion plan to improve rail safety and service in time for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Metrolink received a total of $875 million in grants from the state and is moving to secure additional funding for this program.

As part of Wiggins’ more than 24 years of experience, she oversaw Metro ExpressLanes, commuter rail, rideshare, rail capital programs, served as Regional Programs Director for the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), and was Administrative Analyst for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA). Metro, RCTC and SBCTA are three of the five county transportation agencies that govern Metrolink.

Wiggins is a member of the Board of the American Public Transportation Association and is the founding president of the Inland Empire Chapter of WTS. She is the recipient of many awards including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) 2018 Women Who Move the Nation Award.

Interim co-Chief Executive Officers Don Del Rio and Ronnie Campbell will remain as General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer respectively.

Wiggins replaces Art Leahy who announced his retirement on Oct. 12 after 48 years in transportation.

Wiggins earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Whittier College and a Master of Business Administration from USC.

For more information about Metrolink, please visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Scott Johnson ( or (213) 452-0400.


Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 26th year of operation. Metrolink is governed by The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Metrolink operates seven routes through a six-county, 538 route-mile network. Metrolink’s passengers travel approximately 441 million miles each year, making Metrolink the second busiest public transportation provider in Southern California. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.

5 replies

  1. Metrolink seriously needs a major systemwide capital upgrade. The schedules are a joke on all but the San Bernardino line which at least has somewhat regular service comparatively although still lacking when compared to other systems of similarly sized metro areas. Look to what Denver is building as an example of how to run commuter rail at least schedule wise. 30 – 45 minute headways throughout the day are the norm and there is always service on the weekends. It uses dedicated rail and is electrified. Chicago’s METRA is similar to metrolink in that it uses freight corridors and heavy diesel trains but still manages to have decent schedules on most routes. Infrastructure wise, metrolink needs to start by double tracking all lines and go from there.

    • What you’re talking about RealTransitRider, is not MetroLink’s fault: it’s BAD (defined as?), OTP STINKS… read on, Al C…. What I’d like to know from you 2 is: besides social engineering (which doesn’t work), what would YOU do about it if YOU were the new CEO? I bet she’d like to know.

      Right about needing “upgrades” ConG, but MetroLink’s not even running on 20th Century railroad! In the pre-Amtrak middle of that last century, I commuted on the hot & heavy 38-mile “racetrack”, where Burlington magicians -er dispatchers- juggled express nametrains for 3 railroads, fast 100+car freights, push-pull commuters/ skip-stops on frequencies like urban rail, managed to get local freight hops into lumberyards without trains getting in the way of others’… & MADE IT LOOK EASY.

      But nobody’s going to pay for it here- Why? 1. MetroLink doesn’t have the money, and LA County MTA NEVER lets go of theirs- (even when it would be in the public’s interest for them to do MTA can’t). Even IF such funding could be found to build capacity, 2. dispatching automatically goes to the existing rail operator (Union Pacific or BNSF)- because Dispatch has to be in one hand for safety reasons… so what idiot would pay for capacity they can’t control?

      But MetroLink is not powerless; It needs to bust a move with all State & Federal lawmakers (who control the purse-strings), demand the funding to get hourly service on all lines. A. Once secured, go (with government reps.) to the freight rail offices (which are actually “Common Carriers”) and demand the track & the time windows, pointing out that running hourly service makes THEIR OPERATIONS MORE LIQUID & profitable. B. Get the trains needed, and unload what isn’t. US Railcar (nee Colorado Railcar) makes a multiple-unit DMU (Tri-Met uses a single-level units on their W(est Side) E(xpress) S(ervice)) whose capacity & fuel efficiency will better serve low-ridership than a locomotive+5 split level coaches during off-peak. The >110mph F-125 & Charger 44’s are a bad match for hourly commuter service, and could be sold to Amtrak where they are needed… & they are a much better match for Long Distance/ Intercity service’s operating characteristics. C. Reinstate Rail-2-Rail program by reciprocating through-trains past Oceanside: Coasters run north through Oceanside as direct expresses to LAUS, in exchange for MetroLink runs trains running south of Oceanside as direct expresses to San Diego Station… (OmniTrans gets thru MTA-turf into downtown LA every day on this basis.) D. Expand the network: LAUS’ Run-Thru-Tracks are a bust that will not work, nevertheless, combine routes to continue “through” Union Station to points beyond (with only minimal pauses…) instead of terminating all trains at LAUS, forcing delays & transfers.

  2. Metrolink is bad. Its on time performance stinks. Not enough infrastructure to ride trains, and schedules are engineered to restrict travel and transfers.

    I had a Metrolink Monthly pass this summer, and that is the ONLY way to truly get decent service from the system. Only because thru LOSSAN you can ride the surfliner (except N. thru ventura County on weekends).

    Metrolink is a part of isolating people from Los Angeles into the outter regions, San Berdoo and AV being exceptions (surprise surprise). But meanwhile, commuters spill into LA to work all of the time.

    Its hard not to feel like the outter regions like L.A.s economic activity, but not its citizens. Orange County is the guiltiest.

    What will change with a new CEO? Anything?