KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Robbie Makinen, CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, has resigned from the role.
The KCATA board approved an agreement Wednesday that includes accepting Makinen’s resignation.
But this move is no surprise for the KCATA board. The Kansas City Star reports Makinen’s departure has been a big topic for the board for several weeks now.
Last month, Makinen was told he would either be fired or forced to resign, according to the Star. Kansas City officials have been pressuring the transportation authority to oust him.
City officials have complained of poor bus service and that Makinen wasn’t willing to provide $20 million in KCATA funds for a city street lighting project. Even though the city eventually got it’s funding, KC leaders threatened to find another bus service if KCATA’s leader did leave, sources told the Star.
Still, in a statement Wednesday, the KCATA board praised Makinen’s work with the agency. He served over 6 years as CEO and more than 8 years as a board commissioner before that.
“Under Robbie’s leadership, KCATA has been an innovator in public transit, expanding the mission of KCATA beyond bus service to include things like the RideKC Bike+Scooter program, and the Zero Fare initiative that all but eliminated fares for those using KCATA buses,” the board said in a statement.
“These programs have led the nation in trying to arrest the effects of a changing climate, while also providing an equitable system for those who are most reliant on KCATA’s vehicles to get to their jobs, medical appointments, and other needed destinations.
“KCATA’s Board wishes Robbie nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
It’s not clear at this time who will take over for Makinen.
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