Joe Reardon, former Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Ks., has been selected as the new president & CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA).
Robbie Makinen, chairman of the KCATA Board of Commissioners, announced today that Reardon, currently an attorney at Kansas City-based law firm McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, will take the helm of the regional transit agency in mid-March.
“We intend to realize our vision of becoming a fully integrated, regional transit system, and Joe has demonstrated an ability to cross state lines and build coalitions to advance important issues,” Makinen said.
As mayor & CEO, Reardon led Kansas City, Ks., and Wyandotte County on a continued economic renaissance, including the opening of the first new grocery store in the city in 30 years, the Sporting Park Soccer Stadium/Cerner office project, and the Village West Luxury Apartments Complex.
Reardon is an advocate of public transportation, credited for the introduction of Sunday bus service in Kansas City, KS, still the only community in Kansas to provide any regular bus service on Sundays. Under his leadership as mayor, the first major transit center in the history of the city was built, and a strong partnership with KCATA was forged to support several other significant transportation projects through an FTA TIGER grant.
In addition to being a strong supporter of public transit in the Kansas City region, Reardon has been a proponent of bi-state, regional cooperation. Perhaps most familiar to the region, Reardon negotiated the first Google Fiber development agreement in the country, successfully competing against more than 1,100 municipalities that had submitted proposals to Google for the project. He then worked with Kansas City, MO Mayor Sly James to create the bi-state innovations team to bridge the gap between the two cities and states to look for creative ways to leverage Google Fiber across the region.
Reardon currently teaches an MBA class on regionalism and has partnered with Rockhurst University, the Greater Kansas City Chamber and others to support a regional forum for chief elected officials from across the Greater Kansas City area.
“Regional transit faces a good many challenges in the days and years ahead, but I can’t think of a more worthy mission. Public transportation is the glue that holds communities together,” Reardon said. “I look forward to working with our partners throughout the region to secure public transit’s financial sustainability, and to build a more dynamic and integrated regional transit system.”
Reardon succeeds Mark Huffer, who resigned as General Manager of the KCATA last August.