Garrison Chosen to Lead Memphis Area Transit Authority

By Bill Dries

The Memphis Area Transit Authority board has picked Ron Garrison, a former head of the public transit system in Tallahassee, Fla., to be the next president and general manager of the Memphis bus system.

The board's vote Tuesday, July 15, means Garrison and MATA begin negotiating terms of a contract.

As executive director of Tallahassee’s StarMetro system from April 2005 through the end of 2012, Garrison oversaw big changes to the bus system that decentralized it.

He left StarMetro to go to work for Proterra Inc, a Greenville, S.C., company that designs and manufactures zero-emission buses, including electric battery-powered buses. Last year, he started his own mass-transit transportation consulting firm, RLG Consulting, in Greenville.

Contingent on a contract being worked out, Garrison will replace Tom Fox, the interim president of the transit authority and one of five finalists for the job.

Fox has been interim leader since January, when William Hudson retired after a 49-year career with the transit authority, starting as a driver.