The Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners today announced that Taulby Roach will assume the position of president and chief executive officer at Bi-State Development on Jan. 1.
The Board of Commissioners selected Roach to succeed John Nations as the head of Bi-State Development, which operates the Metro Transit public transportation system in the St. Louis region. Bi-State Development also operates four other diverse enterprises: St. Louis Downtown Airport, Gateway Arch Riverfront ticket, tram and riverboat operations, St. Louis Regional Freightway and Bi-State Development Research Institute.
“Taulby has nearly three decades of combined experience in real estate, transportation, public policy, infrastructure and development,” said Constance Gully, chair of the Board of Commissioners for Bi-State Development. “We are excited he is bringing his expertise and leadership to this dynamic organization which is already a well-oiled machine. He is experienced in every aspect of project development, from capital funding to design and construction.”
Roach, who resides in St. Louis, is a public transit advocate and a frequent Metro Transit rider. For the past year and a half, he has served as the chief financial officer at St. Clair County Transit District. St. Clair County Transit District contracts with Bi-State Development and Metro Transit for MetroLink and MetroBus services in St. Clair County.
“I am honored to have been selected by the Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners to serve as the organization’s next President and CEO. Ensuring passenger safety and rebuilding public confidence will be top priorities. Metro Transit’s security measures are currently under review, and when the recommendations from the consultants are complete, I will work with the Board of Commissioners, the Metro Transit staff, our partner police departments, elected officials and all stakeholders to review and implement these measures,” Roach said. “My job at Bi-State Development will be to support the Metro Transit team to continue to provide a world-class transportation system for our customer base while helping to build a regional foundation for economic development, equity and growth.”
Roach has worked closely with Bi-State Development for more than 20 years on a variety of Metro Transit capital projects in St. Clair County, Illinois. In the last year, he played a key role in the St. Clair County security mobilization initiative to establish cross-jurisdictional police support for officers on MetroLink trains in Illinois and Missouri. He has contributed to a wide range of other projects over the years including securing transit vehicle purchases and maintenance improvements with Metro Transit and the Illinois Department of Transportation. Three years ago, he successfully reorganized the St. Clair County MetroLink extension project refunding revenue to take advantage of favorable market shifts and superior credit ratings to improve the financial health of a public project. Roach also played a major role in coordinating slope mitigation projects to maintain the structural integrity and long-term viability of transit assets on the Illinois MetroLink alignment.
Roach, who is an avid cyclist, developed and was the project manager for MetroBikeLink, a 15-mile bicycle and recreational trail that is located along MetroLink in St. Clair County. The trail was constructed in sections on right-a-ways from existing light rail and abandoned rail corridors. MetroBikeLink conveniently connects neighborhoods and communities with public transit in St. Clair County.
Roach is also committed to improving access to educational opportunities through public transit. He assisted in implementing the campus improvement plan at Southwestern Illinois College from 2011 to 2014. That project included negotiating an active student transit pass program and campus infrastructure which enhanced student access and campus logistics.
Another priority of Roach’s has been promoting economic growth, not only through public transit access, but through transportation infrastructure development. For the past seven years, he was involved in the multi-million dollar River Bridge District infrastructure project in East St. Louis which utilized public and private sector funding to support economic growth.
“On behalf of all of us at Bi-State Development, we are delighted to welcome Mr. Roach and look forward to his leadership. I also express our appreciation to Board Chair Constance Gully, Selection Committee Chair Jeff Watson, and the members of the Board of Commissioners for their many hours devoted to this important decision,” said John Nations, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Nations, who joined Bi-State Development in 2010, is the longest serving President and Chief Executive Officer in Bi-State Development history. He announced in June he would be leaving the organization this fall to spend more time with his family and is joining the law firm of Evans and Dixon. He continued to lead the organization and to oversee its five enterprises to give the Board of Commissioners sufficient time to find his replacement to ensure a smooth executive transition.
“John Nations has done a tremendous job as our leader over the last eight years. He has been transformative for Bi-State Development and the entire St. Louis region for promoting economic development. His leadership has not only turned Metro Transit into a leader in the country in terms of efficiency and reliability, but he has made industry leaders out of all of our operating divisions while consistently leading Bi-State Development to clean financial and management audits,” said Gully. “It is an incredible record of success that included the creation and establishment of two new enterprises. We are all very proud of what John has accomplished during his tenure.”