Phillip A. Washington was unanimously selected as RTD's General Manager in December 2009 by RTD's Board of Directors. Phil had served as the interim General Manager for six months, and prior to that was RTD's Assistant General Manager (AGM) of Administration for nearly ten years.
As RTD's General Manager, Phil and his team are leading one of the most dynamic transit agencies in North America, which is implementing the FasTracks program, one of the largest transit expansion programs in the country. In a relatively short period of time and with the recent groundbreaking of the commuter rail line from Denver International Airport to downtown Denver, Phil has spearheaded the implementation of the first-of-its kind $2.2 billion dollar transit Public Private Partnership (P3). The Eagle P3 Project is 50% complete (mid-2013) and is on track to beat or meet the scheduled completion date of 2016. Phil has worked to reach agreement on two major railroad deals that has paved the way for the build out of two commuter rail lines. Phil is responsible for a 2013 total agency budget appropriation in the amount of $2.7billion dollars and is currently managing active transit expansion projects in the amount of $4.7 billion. In the fall of 2011, RTD also executed the largest one-time Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) ($1.03 billion) in its history. Phil also created the RTD & Community Workforce Initiative Now (WIN) Program that identifies, assesses, trains, and puts to work thousands of people who live in urban communities affected by major infrastructure projects.
As RTD's AGM of Administration, he directed the Finance, Materials Management, Information Technology, Human Resources, Treasury, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise divisions. Phil was a key member of the 2003 and 2006 management negotiating teams that resulted in win-win collective bargaining agreements with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local #1001, and was the Chief Negotiator for the 2009 collective bargaining agreement talks between RTD and ATU Local 1001. Also, Phil had oversight responsibility in implementing a new multi-million dollar Enterprise Resource Planning system to replace RTD's 25-year old Legacy computer systems. The project was completed ahead of schedule and $750,000 under budget and ahead of schedule.
Additionally, and more recently (2013), Phil as CEO, led RTD in reaching an unprecedented 5-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). This win-win CBA is the first CBA of that length in RTD history, providing cost certainty for the District and stability for employees. Also, this is the first time in RTD history that a CBA has been agreed to and ratified prior to expiration of an existing contract Phil's emphasis on measuring and managing agency performance has led to the agency running consistently at nearly 90% on time bus and rail service and 96% ADA on-time performance. Also, his emphasis on safety and training led to a 40% decrease in preventable bus accidents in 2012.
In November 2007, Phil was selected to a 12-member United States transit team for the fall 2007 Transit Cooperative Research Program, International Transit Studies Program to study and report on issues and challenges facing transit agencies in Canada and Europe. Also, in 2007, Phil was appointed by the Office of the Mayor of Denver as Working Co-chair for Transportation for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In February 2009, Phil was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to serve on the State of Colorado's Workforce Development Council to help the State create a 21st century workforce. Phil has testified before the U.S. Congress Transportation Sub-Committees and been awarded a White House Transportation Innovators Champion of Change award. He and his team were awarded ENR Mountain States Magazine "Top Owner of the Year Award" for the management of FasTracks projects, RTD's West Rail Line was completed eight months ahead of schedule and under budget and was awarded "Most Significant Construction Project of 2012" by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the Eagle P3 was awarded the "Best Transport P3 in North America in 2012" by World Finance, a prominent financial magazine based in the United Kingdom. Phil was named 2013-2014 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in North America by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Prior to Phil's transportation industry experience, he had a storied 24-year military career, retiring as a decorated Active-duty U.S. Army soldier, having attained the rank of Command Sergeant Major, (E-9). This position is not only the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve, but also requires uncompromising integrity and leadership skills. He is the recipient of numerous military awards, honors and citations for outstanding performance of duty and leadership. Additionally, Phil is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Executive Committee and Board, and is on the Eno Center for Transportation Board of Directors.
Mr. Washington is originally from the south side of Chicago – the Chicago Housing Projects of Altgeld Gardens - where he became very familiar with community challenges and public transportation as a transit-dependent rider. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Columbia College and a Master of Arts degree in Management from Webster University.
Phil commutes to work by bus and light rail each day from his home in Aurora, Colorado.