GPTC head to leave agency for new job

2014-02-12T17:45:00Z 2014-02-12T20:23:20Z GPTC head to leave agency for new jobBy Keith Benman, (219) 933-3326

Gary Public Transportation Corp. General Manager Daryl Lampkins has submitted his resignation after being offered a top executive post at the Maryland Transit Administration.

The resignation comes as GPTC is moving into a leadership role in regional transit, with its board of directors currently considering additional expansion into Hammond.

"I think the staff here will do a great job keeping things going and even enhancing what we have going," Lampkins said on Friday.

On Thursday, Lampkins said he was called late last year by the MTA, where he formerly worked as vice president of transit operations. MTA has now offered him the post of deputy chief of operations for core support.

The GPTC board of directors is expected to accept Lampkins resignation at its March 6 meeting. Lampkins said he plans to leave GPTC and take up his post at the MTA that same month.

Lampkins took over as GPTC head in November 2005, with the agency under federal investigation for its actions under previous general managers, including a sham payment and misuse of federal funds. At one point, the Federal Transit Administration threatened to cut off all the bus agency's federal funding, which could have led to its shutting down.

Since then, Lampkins and GPTC staff have worked the agency back into the good graces of the Federal Transit Administration by acting on a debt repayment and remediation plan.

When the Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority went out of business in June 2012, leaving Hammond without citywide bus service, Lampkins started laying plans to fill the gap.

The GPTC board of directors appears poised to approve a first step in filling that gap at its meeting March 6 when it considers a new Hammond feeder route to be operated by GPTC. That route will serve Purdue University Calumet as well as shopping centers and medical facilities in Munster and Highland.

Plans have also been developed and public hearings held for a second GPTC-operated feeder route in Hammond.

The executive director of an agency advocating for the rights of people with disabilities said Lampkins will be missed.

"Daryl Lampkins has set the bar very high — not just at GPTC, but for everyone associated with public transportation in Northwest Indiana," said Everybody Counts Executive Director Teresa Torres.

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