India L. Birdsong took the wheel as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager in 2019. She guides Ohio’s largest transit system—directing over 2,300 employees and managing a $292 million annual budget to provide more than 35 million annual rides across 457 square miles. With commitment to transparency and accountability, she pilots the GCRTA fleet towards innovative solutions that increase ridership, improve service, and contribute to the economic development of Greater Cleveland.

PREVIOUS STOPS

Ms. Birdsong earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University and her master’s from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her impressive career began in 2006, when she arrived at her next destination: serving Chicago Transit Authority for almost ten years. She held key roles in planning, instruction, operations, and Senior Management of the central region for Bus Supervision and Instruction. From there, she took her seat as Nashville WeGo Public Transit’s Chief Operating Officer in 2016, where she was an instrumental supporter of the city’s 25-year growth plan. She served there until joining us at GCRTA, guided by 15 years of public transit experience.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Ms. Birdsong has devoted herself to paramount issues like upgrading the rail system and securing sustainable funding for system improvements. To offer strategic leadership through well-rounded perspectives, Ms. Birdsong maintains active participation in several community organizations. She is a Member of the American Public Transportation Association, and Transit Cooperative Research Program, serves on the Board for the United Way of Greater Cleveland, the Transportation Learning Center, Downtown Cleveland Improvement Corporation, and Urban League of Greater Cleveland and brings along a valuable proficiency in Spanish.

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(e.g. Hopkins Airport)
(e.g. Rivergate Park)

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