MJ Maynard kicks off ThinkTransit with her keynote on day one

MJ Maynard kicks off ThinkTransit with her keynote on day one

The dynamic leader of RTC Southern Nevada will bring a little Vegas to Tucson

MJ Maynard is a dynamic leader who has been at the helm of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada for over four years now and has put Las Vegas on the map as a transit forward city. Frequent guest on Transit Unplugged, she continues to support better transit access for all, moving towards zero emissions, and helping bring a strong transit culture to a city known for its love of cars.

It all starts with hospitality

MJ famously didn’t start off in transit. She spend 25 years in the hospitality industry and over a decade as Vice President of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. If you think about it, starting with a focus hospitality and customers is a perfect foundation for a career in transit. In her interviews on Transit Unplugged, she talks about how being in the hospitality industry shapes how she looks at the world (listen to her segments on our Transit Unplugged playlist) .

MJ left the Hard Rock to join RTC sixteen years ago and rose up to the top job four years ago taking over as CEO from Tina Quigley. MJ was looking for a challenge, and if nothing else, RTC gave her that challenge.

RTC is more than just buses

Most agencies in North America are only responsible for moving people around by bus, train, van, etc., but not RTC. At RTC they are responsible for the roads, traffic management, and buses. It’s a complex job that forces a CEO to bring more than a transit mindset to the job. You have to look at how roads help, or hinter, people getting around. How traffic signals can keep people moving or cause traffic gridlock. And all of it is managed from a state-of-the-art control room that RTC also shares with emergency management. This advanced traffic management system is one of her secrets to managing events like CES or when a football game ending overlaps with a hockey game starting.

You can learn more about the massive job RTC has in the premier episode of Transit Unplugged:

Making transit better for everyone

One of the biggest challenges facing many fast growing communities are transit deserts. In RTC’s case, they are transit deserts literally in the desert, but the solution MJ used was an innovative one. Before trying to expand fix routed service to a community that’s never had transit before, she deployed microtransit to the areas. On demand microtransit connected entire neighborhoods to the larger transit system that had never had access before. The pilots were very successful at creating new riders and gives RTC critical insight into how people use transit in these former transit deserts. This data will be crucial to deciding when the right time to set up fixed route transit to the area.

But transit is also about access, opportunity, and equality.

MJ worked with local community groups and leaders to create a mobile training center to help everyone from seniors to the disabled learn hands on how to use the transit system. Instead of trying to get people to come to RTC to learn about how they system works, the system (and bus) come right to them. In her address opening the service, MJ spoke about how much this meant to her personally and her vision for making sure everyone has access to transit and opportunities.

Leadership in the industry

MJ is, of course, a natural leader. You can hear that every time you hear her speak. She is deeply involved in the Hydrogen Fuel Bus Council, serving as board member. She’s also been on or serves on the boards of ITS America, APTA, WTS International, and more board in her own community. MJ devotes her time and energy to helping the people can causes she believes in. Causes to help make the world a better place for all of us.

Join us for MJ Maynard’s Keynote address to open day one of ThinkTransit

This year we are honored to have MJ as our keynote speaker to kick off day one of ThinkTransit. MJ will share with us her wisdom and insight from not only her nearly 16 years in public transit, but her 25 years in the hospitality industry as well. Here is a taste of what you can expect from her keynote with her Women Leaders in Transit CEO roundtable:

We hope you join us at ThinkTransit from March 24-27, 2024 in Tucson, Arizona.

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