The end of the line: a farewell from CEO Kevin Desmond

The end of the line: a farewell from CEO Kevin Desmond

I’ve arrived at the last stop in my five-year journey leading this exceptional organization. As we say in the transit business, it’s the end of the line.

As I’ve been packing up boxes at our Sapperton office in New Westminster, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this chapter of my life and what a privilege it has been to serve this region.

Metro Vancouver is a remarkable community and one of the greatest places in the world to live. That much has been clear to me since I first moved here in 2016, having previously helped lead public transit systems in Seattle, Tacoma, and New York City.

When I arrived, TransLink was admittedly experiencing a rough patch and its reputation was a little bruised. Yet despite that, not once did I doubt the potential of this organization. I knew that together we were going to achieve great things and improve the lives of Metro Vancouverites if we stayed focused on one single word: connections.

After all, that’s really what public transit is all about. Our goal is to connect communities through mobility and help build a better place to live. Across Metro Vancouver, there are more than 8,000 TransLink employees committed to public service who are driven by this mission, which was expressed so well in our Customer Promise:

To always put you first — your safety, your time, and your connection to the people and places that matter the most.

Since 2016, we’ve had many accomplishments, rolled out more and better services, and improved the customer journey experience from departure to arrival – making more connections than ever before. We’ve also announced several major expansion projects, which will strengthen connections between some of Metro Vancouver’s fastest-growing communities.

These projects and improvements wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration, support, and historic investments we’ve received from all levels of government, including the Mayors’ Council, the province, and the federal government. These partnerships enabled us to get stuff done and deliver for our region.

I’m also thankful that I had the chance to make a personal connection with many of you, our customers, over the past five years. Whether it’s student unions, disability advocates, senior groups, business leaders, elected officials, or the ELMTOTs on Facebook, TransLink has so many supporters in the community who are cheering us on from the sidelines. That is something I have cherished during my time as CEO – and something I will truly miss.

As the saying goes, always leave the campground better than how you found it. I believe I am.

Thank you for the opportunity.