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Stephanie Wiggins was unanimously approved Thursday to be Metro’s next chief executive, making her the first woman to head the agency.

Wiggins, CEO of Metrolink, will succeed chief executive Phil Washington, who announced on Feb. 3 he was stepping down after a six-year term that helped set the stage for an ambitious expansion of the local rail network. Wiggins’ position was confirmed by the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“LA County has great mobility needs that we must develop in an effort to improve health, opportunity and equity for all area residents, and I look forward to bringing transformative leadership and working with the region’s transportation authorities to make this vision a reality, ”Wiggins said in a statement.

Wiggins is expected to assume the new position in May. She will oversee an agency with 11,000 employees, manage a budget of nearly $ 7 billion and oversee up to $ 20 billion in capital construction projects, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

At Metrolink, Wiggins manages an annual budget of $ 793 million and oversees 282 full-time employees, according to the agency’s website.

Prior to becoming CEO of Metrolink, one of the nation’s largest commuter train systems that operates 538 miles of track, in 2018, Wiggins served as Metro’s deputy general manager. In this role, she helped implement projects with the resources of Mesure M, which raised funds for a significant expansion of public transit.

In a statement, Metro Chairman and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wiggins was the best candidate to lead Metro, which he said was “in the midst of a generational transformation.” .

“Stephanie’s career makes her perfectly suited to lead this agency right now: she is experienced, determined, committed to fairness and rooted in the history of transportation in Los Angeles,” he said.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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