Public-transit group hires latest executive director

The Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority has hired an executive director who’ll become the fourth person to lead the group since last August.

Andrew Gast-Bray, director of planning and zoning for the city of Lebanon, New Hampshire, since 2011, will take over as CIRTA’s executive director Sept. 1, the group announced Monday.

Gast-Bray, 49, takes over for interim executive director Bill Kirchoff, who has filled the interim position twice in the past year.

Kirchoff filled in when Jeffrey D. Jackson abruptly resigned in April after less than five months on the job. He also took the role for three months last year after the resignation of longtime director Ehren Bingaman in August and the hiring of Jackson in November.

Created by state statute in 2004, CIRTA is charged with coordinating public transit services throughout central Indiana. The organization is one of three lead partners in Indy Connect, the initiative to develop the comprehensive transportation plan for central Indiana.  

Prior to his work in New Hampshire, Gast-Bray spent four years at Indianapolis-based design firm Storrow Kinsella Associates, where he helped create multi-modal transit-system plans for Indianapolis and Carmel.

“Andrew brings a great background to this role: 20 years of national—and even international—engineering and planning experience combined with an intimate knowledge of central Indiana’s transit needs and opportunities,” said CIRTA board chaiwoman and Hamilton County Commissioner Christine Altman in a prepared statement.

Gast-Bray has a doctorate in engineering from France’s Ecole Centrale de Lille and a master’s degree in community planning from the University of Cincinnati.

He also worked in planning roles in Massachusetts and West Virginia, and his engineering experience includes work in West Virginia, Colorado and France.

 “The potential for central Indiana transit is incredible, and I’m excited to be a part of effort that will bring this area the kind of multi-modal system its residents deserve,” Gast-Bray said in a prepared statement.

CIRTA officials could not immediately say how much Gast-Bray would be paid.

Jackson, who cited personal reasons for his departure, was hired at an annual salary of $115,000.

The hiring of Jackson came under media scrutiny after it was learned that he had been sued by his former employer for allegedly stealing trade secrets. The lawsuit was settled in mediation.

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