The T’s Dick Ruddell announces retirement

  A. Lee Graham Reporter   Dick Ruddell has announced plans to step down as president and executive director of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or The T.   The news came at The T’s Sept. 16 regular board meeting. Ruddell told the board his last day will be Oct. 4, 2013.   Ruddell, 66, has been named as a finalist for executive director of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh transit agency.   Ruddell has served his role with The T since February 2003. During his tenure, the agency expanded and modernized bus service in Fort Worth, with Ruddell leading planning and development for the regional rail line TEX Rail.   Ruddell’s retirement announcement comes a month after The T announced the first phase of the TEX Rail project will run from downtown Fort Worth to Grapevine to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.    Board Chairman Scott Mahaffey recognized Ruddell for his years of service at The T.   “Dick Ruddell positioned the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to grow from a primarily bus -based transit system to a regional transportation agency with a 100 percent natural gas powered bus fleet, park and ride service, vanpools, Molly the Trolley service, the Trinity Railway Express rail between Fort Worth and Dallas, and later this decade commuter rail service,” Mahaffey said.   Ruddell said he had been contemplating retirement for some time and had discussed the timing of the decision with Mahaffey on several occasions.   “With the recent announcement of the first phase of TEX Rail from downtown to the D/FW Airport, this is a logical time for transition of leadership,” said Ruddell.   “While I plan to spend time with my family, I will remain active in the transit industry and will be available to assist Scott Mahaffey and the board if needed.”   Ruddell has more than 30 years of experience in the transit industry, including positions in Wichita and Topeka, Kan.; Toledo, Ohio, as well as The T.