Episode 273. BARRY BARKER – (Retired) Executive Director of TARC- (The Transit Authority of River City)
Born in Wigan, England, Barry Barker has been the Executive Director of the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) since 1994. His core belief that “the quality of life in our communities is only as good as it is for the least advantaged members of our communities” directs his customer-focused approach to service & team-based approach to management that has resulted in increased ridership & service innovations that have received national recognition. Under Barry, TARC was designated in 2006 as the nation’s Urban System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of America. The next year, Barry was recognized as the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager of the Year by the American Public Transportation Assoc. In 2012, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies honored Barry with the Sharon D. Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation.
Locally, Barry has served on more than a dozen non-profit agency boards including in leadership positions, and in 2010, he headed Metro United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. TARC provides 12 million passenger trips a year, with 63% of riders traveling to and from work, and another 20 % on school trips.
“TARC moves the workforce of today & tomorrow, & we’re critical for people to access opportunity & all life has to offer,” Barry said. “I have always been motivated by the belief that the quality of life in our communities is only as good as it is for the least advantaged members of our communities. Access to life’s opportunities is a must if communities & individuals are to thrive. I’ve been fortunate to champion these beliefs at TARC & in the community.”