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METRO CEO Grenias Resigns; Offered Victories, Woes for Houston [Listen]

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George Grenias

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George Grenias has announced he is stepping down as CEO of METRO. NEWS 92 FM’s Steve Ottesen has the story:

Grenias was appointed to head METRO in September of 2010.

The agency was mired in political squabbling and inefficiencies related to expansion of the light rail system.

Grenias told the Houston Chronicle, “When I got there, the employees were afraid to raise their hands and make decisions.”

Although he had no transit experience, Grenias changed the culture of METRO, and made its finances more transparent.

He also started construction on three more light rail systems, revamped bus service, and converted carpool lanes to toll lanes.

His two-year tenure has not been without problems, though.

Shortly after taking office, federal transit officials froze a $900 million grant because METRO did not buy American when it selected a Spanish firm to build rail cars.

After Grenias canceled the contract and took new bids, the Federal Transit Administration re-approved the grants.

And in July of 2011, he was suspended without pay for a week after admitting he viewed sexually-explicit web sites on his personal computer, using METRO’s internet.

Despite those road bumps, most people think Grenias has improved the image of the agency.

He is expected to give the city a formal letter of resignation on Monday.

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