Executive Director/CEO

Kirt Conrad is a senior executive in Public Transit with expertise in alternative energy and public policy. During his career, he has lead campaigns that have increased ridership over 30% and increased revenues by 20%, secured over $50 million in competitive grants and managed construction programs from railroad rehabilitation to LEED certified building in the transportation industry. He also lead the purchase of 50 miles of railroad right-of-way and use of transportation infrastructure as a multi-modal corridor for both freight and commuter service.

Since 2009, Kirt Conrad has been the CEO of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) in Canton, Ohio. SARTA operates 100+ buses with 200+ employees. Last year nearly 2.6 million passenger trips were transported by over 30 fixed routes or demand response services throughout Stark County.

SARTA, under Conrad’s leadership, has replaced much of its bus fleet, purchased buses that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), opened Northern Ohio’s first public-private CNG fueling facility, revamped many of its routes, built the Belden Village Transit Center and advanced the Mahoning Road corridor project. They are also deploying 11 fuel cell buses, which will be the largest fleet in the country outside of California. SARTA along with Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research lunched the Midwest Fuel Cell Center of Excellence and the Renewable Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Collaborative in 2017.

Prior to joining SARTA, Kirt was employed by METRO Regional Transit Authority (Akron, Ohio) as a Planner, Grants Manager and then Director of Planning. He received a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a minor in business administration from Kent State and a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Akron. He also completed a graduate certificate in finance from the Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France.

Kirt, as Metro’s Director of Planning, had years of experience planning complex transit projects as the project manager for the construction of the downtown Akron transit center and system redesign. He also developed a deep understanding of the federal transit grant system and new transit technology.

A Sherrodsville, Ohio and Carroll County native, Kirt, was elected to his alma mater’s Conotton Valley School District Board of Education at the age of 18 and served for five years. After moving to Akron, he was elected to the Akron City School District Board of Education and served for 4 years.

Currently, Kirt is the President of the Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA) and of the Transit Health Pool of Ohio. He serves as Treasurer for the Ohio Transit Risk Pool (OTRP) and is on the boards of The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition as Vice Chair and CALSTART’s fuel cell infrastructure advisory board for public transit. Kirt is also involved with the Center for Transportation and the Environment/Federal Transit Administration’s Procurement Risk Reduction for Zero Emission Vehicles Committee and is a member of American Public Transportation Association’s Zero Emission Bus Specification Committee.

To contact Kirt, you can email him at kconrad@sartaonline.com.