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Transit Systems Senior Executive Leader
Accomplished w Emotionally Intelligent w Innoxxxxxxtive w Client Centered w Safety Oriented
Astute leader in large-scale NYC and Washington, D.C. transit systems operations with proven experience in high-profile, high-volume nationwide railroad and transit operations
Accomplished leader of large organizations of more than 9,000 employees, with operational budgets of $1.75B, and capital budgets of $7.25B
Direct multi-site cross-functional teams across all projects and organizational initiatives from concept to completion
Consistent success is rooted within the concept of quality, continuous improvement and effective process enhancements
High-Volume Transit Systems Operations
Strategic Analysis and Planning
Budget Development and Control
Transitioned the Subway maintenance process of NYCT with the FASTRACK initiative changing the subway maintenance process for greater time and fiscal efficiency while enhancing worker safety and productivity.
Delivered 85% reduction in chargeable motor vehicle accidents and a 10% overall reduction in lost time from occupational accidents by putting into practice a Safety Audit Program to identify and correct safety issues.
Identified the need for succession planning and established a management trainee program (FELLOWS), a 33-month intensive training program designed to develop internal people to fill key business leadership positions by combining field-based and corporate training in the track, elexxxxxxtor and escalator, and car equipment divisions of subways. Successful completion of the program FELLOWS created new leaders for adxxxxxxncement into management positions being xxxxxxcated through attrition at NYC Transit.
Implemented a portable xxxxxxcuum track cleaning system, reducing track fires by more than 50% resulting in safer conditions, cleaner stations, and better service for commuters.
MTA New York City Transit, New York, NY, 2008 Present
Vice President and Senior Management Officer (2017 Present)
Ensure proficient execution of the Subway Recovery Plan (SRP) through providing all executive leadership in rectifying current subway network challenges to stabilize the system and enhance customer service.
As Senior Management Officer, launch and direct Phase One of the NYC Subway Action Plan targeting five overarching components: Signal and Track Maintenance; System Safety and Cleanliness; Critical Management Group; Customer Communication; and Car Reliability. Aggressively attack the first three components which collectively account for 79% of major system incidents while simultaneously addressing the other two with equal vigor.
o Signal and Track Maintenance. Expedite signal repair program targeting 1,300 particularly problematic signals. Launch emergency Water Management Initiative to ensure proper water diversion. Clean the entire system s underground areas to reduce fire hazards. Accelerate track repair and maintenance enhancements. Collaborate with the New York State Public Service Commission in improving power delivery to the subway system. Expedite installation of new and seamless track.
David A. Knights, Page 2 of 4
Professional Experience, continued
o System Safety and Cleanliness. Increase station cleaning by 30%. Develop and execute accelerated physical station maintenance for added safety and accessibility. Effectively educate customers in the fire-related consequences of littering through a meaningful anti-littering campaign.
o Critical Management Group. Identify and implement appropriate management and operations reorganization opportunities designed to hasten effective short- and long-term solutions development and implementation. Create a response organization comprised of key decision makers for more effective response to incidents and resolution.
Vice President and Chief Officer, MOW (2016 2017)
Provided executive leadership and direction in the primary functional areas of operation, maintenance and construction for the entire NYCT subway system and infrastructure, with full responsibility for the group s 6 operations units including Track, Electronics Maintenance Division (EMD), MOW Engineering, Electrical (signals and power), Infrastructure, and Elexxxxxxtors and Escalators.
Successfully planned and coordinated the MOW group s activities with Rapid Transit Operations (RTO) and Stations division to ensure safe and reliable service for passengers while maintaining functional efficiency.
Effectively managed the organization s annual $1.75B operating budget and its 5-year $7.25B capital budget.
Planned, developed, and approved action and response plans for any natural disasters or system-threatening external events. Fully identified foreseeable risks and establish mitigation procedures and techniques.
Substantially contributed to developing and implementing agency-wide Enterprise Asset Management system and reliability-based maintenance practices and schedules.
Chief Officer Track | Department of Subways (2011 2016)
Proficiently directed forward-thinking track maintenance and capital construction programs including maintaining 812+ track miles of subway, open-cut, elexxxxxxted structures, and third rail appurtenances.
Oversaw an FTA federally-funded and City of New York $300M annual capital track construction program.
Cost-effectively managed operating and maintenance budgets totaling more than $410M.
Delivered critical leadership for more than 2,800 employees while serving as a key stakeholder on the NYCT union negotiation team.
Practiced concepts of continuous improvement through altering maintenance processes to reduce direct labor costs and track delays while simultaneously enhancing worker safety and customer satisfaction.
Group General Manager IRT | Department of Subways (2008 2011)
Effectively facilitated executive-level policy direction, strategic leadership and oversight of daily operations of rail service delivery providing 3.44M passenger trips daily. Directed a top-performing team of more than 3,800 maintenance employees in infrastructure, track, signal, and rail fleet of 179 elexxxxxxted and subway stations; 126.5 track miles; and 2,769 rail cars.
Efficiently managed and controlled a budget of more than $600M.
Successfully managed emergency situations and ensured appropriate levels and types of responses.
Built solid partnerships with labor, advocacy groups, community groups and governmental organizations to create innoxxxxxxtive initiatives while augmenting both customer service and employee morale including:
o Strategically planned and executed Bronx Express Service to facilitate rush hour travel from the Bronx to the Central Business District of Manhattan. Developed buy-in from stakeholders by building beneficial partnerships with borough president, advocacy groups and board members.
o Led extension of subway service from Manhattan to Brooklyn, developing a highly successful initiative applauded by transit advocacy groups and the MTA board.
o Conceptualized, developed and implemented Operation Courtesy, an internal quality control program developed to exxxxxxluate station agents customer service delivery and adherence to protocols.
Chief Officer Track and Infrastructure (2008)
Applied strong leadership talents toward directing results-focused construction programs and employee / passenger safety, including maintaining 812+ track miles of subway, open-cut, and elexxxxxxted structures, as well as track right-of-way devices, rail yards, elexxxxxxtors, escalators, rail, and maintenance facilities.
Cost-effectively managed operating and capital budgets of more than $350M.
Effectively led a team of more than 4,800 employees and built solid partnerships with labor unions.
David A. Knights, Page 3 of 4
Professional Experience, continued
DCM Inc. Transportation Consultants, New York, NY, 2008
MTA Capital Program Oversight Committee (CPOC)
Project Manager MTA Engineering Construction Monitoring
Led targeted decision making for high-volume capital projects ranging from $25M to $600M including supervising design, construction, and support activities for the MTA CPOC.
Managed projects to achieve objectives in quality, scheduling, budgets, serviceability, and safety.
Served as subject matter expert to deliver integral advisory services to CPOC board on operational issues affecting project completion.
WMATA, Washington, D.C., 2005 2008
General Superintendent Track and Structures | Systems Maintenance
Managed and directed a $200M budget while leading a team of more than 1,250 staff members.
Achieved several significant gains and orchestrated gratifying operational improvements including:
o Increased safety awareness to achieve 50% accident reduction and an overall productivity gain of 200%.
o Reduced track- and signal-related delays 20% by implementing a joint switch inspection program within the organization.
o Reengineered and implemented a new line management structure to create synergistic and productive multi-department operations.
Coordinated maintenance for and operation of tunnels, aerial structures, stations, track rights-of-way, bus garages, automatic fare collection systems, parking lot equipment, automatic train control systems, communications systems, traction power substations, A / C switchgear and shop repair functions.
Served in an executive role in COO s absence, including directing over 4,200 staff delivering more than 750,000 daily rail trips.
Carter & Burgess, Inc., New York, NY, 2002 2005
Capital Program Oversight Committee (CPOC)
Project Manager MTA Engineering Construction Monitoring
Expertly project-managed lucrative capital projects ranging from $25M to $600M including supervising design, construction and related support activities for MTA CPOC to keep sister MTA agencies capital programs on schedule.
Provided expert advice to MTA Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad to develop capital plans. Scope included a broad range of topics including future scalability. Specifically addressed the need to involve MOW teams to ensure ROW ability to accommodate additional physical stress of new car design being incorporated at the time as well as ensuring support for future new designs.
Served within a resourceful advisory role to the operational MTA Capital Program budget totaling more than $17B.
Led PMO review of Traction Power Electrification System for the Central Phoenix / East Xxxxxxlley Light Rail Project in Phoenix, AZ, including identifying all fatal flaws as well as design, construction and maintenance issues.
Amtrak Corporation, New York, NY, 2001 2002
Project Manager | Consultant Fire and Life Safety Department
Played a vital role in managing large-scale Amtrak-oriented projects, including leading the $40M installation of 11 reversible fans throughout Penn Station and installation of new 13.2Kv electric service between Long Island City, NY and Weehawken, NJ. Collaborated with transportation agencies on key maintenance projects.
Successfully led $10M demolition / installation of composite 3rd rail for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.
Led a $35M rehabilitation of North River Railroad Tunnels and Facilities at Weehawken Ventilation Shaft.
Empire City Subway Company, Ltd., New York, NY, 1997 2001
Area Operations Manager Construction
Drove operations success by directing comprehensive system functions including maintenance and new construction initiatives for the Construction Division. Provided effective project management including scope definition, estimating, scheduling, and safety management. Oversaw a team of 11 managers and 140 associates.
Directed operations for $25M telecommunications capital conduit installation and $15M operating programs.
Designed and implemented a Safety Audit Program to identify and correct safety issues, achieving an 85% reduction in chargeable motor vehicle accidents and a 10% overall reduction in lost time occupational accidents.
David A. Knights, Page 4 of 4
Professional Experience, continued
Improved workforce quality by redesigning associate-level Job Briefs with HR Generalist, Labor Relations and Communication Workers of America (CWA) union; created training programs to meet requirements.
Developed a Construction Standards Handbook to consolidate and unify construction and safety procedures.
Additional Professional Experience
Adjunct Professor of Mathematics, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, NY, 2001 2005.
MTA New York City Transit, New York, NY, 1981 1997. Served as Superintendent, Superintendent Intern, Tower Operator, and Rail Road Clerk.
Master of Science in Transportation Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn, NY
Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
The ENO Center for Transportation Leadership (CTL) Executive Development Program
APTA Leadership, Class of 2009
American Public Transportation Association, Member
Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honor Society, New York Lambda Chapter
Eta Kappa Nu, Electrical Engineering Honor Society, Delta Theta Chapter
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