Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s Board of Directors on Tuesday unanimously appointed Martin Tompkins, who serves as COO/Senior Director of Operations and Planning as the transit agency’s new executive director/CEO starting Dec. 31.

LANCASTER — The Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously appointed Martin Tompkins as the transit agency’s new executive director/CEO.

He currently serves as COO/senior director of operations and planning for the transit agency. His executive director employment agreement starts Dec. 31 and continues through Jan. 1, 2023. He will be paid $190,000 a year.

“I look forward to the challenge,” Tompkins said at the Board’s Tuesday morning meeting. “I’m really happy. I would not take this job if it weren’t for the team that we have today.”

He thanked the Board, the team and outgoing Executive Director/CEO Macy Neshati.

Tompkins has about 35 years of experience in the transit industry. He started as a bus operator and has served as a general manager for about 25 years, including for two major transportation corporations, one of which is TransDev Transportation, AVTA’s contracted fleet provider. He has worked with AVTA off and on since 2005, when he was with TransDev. He rejoined the agency about three years ago.

Neshati said previously, that he needed to cut back on his workload for health reasons. He will not leave the AVTA, however. His title will convert to project manager, beginning Jan. 1 and continuing through Jan. 1, 2025.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve this Board and this community,” he said.

Neshati guided the transit agency toward the Board goal of a fully-electric local fleet. The agency will become the nation’s first all-electric commuter fleet by the end of December.

Board Chairman Marvin Crist thanked Neshati for his service.

“I personally wish that you’d stay on forever because you’ve done such a good job with not only staff, but with the Board and everybody,” he said. “You’re a great asset to the community and I’m glad you’re staying on as a consultant.”

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