The Ames Transit Board announced Tuesday that Interim Director Barbara Neal accepted the full-time position of CyRide director.
The position opened up in the spring following Sheri Kyras' retirement, and Neal had been serving as the interim director since the search began.
“Selecting a creative, smart, progressive director was our Board’s mission, and we are delighted to have Barb guiding CyRide into the future,” said Liz Jeffrey, Ames Transit Board's vice president, in a press release. “Barb’s dedication is evident in her decades of experience. She brings so much to the organization, and we look forward to working together for the betterment of public transit.”
CyRide, the Ames public transit system, is funded by the City of Ames, Iowa State University and the Iowa State University Student Government. The Transit Director operates under a board of directors representing riders and those who fund it.
With supervision of the board, “the Transit Director plans, directs, coordinates and ensures the efficiency of all fiscal, operational, maintenance and personnel activities for CyRide,” as stated in a press release.
CyRide runs 13 fixed routes, offers a Dial-A-Ride service for persons with disabilities and a late night route called the “Moonlight Express.” CyRide is open to Iowa State students for free, $1 for non-Iowa State students and 50 cents for riders who are kindergarten to high school students, Medicare cardholders, 65 or older persons or persons with disabilities.
Prior to taking on the role of Interim Director, Neal had worked in the transit agency since 1991. Neal served as the assistant operations supervisor from 1991 to 2004, the CyRide operations supervisor from 2004 to 2016 and the assistant transit director from 2016 onward.
CyRide was recently awarded $1.6 million in federal grant money for the purchasing of two electric buses, which will replace two older diesel buses. This project will be one of the first to be officially under the oversight of new director Barbara Neal.