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Spotlight On: Ryan Daniel

Monday, March 27, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brandi Williams

Spotlight On: Ryan Daniel

In our continuing series highlighting individual COMTO members, Chapters, and Committees, this month we focused our attention on Ryan Daniel. Ryan is CEO of St. Cloud Metro Bus in Minnesota, a member of the Emerging Leaders Subcommittee, and a 2016-2017 TCRP Ambassador.



Ryan Daniel lives and breathes transit. He plans vacations and bases his flights on the type of plane being flown and uses the local public transportation wherever he goes. His office is filled with transit memorabilia and model buses. He stays on top of industry news the way some people follow the stock market.


Those who meet Daniel are often fascinated by the dichotomy and evolution of his experiences of driving a bus at a relatively young age in the hustle and bustle of New York City, to becoming the CEO of an urban transit agency located in the middle of Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes.


This emerging leader started his transit career behind the wheel as a bus operator for New York City Transit in 1999 while working on his undergraduate degree. Since then he’s gained experience, skills and insight by working for four different transit agencies, large and small, with increasing roles of responsibility and leadership. After obtaining his master’s degree in business administration, he moved from New York to Ohio, to be the Training Manager for Central Ohio Transit Authority. Next he relocated to the D.C. area to be a Manager of Bus Operations for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Since August 2013, Daniel has been the CEO of St. Cloud Metro Bus, located in Central Minnesota.


In addition to his college degrees and passion for the industry, Daniel has a broad knowledge of security and safety in the transit industry. He is a graduate of the National Transit Institute Transit Academy and has several certifications from the Transportation Safety Institute and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has completed the US Department of Transportation Transit Safety and Security Program, and is a Certified Safety Specialist with the World Safety Organization. He has training from the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Transportation.


Daniel continues to seek new opportunities to learn and grow by attending conferences and networking with industry leaders. He also encourages and nurtures professional growth in others. This is why he joined COMTO in 2014 — to invest in himself and others.


“I wanted another avenue of transit resources available to me, as well as the opportunity mentor to others,” said Daniel, who’s been very pleased by the experience of COMTO meeting these objectives. 


He said serving on the Emerging Leaders Sub Committee has been awesome. The purpose of this subcommittee is to engage and mentor COMTO members who are looking to build the vital skills needed to advance in their managerial careers in public or private organizations within the transportation industry. 


Daniel is also active in leadership development in Central Minnesota, where he serves on the executive board of a leadership program for minorities in Central Minnesota community, and will soon be teaching entry-level supervision courses to business students as an adjunct professor for the local community college.


Daniel’s advice to others starting in their careers in transportation: “Keep your mind open to opportunities. When you see a path forward, don’t be afraid to take it, even if it’s something you may never have considered before. If you have confidence in yourself, you find that it’s a lot easier to make those hard decisions.”