The People Behind the Wheel Podcast Episode 1 – Lona Hankins, New Orleans RTA
Posted: 25 October 2023 | Halimah Haque - Intelligent Transport, Lona Edwards Hankins - New Orleans Regional Transit Authority | No comments yet
In the first ‘The people behind the wheel’ podcast episode, bought to you by the Intelligent Transport Podcast, Lona Edwards Hankins, CEO of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, discusses her unique role in managing and modernising the city’s transit system, her leadership style and her forward-looking vision for the future of public transportation in conversation with Editorial Assistant Halimah Haque.
Beginning the conversation for this episode, Lona Edwards Hankins, CEO of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA), provides a glimpse into her role at RTA and the unique challenges and opportunities that she faces in managing the historic transit system while modernising it for the future. Lona shares her passion for making a meaningful impact on the city and community that she loves, as well as her journey from her previous roles to leading the transformation of New Orleans’ public transit system.
Then, Lona delves into her leadership style, focused on turning challenges into opportunities, as she discusses her commitment to solving complex problems and ensuring that public transportation continues to serve as a vital lifeline for the community. She emphasises that public transit can be a powerful force for positive change within the region, attracting economic development and employers while improving the quality of life for its residents.
In the second half of this episode, we shift our attention to the future as Lona shares her vision for a forward-thinking, inclusive and environmentally sustainable future of public transportation in New Orleans and beyond. She shares her hopes to develop RTA as an incubator for talent, where staff thrive in an efficient, sought-after work environment and choose to stay and grow with the agency.
Lona Edwards Hankins serves as the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority‘s (RTA) Chief Executive Officer. Previously, she had served as the RTA’s Chief of Infrastructure and Long-Term Planning. In that position, Lona oversaw the development and execution of capital assets and the implementation of infrastructure improvement projects across all modes of the authority’s transit operations and administration. In her over 30 years of work experience in the industrial and public sector, Lona has spearheaded the rebuilding of New Orleans schools during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.