Citilink’s new general manager has deep Hoosier roots; will stress safety

Citilink's transfer station at Harrison and Baker streets. ( file photo by Kevin Leininger)
Maurice Pearl

Maurice Pearl is coming back home to Indiana as the next general manager of Fort Wayne’s public transportation system.

Pearl, 48, most recently general manager of Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, Tex., will take the leadership reins at Citilink Monday, succeeding Ken Housden. “We interviewed three candidates, and (Pearl) was the most qualified. He’s an Indiana native,” explained Board Chairwoman Sherese Fortriede.

The Hoosier state is prominent in Pearl’s resume, which includes stints as assistant general manager of TRANSPO South Bend from 2011 to 2012 and as superintendent of operations in Evansville from 2002 to 2008. He was general manager of Citibus in Lubbock, Tex., from 2012 to 2018.

“I’m from Indiana, and wanted to get back,” said Pearl, who added that his discussions with Housden and other indicated the organization has been “very efficient and very lean. I’m not going to make any immediate changes. I’ll observe.” Pearl also said he would work to improve safety. While in Lubbock, he challenged his employees to reduce accidents and as of mid-April 2018 total accidents were down 37 percent.

The father of three earned a masters of public administration degree from the University of Southern Indiana in 2008 and a bachelor of science degree from the same school in 1996. In Fort Worth, he managed a budget of more than $50 million. Citilink’s annual expenses are about $12.6 million.

Citilink has about 1.78 million passenger boardings annually and its 57 vehicles travel about 2.1 million miles.