Wichita Transit hires director from North Carolina

Wichita Transit has hired Steve Spade, the transit director for Chapel Hill, N.C., to lead the agency.

In a news release, city manager Robert Layton said Spade will start work in Wichita Oct. 30. Spade served as Chapel Hill transit director since 2006. The Chapel Hill system provides public transit service to the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro as well as the University of North Carolina. The system has an $18 million annual budget, 200 employees and annual ridership exceeding 7 million, according to the news release.

North Carolina officials have praised Spade for his leadership, the quality of the transit system and improved relationships with employees as well as local, state and federal stakeholders.

Before arriving at Chapel Hill, Spade was general manager of the Des Moines Metropolitan Transit Authority from 1984 to 2006. He said he is looking forward to returning to the Midwest.