Joanna M. Pinkerton Moving on From COTA Following Six Years of Transformational Achievement

President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton has announced that she will resign her position in May, following a six-year tenure that saw the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) evolve into a provider of innovative mobility solutions and a force for community equity. Pinkerton submitted her resignation, effective May 6, to the COTA Board of Trustees, which will immediately begin an executive search process. With steadily improving service and ridership, the recently ratified contract for COTA’s unionized employees, and an outstanding executive leadership team, COTA is well-positioned to address Central Ohio’s mobility challenges.

“Leading COTA has been an honor, and I am extremely proud that COTA has never been in better shape than it is today,” Pinkerton said. “I have full confidence in the Board of Trustees our Executive Leadership Team, and every member of Team COTA to seize the opportunity that is before us to transform Central Ohio’s mobility landscape.”

“We are grateful to Joanna for her leadership, and we celebrate the tremendous achievements of her tenure,” said Board of Trustees Chair Marlon Moore. “As we begin the process to identify COTA’s next president and CEO, I am confident that we have the right team in place to continue our momentum in this pivotal year.”

Pinkerton has led COTA through transformational change, even through tumultuous times that tested transit agencies around the country. COTA’s successes under her leadership include:

  • Leading the establishment of the LinkUS mobility initiative, which seeks to transform our transit system to better connect communities and create opportunities for a more equitable and sustainable region.
  • Keeping the Central Ohio economy moving throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, never missing a single day of service.
  • Reaching a contract agreement with TWU Local 208 that avoided a work stoppage and will help retain and recruit frontline workers.
  • Delivering innovative mobility options, services, and partnerships such as COTA//Plus, C-Pass, and the Educational Pass Program.
  • Offering more affordable and equitable transit through fare payment capping and income assistance.
  • Earning recognition by the American Public Transportation Association as the most outstanding midsized transit system in 2018 and 2020, and by the Ohio Department of Transportation as transit system of the year in 2022.

Pinkerton has been recognized by the YWCA as a Woman of Achievement and by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials as a Woman Who Moves the Nation. She serves as chair of Intelligent Transportation Systems of America’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, is an Executive Committee member of the Transportation Research Center Inc. Board of Directors, is a Board of Directors member for the Rise Together Innovation Institute and serves on the Ohio Northern University College of Engineering Advisory Board.

Joanna Pinkerton