EVTA Names Tanya Allen Executive Director

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  • EVTA Names Tanya Allen Executive Director

Allen moves from ECO Transit director to leading new transit agency

The Eagle Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors at its May 10 board meeting voted to appoint Tanya Allen as the authority’s full-time executive director. Allen was named the interim executive director in December after voters in unincorporated Eagle County; the Towns of Avon, Eagle, Minturn, Red Cliff and Vail; and Beaver Creek Metropolitan District voted to establish the authority on the November 2022 ballot.

“I am honored that the EVTA’s board has given me the opportunity to lead our region’s new transportation agency as we rollout the initial services and then guide the future of transportation here in the Eagle River Valley,” Allen said. “This is a unique opportunity to build and grow this organization from the beginning stages, establishing operations, leadership, staffing, planning, marketing and all the other tasks needed to make this agency work for the community members and taxpayers who supported its creation. While the EVTA will draw on the experience of ECO Transit, as an independent organization we are starting many things from scratch.”

Previously, Allen was the director of Eagle County’s ECO Transit, where she was responsible for management, strategic planning and regulatory compliance for the agency’s transit and trails programs, while managing approximately 70 employees and $13 million annually in public funds. Allen’s accomplishments include leading the agency through COVID-19, including implementation of schedule reductions and development of safety and cleaning protocols. ECO Transit maintained continuous service throughout the pandemic and received a statewide award for public health coordination efforts.

She also initiated—and provided much of the hands-on management and technical expertise—for the multijurisdictional process that created the EVTA under the state’s Regional Transportation Authority law. This effort included successful passage of the November 2022 ballot measure in the seven jurisdictions that now form the EVTA. At the same time, Allen still managed the day-to-day operations of ECO Transit as that system began to recover much of its ridership lost during the pandemic.

“There is no question that Tanya is the right person to lead the Eagle Valley Transportation Authority,” said Amy Phillips, EVTA’s board chair and mayor of Avon. “The board unanimously selected Tanya because of her dedication to our region, her understanding of transportation and transit management, and her skill at leading a high-performing organization. Under Tanya’s leadership, we believe the EVTA will deliver on its promises to voters to increase transportation options across the valley that will benefit our local residents, businesses and visitors.”

Allen and the EVTA Board will focus on planning for the future needs of the residents, workers and guests in the authority’s region. The planning timeline will include strategies to develop the increases needed in staffing, housing and stock of vehicles necessary to implement the improved services the voters expect. The process of hiring financial, human resources and communications management for the agency will be critical prior to the transition of ECO Transit equipment and staff from the county into the EVTA. This planning timeline will include the transition of service responsibilities, development of the planned fare-free zone, and the implementation of increased frequencies and other service improvements across the existing ECO Transit service area.

During Allen’s tenure at ECO Transit, the agency launched new technologies to improve operations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including a Battery Electric Bus Pilot Program. ECO Transit also developed a mobile fare payment system and reshaped its employment structure to create additional pathways for employee leadership development and growth. Prior to joining Eagle County, Allen served as Transportation Manager for the City of Glenwood Springs, where she managed the City’s Ride Glenwood bus program and played an integral role in developing and implementing transportation demand management programs in support of the Grand Avenue Bridge replacement project.

Previously, she has served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, serving at diplomatic and consular posts in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions, as well as Washington. A native Philadelphian, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Williams College and a Master of Community Planning Degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. In her free time, Allen enjoys training for triathlons and studying foreign languages.