Rich Krisak is a rail transit professional with a career spanning 30 years including six public transit authorities. He has specialized in the planning, design, construction and operations of rail systems. He has experience in streetcar, light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail and freight. He most recently came to MARTA from Austin, Texas, where he was managing both the Austin North Western short line railroad freight operation as well as the new Diesel Multiple Unit light rail system. Rich has the distinction of having worked on the development and operation of every modern rail project in Texas including the highly successful Dallas and Houston projects. He was responsible for planning efforts associated with the Trinity River Express commuter rail system and start up, activation and operations of both the DART and Houston light rail.
Due to his extensive experience, in June 2010, Rich was selected by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to serve as a member of the Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), an advisory committee that will assist the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with developing national safety standards for rail transit.
Rich grew up in a transit family. His father, relatives and extended family were employed for many years in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) and its predecessor companies. He started his career as an intern with the GCRTA while attending college at Cleveland State University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning. Immediately upon graduation, he moved to New Jersey where he was employed by the Port Authority of PA/NJ in hands on transportation functions such as Train Operator, Supervisor, Yard Master and Controller. Next, he served in the private sector as a consultant to the Buffalo, NY light rail project where he was responsible for operations planning and start-up.