Douglas Kelsey is the 50-year-old president and chief executive of British Columbia Rapid Transit Co. in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In that role, Kelsey is responsible for SkyTrain driverless light-rail lines and the West Coast Express commuter-rail line from downtown Vancouver to Mission, B.C., about 40 miles east of the city.
SkyTrain, which operates 30 miles of its own lines and has oversight responsibility for the new 12-mile Canada Line train that serves Vancouver International Airport, is the longest automated, driverless train system in the world, Kelsey said. The Canada Line was built as a public-private partnership and is privately operated.
Kelsey said he wants the top RTD job in part because of the challenge of completing FasTracks and creating a “100-year legacy” for metro Denver.
“It’s a game changer,” Kelsey said of RTD’s massive transit expansion.
In competing for funding from the federal government for FasTracks, metro Denver “can’t afford to be fractured,” Kelsey said, adding that completing the project “will take commitment and sacrifice to achieve, but the prize far outweighs the lesser choices.”
Before joining Vancouver’s transit authority in 1999, Kelsey held positions as vice president-operations for Great Canadian Railtour Co., Western Canada operations manager for Starbucks Coffee Co., marketing & sales division manager for Laidlaw Waste Systems in Vancouver and manager of national retail planning for Shell Canada Ltd.
Kelsey is in charge of “spectator and workforce movement” for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Paralympics in February and March.
“I’m a generalist. I’ve done private- sector and public-sector work, major events and strategic planning,” he said. “At the heart of it, it’s about serving the customer, producing services and products that people love.”Sure knows the talk, I guess we’ll find out if he can walk the walk