Duluth Transit Authority elevates interim director to lead operation

Permanently installed General Manager Rod Fournier has been with the DTA since 1988, beginning as a bus operator.

File: Duluth Transit Authority
An electric Duluth Transit Authority bus turns onto Michigan Street in 2018. (Bob King / File / News Tribune)
We are part of The Trust Project.

Calling him a leader with knowledge and experience in the industry going back more than 30 years, the Duluth Transit Authority elevated a new leader this week, installing Rod Fournier as general manager.

Fournier had taken over the position this spring on an interim basis, leading the organization as it adapted to the pandemic and surveys ridership about a historic route overhaul planned for next year .

He replaces Phil Pumphrey, who resigned in late January . Pumphrey was a longtime employee of First Transit, the Ohio-based transit giant and longtime management company contracted to operate the DTA.

Before him, Dennis Jensen helmed the DTA for 38 years before retiring in 2017 .


Rod Fournier.jpg
DTA general manager Rod Fournier. (2021 photo courtesy of the DTA)

The board of directors voted Tuesday to select Fournier after a national search and interview process, a DTA news release said.

"It is clear to us that Rod Fournier has excelled and will continue to excel in this position, and we are very pleased to have someone with his demonstrated leadership, poise, and perspective in this critical role," DTA board member Aaron Bransky said. "The future of the DTA is in great hands, and we look forward to more great work from Rod and his team."

Beginning as a bus operator in 1988, Fournier has held many positions with the DTA, including a recent multi-year stretch as director of operations.

In his new capacity, Fournier will oversee all operational and administrative functions of the fixed-route and paratransit services across the Twin Ports region, the DTA said.

What to read next
New job numbers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show seasonally-adjusted unemployment held at 1.8% in July, holding at an all-time low reached in June.
The afternoon celebration, by invitation-only, gathered about 100 guests.
Rachel Johnson brings over 20 years of economic development experience to the organization.
Addressing public safety through "activation" events and gatherings is a top priority for Downtown Duluth.