When Jeffrey Tumlin was selected by Mayor London Breed to lead the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), a hiring she announced last week, hopes were high but still cautious.
Tumlin, a 28-year San Francisco resident, last helped reform the Oakland Department of Transportation as principal at Nelson Nygaard, a transportation consulting firm. But he has yet to manage a public agency. And this isn’t any ordinary public agency. This is one that—in addition to having more than 6,000 employees, an annual budget of $1.2 billion, and roughly 714,000 passengers each day—comes saddled with issues ranging from a sexual harassment scandal to malfunctioning train doors to a dearth of service in black communities.