September 27, 2023
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VCTC executive director to leave for top Metrolink post


Darren Kettle, the executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, is the next CEO of Metrolink, Southern California’s regional passenger railroad agency.

Darren Kettle

The Metrolink Board of Directors named Kettle CEO in a vote on July 23. Metrolink serves six counties in Southern California, including Ventura County, with a focus on commuter rail service.

Kettle has been the executive director of VCTC since 2007. In his new role, Kettle will be overseeing the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion, a $10 billion capital campaign to improve rail safety and service ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games. The agency has already received $2.8 billion SCORE funding to date.

“Darren’s breadth of leadership experience includes executive roles in three of our five member counties,” Metrolink Board Chair and Glendale City Councilmember Ara Najarian said in a news release. “From the inland areas to the coastal communities of Ventura County, Darren’s transformative vision and passion for public transportation will well serve Metrolink as the agency continues to meet the needs of and provide more opportunities to Southern Californians.”

Kettle’s first day at Metrolink will be Sept. 7. His new job pays $315,000 as a base salary, plus benefits. At VCTC, which is Ventura County’s regional transportation agency, he earned around $281,000 in regular salary plus $82,000 in benefits in 2018, the last year for which records are available.

“Metrolink is an integral part to the lives of Southern Californians,” Kettle said, in the news release. “I am also enthusiastic to be part of Metrolink as we prepare to welcome local and global fans to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028.”