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CATS CEO is expected to leave Charlotte for San Antonio

The Charlotte Area Transit System's CEO Keith Parker is expected to leave Charlotte to head San Antonio's transit system. Parker has not publicly talked about the new job. But Mecklenburg County Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts says he called her Monday to say he would be leaving Charlotte for San Antonio. "He from what I understand has gotten a great offer with a bigger system and a bigger salary with responsibilities," says Roberts. Parker has been the head of CATS since 2007. He makes $197,000. Parker presided over the opening of Charlotte's first light rail line and has been making steps to begin the construction of two more rail lines that would stretch from uptown Charlotte to University City and the Lake Norman area. A steep drop in revenue from the sales tax has delayed those lines. Roberts says she still expects those lines will be a priority no matter who's in charge. "There could be an opportunity for someone new to come in and look at things slightly differently. But there are so many things that are already in process that will continue," says Roberts. San Antonio's transit board is expected to decide who will be the new head of the city's transit system today. If approved, Parker will be taking over a transit system that has buses but not light rail. Priscilla Ingle, a spokeswoman for San Antonio's system, says the city is hoping to change that. "So we're looking for individuals who not only have a vision for transit, but also have the skills to bring that vision to fruition. And really individuals who have experience working with multi-modal systems," explains Ingle. Selecting a new transit chief for CATS would be up to the Charlotte City Manager, the Mecklenburg County Manager, and a member of the board that governs CATS.