Transit District Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

Transit District Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

The San Mateo County Transit District announced today the hiring of Ilia (Eli) Kay as Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Kay has 20 years of financial management and accounting experience. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer for Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road Concessions, LLC, where he managed all finance and accounting activities for two private sector entities engaged in public private partnership to operate transportation facilities.

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In addition to his experience in Chicago, Mr. Kay has held the positions of Senior Director Internal Audit and Controller for large companies with global operations over the course of his career.  Mr. Kay received his Executive MBA from the University of Oregon and is a Certified Public Accountant. 

Oversight of incoming revenues, accounts payable, payroll, contracts and procurement, and operating and capital budgets are among the CFO’s many responsibilities. 

The CFO is a new position created through the CEO’s recently announced agency-wide reorganization.  “The District continues to face pressing financial concerns due to SamTrans ongoing structural deficit and the lack of dedicated funding for Caltrain,” said Jim Harnett, General Manager/CEO, San Mateo County Transit District. “The creation of this position brings additional focus to addressing these long term challenges.”

The new CFO will also play an important role in providing financial support for the Caltrain Modernization Program.  The $1.7 billion program includes electrification of the tracks between San Francisco and San Jose, the installation of an advanced signal system and the manufacturing of new electric multiple units to replace the current diesel-based equipment.  It is the largest modernization project in the systems 150 year history.

Mr. Kay will be joined in California by his wife, Oksana and their two sons.  They plan to live in San Mateo County.



About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 76 routes throughout San Mateo County.  Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976. 

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About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain has enjoyed five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders earlier this year. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations. 

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About the TA: Created to administer Measure A, San Mateo County’s half-cent sales tax, the Transportation Authority provides funding for transportation and infrastructure improvement projects. In 2004, more than 75 percent of San Mateo County residents voted to reauthorize Measure A for an additional 25 years.




Media Contact: Tasha Bartholomew, 650.508.7927