Transit director leaves job

LAWRENCEVILLE - The man who helped steer the fledgling Gwinnett Transit system has been let go.

Tim Collins, who ran bus systems in Green Bay, Wis., and at Duke University before he came to Lawrenceville in 2003, resigned last month, according to Transportation Director Brian Allen.

"We decided to go a different direction, and he left us," Allen said. "It was just a mutual decision the two of us made."

Allen was not critical of Collins' service but said Collins is on "administrative leave" until October.

Allen said he was interested in finding someone who had more experience in contract management to take on the administrative role, since the county has hired Veolia Transportation to handle the day-to-day operations of the system.

In April, auditors from Gwinnett's Performance Analysis Division released a negative report about Veolia's maintenance operations, but Allen said neither the report nor several high-profile bus fires over the past year caused Collins' departure.

"There are times when job matches are good for folks, and there are times when they are not," he said. "We're looking for an individual who can manage the system, and as we look to the region, we have to develop the role of Gwinnett Transit. ... It's not to say he was failing in those things. We both agreed it was time to make a change."

Requests for Collins' resignation letter and most recent performance review were not immediately fulfilled.

Jon Richards, the chairman of the Gwinnett Transit Advisory Board, said he was aware of the personnel changes but was not aware of any job-performance issues.

"As far as I could tell, he seemed to do a reasonable enough job," Richards said. "I don't see where this is going to be a real major issue."

Phil Boyd, a former transit consultant who worked in the county division, has been named acting transit director.