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County Hires Transit Manager

One thought drives Ashburn resident Nancy Gourley when she arrives at the new Office of Transportation Services every morning

“It makes me excited to think we probably transported 500 plus people to their jobs by the time I get to work,” said Gourley, transit operations manager since August, when the position was added to the year-old office that opened in July 2001.

The county’s transit and commuter services take about 600 passengers around the county and on round-trip commutes to the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area each day. Since Gourley started, the office added two commuter buses for a total of 15 buses and on Sept. 3 initiated the reverse commute service. In July, the office started the "7 to 7 on 7" bus service, which runs along Route 7 with eight stops from Leesburg to the Fairfax County line.

"Transit is the area where we are going to see the biggest growth in the next few years. We want to be moving people rather than vehicles," said John Clark, director of transportation. "What Nancy will bring to the office is strengthening our ability to do that, to get into the customer approach marketing transit to our potential users."

Gourley oversees the commuter-bus contract, a position that entails working with contractors on service delivery, obtaining and responding to rider feedback, providing customer service, planning routes and schedules and forecasting the need for future services, buses and routes. The current commuter routes are from Cascades to West Falls Church Metro Station and from Purcellville, Hamilton, Leesburg and Dulles North to Washington, D.C. In December 2001, the Pentagon shuttle was reinstated to take passengers from Rosslyn to Arlington.

“It’s still in is infancy and it’s growing, and I wanted to be part of that endeavor,” Gourley said about the commuter-bus program. She plans to add new transportation services, improve the existing services and give the services their own identity, possibly with a name and logo, “so when you see any of our buses, you know that’s Loudoun County public transportation,” she said.

GOURLEY’S FIRST PRIORITY this year will be developing a ridership survey for the commuter-bus service.

“Her people skills are excellent,” said Sharon Affinito, transportation planner. “She brings that experience to the job with her customer service [background].”

Previously, Gourley worked for nearly 30 years in the management sector of the car-rental business. She handled daily scheduling, resource management and customer service for operations at several East Coast airports.

“Assuring customer service was a high priority in the competitive rental-car business, and Nancy’s skills in this area will be a great asset to our efforts to increase ridership and assure rider satisfaction on our buses,” said Chip Taylor, manager of public transportation and transportation operations, in a statement.

“I have a strong operations background, so the operations piece is interesting to me. It’s a service industry. That’s what I’m interested in,” Gourley said.

Gourley attended Lebanon Valley College in Hershey, Pa., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. She and her husband of 20 years, Gary Gourley, have lived in Loudoun County for the past 10 years.