Stephen Gardner (seen above) becomes the president and CEO of Amtrak effective January 17, 2022.
[Above photo by Amtrak]
Gardner currently serves as Amtrak’s president, leading the railroad’s day-to-day operations, customer growth initiatives and strategies to modernize Amtrak’s products, services, infrastructure and fleet. He replaces current Amtrak CEO William “Bill” Flynn, who is retiring.
Flynn will continue serving as a senior advisor to both Gardner and Amtrak as a whole for the remainder of the fiscal year following his retirement to support the transition.
Gardner has been with Amtrak since 2009, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including chief operating and commercial officer. He has been responsible for the national passenger railroad’s efforts to expand state-supported service partnerships, increase Acela capacity, improve Northeast Corridor infrastructure, and develop Amtrak’s strategic plan.
[Editor’s note: Amtrak recently noted in its fiscal year 2021 annual report that business is now at about 70 percent of pre-COVID levels, up from 25 percent in FY 2020. Based on its current forecast, Amtrak expects ridership and revenue to improve to about 80 percent of pre-COVID levels by the end of FY 2022.]
“I’m truly humbled and honored to assume this role for America’s Railroad,” Gardner said in a statement.
“I’m excited about working with our state, commuter and freight rail and federal partners to improve our assets, renew our fleet and expand Amtrak service to more communities,” he added. “Having started my railroad career as an Amtrak intern, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to help lead the incredible team of dedicated men and women at Amtrak.”
Prior to Amtrak, Gardner served on the subcommittee staff of the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Subcommittee on Surface Transportation & Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.
He also worked as legislative assistant for transportation for Senator Tom Carper and Congressman Bob Clement. Early in his transportation career, Gardner held various operating and managerial positions with Guilford Rail System’s Maine Central Railroad in Maine and Massachusetts, along with the Buckingham Branch Railroad in Virginia.
Gardner – who resides in Philadelphia with his wife and two children – holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.