Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion was appointed to the Capital Metro board of directors Tuesday morning following the resignation of Beverly Silas.
Silas served on the board for eight years and resigned at the Travis County Commissioner Court meeting Oct. 3 amid racial comment controversy. Silas, who was vice chair of the Capital Metro board, made comments about hiring an African-American as the agency’s CEO and president during an Aug. 9 workshop.
Deece Eckstein, intergovernmental relations officer for Travis County, said the county is allowed to appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the term expires in June.
Commissioners Margaret Gomez and Brigid Shea recommended Travillion for the position, commenting on his passion to bring more transit services to his precinct and Travis County.
“We are expanding our role in transit,” Shea said. “He brings an existing knowledge and is an advocate on these issues.”
Shea said as the county commences a process to pull down federal transit money to provide additional transit services outside of the current Capital Metro service area, having an elected county official on the board is important in bridging the information gap and keeping the county in the loop.
“I would like for us to be more involved and have a more ongoing understanding of what is happening at CapMetro,” Shea said.
Travillion said he will make sure that he is communicating with the people who will be affected by the decisions made to transportation and hopes that as a board they can figure out a way to move forward and plan for future generations as it relates to transportation.
“Because of the effects of gentrification and displacement of some many people we really ought to sit and put an asset map together and talk about the things that have to be done over the next 10 years,” Travillion said.
Eric Bustos, government relations coordinator for Capital Metro, said as a board member Travillion will also help in the selection of a new CEO and the June service changes.