JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority Board on Wednesday unanimously selected Nathaniel Ford Sr. as the agency’s next executive director and CEO.

Ford is managing principal of The Ford Transportation Group LLC in Atlanta. He is the former Executive Director/CEO of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and General Manager/CEO of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in Atlanta.

“I am proud to announce that the JTA Board has agreed to select Nat Ford to lead this important agency at this very important time,” said JTA Chairman Ed Burr. “The process that has led us to this day was comprehensive, transparent and successful. I am proud of the hard work of each of our Board members. They thoughtfully evaluated each of the three fine candidates and ultimately voted to support the one that they thought best served the needs of JTA –- now and into the future.”

“For a city and region to realize its economic potential, it must have a first-class transportation system,” Burr said. “Nat Ford is an accomplished transportation executive, a proven visionary and motivator and is uniquely positioned to lead our agency into the future.”

In its 7-0 vote, the JTA board directed Burr, as chair, to meet with Ford and negotiate an employment contract.

Ford is replacing Michael Blaylock, who is retiring after serving as JTA’s executive director and CEO for the last 10 years.