J. Barry Barker


In nearly 25 years as Executive Director of the Transit Authority of River City, Barry Barker has established an exemplary record of innovative professional accomplishments and public service at the local, state and national level. Barry’s indelible imprint on Louisville’s modern public transportation system has provided access, opportunity, and enhanced quality of life to all citizens of Louisville.

In leading the largest public transit system in the Commonwealth, Barry Barker brought passion, commitment and innovation to this segment of our state’s transportation system. He led the implementation of new technologies (e.g., electric buses, real-time alerts, etc.) and he managed to make continuous improvements in service even in a very tight budget environment. Barry was chair of the Kentuckians for Better Transportation Public Transit Committee. In that capacity, he demonstrated his leadership at the state level and his ability to support all modes of transportation as partners in the ongoing effort to provide world class transportation to residents of the Commonwealth. Barry is also a national industry leader, chairing the Legislative Committee for the American Public Transportation Association, leading the development of the industry’s national legislative platform. Barry worked as a partner to all of the other transit systems in the Commonwealth, sharing information, providing technical assistance, and being a confidant and friend to transit managers in every region in Kentucky. Moreover, Barry is an outstanding human being who cares deeply about his community and helping people access jobs, education, and healthcare.

In his nearly 40 year career in transportation, Barry has not only improved public transportation networks, he’s worked in Kentucky with representatives of all modes to find ways to improve mobility for all. Barry has made the city of Louisville more accessible for all of its citizens, by working with diverse communities and community leaders to find solutions to meet transportation needs.  Under his leadership, TARC created partnerships with major employers, government agencies and schools, including Humana, Louisville Metro, the University of Louisville and Jefferson Community and Technical College, so their employees, students, faculty and staff are able to ride free with a company or school ID. These agreements underscore Barry’s motivating belief that access to transportation is critical for people to reach their full potential and thrive.

Excellence in Motion

© 2017 Kentucky Transportation Center

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