Larry Salci
Consulting Services
Thursday, April 25, 2024


Larry brings over thirty five years of executive transportation experience to his consulting engagements. He is a take charge, results driven executive who has regularly been called upon to lead major passenger rail car companies and to advise and lead major metropolitan area transit agencies. His experience ranges from high speed rail ventures in Texas and Florida, to major passenger rail car manufactures Budd, Bombardier, and Morrison Knudsen/Amerail, to major transit agencies including SEMTA-Detroit and the Bi-State Development Agency in St. Louis. He has been a much sought after consultant and speaker on rail transportation issues since 2008.

Larry began his career with the Chrysler Corporation in its Basic Manufacturing Group in Detroit, a complex of plants in the automotive foundry, forging, and machining activities and progressed through several budget analyst positions at each plant to a management position in the Group Comptroller's Office.

In 1975 Chrysler granted Larry a one year leave of absence to join the Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority (SEMTA-Detroit), and in 1976 the Board of Directors of SEMTA appointed him General Manager and CEO at age 29. During his 5 ½ years as CEO, Larry reorganized and transformed SEMTA into a true multi-modal regional transportation agency and secured a $600 million federal grant for major capital improvements. He created an agency culture driven by quantitative performance measurement, management accountability, and financial transparency. The success of his relentless focus on customer driven change was measured by a doubling of the number of customers in five years.

After his successful stint leading a major metropolitan transit agency, Larry returned to the private sector, initially as a Principal with Plante & Moran, CPAs as a Partner in its Management Consulting Group. However, shortly thereafter, he was recruited to the passenger rail vehicle manufacturing industry and had an extremely successful executive career as the President of several major passenger railcar manufacturers including The Budd Company's Transit Group (Philadelphia), Bombardier Corporation (Washington, DC), Morrison Knudsen's Transit Group (Chicago), and most recently Colorado Railcar Manufacturing (Denver). Under his leadership, these companies collectively were responsible for the design and manufacture of over 3,000 passenger railcars of all modes and technology for major transit agencies, State DOTs and Amtrak. In addition, he had oversight and management responsibility for the Florida and Texas High Speed Rail Projects Bombardier pursued form 1988-93 as the North American licensee of TGV technology.

In 2002 Larry returned to the public sector and was appointed President & CEO of the Bi- State Development Agency (the agency responsible for bus and rail transit and the downtown St. Louis Airport) by its Board of Directors. Like SEMTA, Bi-State had a prior history of poor operational performance, annual operating budget deficits, bus service cuts, and poor oversight and governance of its capital projects, including a delayed and over budget project to extend light rail in Missouri. During his tenure as CEO, the Agency had six consecutive years of balanced budgets with no increase in taxes and dramatic improvements in service quality and reliability. This turnaround was achieved by a functional reorganization, with a new and re- energized executive team, which generated major increases in passenger revenue, reductions in operating costs, and exceptional vehicle maintenance resulting in high reliability and on-time performance, significant customer acceptance and record ridership increases. The troubled Missouri light rail extension Project was taken over and directly managed by Metro in 2004 and successfully opened in August 2006. FY-2008 ridership exceeded FY-2010 forecast ridership.

Larry has had a long and successful track record of working cooperatively with and successfully negotiating contract renewals with a number of public and private sector unions including the United Auto Workers, Steel Workers, Aerospace Machinists, Electrical Workers, and the Amalgamated Transit Union at the transit properties in Detroit and St. Louis. He has proven himself to be a respected partner and maintains excellent relationships with major union leadership.

Since 2008 Larry has been an independent management consultant in the transportation industry, with clients in the financial industry providing working capital loans to private sector transportation equipment manufacturers and large financial institutions that provided capital through leveraged lease transactions and other client engagements with transportation interests. He was retained by the Federal Railway Administration to provide independent review and assessment of technical specification(s) for Passenger Rail Improvement and Investment Act (PRIIA) funded Next Generation (125 mph) standardized bi-level and single-level passenger rail coaches and a diesel-electric locomotive. He has developed a professional reputation for successfully managing large troubled public agencies or private companies with a management style and culture driven by change management, asset management principles that maximize productivity and performance, financial transparency, and strong convictions that failed policies and poorly led and motivated people are the prime enemies of productivity and good service.

Larry holds undergraduate and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from the University of Detroit's Business School. He and his wife Karen reside in Caseyville, Illinois near St. Louis. They have two adult children, Jennifer and Brian.