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Samuel Johnson Named CEO of Transportation Corridor Agencies

An accomplished tolling executive, Johnson is the first person of color to helm TCA and Orange County’s first Black transportation leader.

IRVINE, Calif. - September 11, 2020

Samuel Johnson, CEO Transportation Corridor AgenciesThe Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) two Boards of Directors, comprised entirely of elected officials, yesterday affirmed that Interim CEO Samuel Johnson will retain the role of CEO effective immediately.

Johnson, an award-winning industry leader with nearly 30 years of public agency experience, has led the Agencies to key successes since being named Interim CEO in April against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among his recent accomplishments, Johnson reformed TCA’s internal audit function for increased transparency; oversaw the creation of a more robust consumer privacy policy; and worked with Board leadership to reduce the Agencies’ annual budget by 51 percent while preserving jobs and prioritizing key projects.

“When we named Samuel Interim CEO in April, I knew his track record for strong leadership, coupled with his experience in the industry, would benefit TCA. What I came to realize was that he has a unique ability to inspire. His enthusiasm for tolling and transportation and his genuine desire to improve quality of life through mobility initiatives inspires everyone around him, from staff to executive leadership to Board members,” said Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Chairwoman and Irvine Mayor Christina Shea.

Johnson joined TCA in 2015 as Chief Toll Operations Officer. During his tenure, his strategic contract approaches improved the Agencies’ fiscal position by saving millions of dollars per year and he led key initiatives such as the statewide effort to adopt sticker transponders. He has had oversight of revenue management, violation processing, toll compliance, customer service, customer experience communications, information technology and more – experience that has prepared him to oversee the Agencies that operate the state’s largest network of toll roads.

“Samuel’s forward-thinking approach will put TCA at the forefront of tolling and transportation for years to come. Furthermore, his commitment to developing staff will ensure that the Agencies have the best and brightest on hand to solve the complex issues that face our industry. Not only is he capable, he is the type of compassionate and consensus building leader that we need during these challenging times,” said Trish Kelley, Mayor Pro Tem of Mission Viejo and Chairwoman of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency (SJHTCA).

Prior to TCA, Johnson spent 12 years with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) overseeing countywide efforts to implement innovative transportation solutions and serving as part of the executive team responsible for the region’s tolling enterprise, including the South Bay Expressway (State Route 125) and the I-15 Express Lanes, the nation’s first dynamically-priced toll facility.

Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with an emphasis in accounting from San Diego State University. He currently serves as president of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the global association for owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them. He is immediate past president of the statewide California Toll Operators Committee (CTOC).

His strong track record as a trusted leader in transportation has prepared Johnson to take on the role as TCA’s CEO at a critical time in history. With his appointment, Johnson becomes the first person of color to hold the position at TCA and the highest-ranking Black leader in Orange County transportation, responsible for an annual average budget of nearly $400 million and investment portfolios in excess of $1.5 billion.

“I am honored that the Boards recognized my abilities when appointing me as interim and have now entrusted me to continue to lead TCA as we strengthen operations and work on projects that will improve our region through enhanced mobility. I take seriously the responsibility placed on me to work with our elected officials and guide the talented staff at TCA as we confront challenges and realize the opportunities they present. I am committed to ensuring we remain on strong financial footing; that staff is equipped for success; and that our Agencies continue as a community partner in meeting the future transportation needs of Orange County,” Johnson said.

Top priorities for the Agencies this year, Johnson noted, are the completion of the Oso Parkway Bridge, slated to open this fall, and continued progress on the 241/91 Express Connector Project. Information on those projects is available at

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are two joint powers authorities formed by the California legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public toll road system comprised of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads.