A career that spans four decades and began with him as a bus operator ends in January for William Hudson Jr., president and general manager of the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA).
Hudson, who has served as the chief of MATA since 1993, came aboard as a bus operator 49 years ago. His decision to retire was announced at MATA's regularly scheduled quarterly board meeting last week.
The first African American to hold the position of president and general manager of MATA, Hudson has worked in nearly every aspect of transit and has held numerous senior level positions including director of transit operations, customer service and marketing, and labor relations and field operations.
Hudson, who developed a safety program that has been considered a national model, has conducted seminars in transit management, safety and labor negotiations, and consulted with transit systems across the country. In 2003, MATA was selected as one of the Top Ten Most Improved transit systems by Metro Magazine.
In 2001, Hudson was named one of the Downtowners of the Decade. He was also named Executive of the Year by the Africa in April Festival, Inc. and inducted into the Tennessee Public Transportation Hall of Fame in 2009.
At Monumental Baptist Church, Hudson serves as chairman of the Trustee Board. He and his wife, Gracie, have one adult son and two grandsons.