SunLine Transit Agency Welcomes Mona Babauta as New CEO

Aug 7, 2023

(Thousand Palms) – Today, Mona Babauta is being welcomed at SunLine Transit Agency as its new CEO/General Manager. The seasoned transit professional comes to the agency following 26 years of public service in California – 24 of which have been in the public transit industry serving communities in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. 

Mona Babauta SunLine CEO“We are so pleased to be welcoming Mona to the helm of SunLine Transit Agency today,” said Lisa Middleton, Board Chair of SunLine Transit Agency. “Our Board is impressed by the leadership qualities and experience she brings to SunLine, and we have the utmost confidence she is the ideal individual to lead SunLine as we continue to deliver safe, reliable transit services to our community utilizing our clean fuels fleet.”

Babauta has served as the Deputy General Manager for Golden Gate Transit, which is a division of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District that provides transit service in Sonoma, Marin, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties. 

Additionally, she was the first permanent Executive Director of Solano County Transit, where – after 5 years – she eliminated a structural deficit, initiated the agency’s transition to zero-emission technology and completed a number of infrastructure projects that were critical for improving public trust, operational efficiency as well as system safety and security.

“SunLine has been a pioneer in the transit industry by paving the way for clean fuels innovation in bus fleets for more than three decades,” said Gloria Salazar, who has served as SunLine’s Interim CEO/General Manager over the past five months. “Under Mona’s direction, we look forward to continuing on that path as we transition to full zero-emission service ahead of the state’s 2040 deadline.” 

Separate from Babauta’s expansive professional career, she has also been active in various state, regional and national committees focused on transit advocacy and sustainability, including serving on the Executive Committee of the California Transit Association and the Board of Directors of The Center for Transportation and the Environment.

“I am both thrilled and honored to be joining SunLine’s team today, as I have admired the agency’s innovative spirit and industry leadership in the hydrogen fuel cell space for many years,” said Babauta. “I look forward to working with the Board, the staff and its labor partners, as well as our community stakeholders, to advance projects and programs that will further improve the customer experience and mobility throughout the Coachella Valley.”

Babauta earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. 

To learn more about SunLine Transit Agency, visit


About SunLine Transit Agency 

SunLine provides public transit services in California’s Coachella Valley spanning 1,120 mile-service area and carrying approximately 4.2 million riders. It has pioneered zero-emission bus deployments, particularly for hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEB). In 1993, SunLine’s Board adopted a voluntary policy of pursuing alternative fuel solutions that provide the lowest possible emissions, which led to SunLine becoming the first transit agency in the state to convert its entire fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG). SunLine is committed to transitioning its entire bus fleet to zero-emission by 2035. SunLine Refueled is a multi-tiered initiative that brings exciting new transportation alternatives to the Coachella Valley. To learn more about SunLine Transit Agency’s services and policies, go to