After 35 plus years of service, Carole Warlick is retiring as General Manager of Hill Country Transit District, effective August 1, 2020. Carole became General Manager of Hill Country Transit District (HCTD), doing business as “The HOP,” in 1985. Little did she know at the time that it would become an all-consuming career that would take her all over the country and would give her an opportunity to affect the quality of life of so many. During her tenure as General Manager, she has been responsible for the successful management of a nine-county, regional public transit system including Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, Milam, Mills and San Saba counties which comprise over 9000 square miles of territory and 165,000 people as well as two urban transit districts including the Killeen and Temple urbanized areas which comprise over 300,000 in population. Carole was in charge of the formulation, implementation and administration of the rural and urban systems in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines. She was responsible for the financial direction of HCTD including all contract negotiations with funding agencies and other monetary sources such as the non-emergency medical transportation program. Carole was responsible for the supervision of up to 200 HCTD transit staff, including the provision of required training and evaluations of staff performance, and oversaw a fleet of approximately 180 buses and support vehicles.
Carole was born and raised in Fort Stockton, Texas, and currently lives with her husband, Gary, in Goldthwaite, Texas. She graduated from Fort Stockton High School and attended Sul Ross State University and North Texas State University, Institute of Applied Economics. Over the progression of her career, she also completed course work in Labor and Industrial Relations, Operations Planning for Rural Transit Systems, Implementation of Total Quality Management in Transit, Business Solutions Planning, Employment Law, Financial Management, and Advanced Transit Management. Carole was certified as a Certified Community Transit Manager in April of 1999 and has since attended and served as a presenter at numerous training sessions and seminars sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration, the Community Transportation Association of America, the Texas Transit Association, and the South West Transit Association.
Carole has a tremendous history of local, state, and national involvement in transit issues and has consequently served in numerous organizations including: President & Board Member, Texas Transit Association; Board Member, South West Transit Association; State Delegate to the Community Transportation Association of America; Chairman of the State Bus and Paratransit Roadeo Committee; Chairman of the TxDOT Transit Operations Advisory Committee; Chairman of the TxDOT Section 18 Funding Formula Committee; Board Member of Central Texas Transportation Alliance; Committee Member, TTI Project “One Stop Shop for Transit Coordination”; Chairman of the Central Texas Regional Transportation Advisory Group; Technical Committee Member, Central Texas Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); Member of the Transportation Planning-Policy Board for the Killeen-Temple MPO; and Member of numerous TxDOT Ad-HOC Planning Committees.
She has received the 1996 TxDOT Friend-of-Texas Transit Award as well as the 2004 Community Transportation of the Year (National) Award. Also, during Carole’s time as HCTD General Manager, Hill Country Transit District received the 2007 Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Annual-Award for Success in Enhancing Ridership as well as the FTA Region VI 2015 Transit System of the Year Award. Region VI consist of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
HCTD has also had some extraordinary accomplishments under Carole’s leadership as General Manager. These include, but are not limited to the following: accomplished two perfect FTA Triennial-Reviews and a third Triennial with only one finding (triennials, are threeyear all-inclusive compliance audits); purchased property and completed a new 6,500 square foot administrative facility in 2011 and moved all administrative functions from a small warehouse; purchased a 15+ acre commercial property and rehabilitated it into a Central Operations Complex consisting of an operations management building, an eight-bay maintenance shop, a central dispatch and drivers-lounge building, a fueling facility with ample parking, and an automated bus wash. Finally, under Carole’s leadership, HCTD increased its annual operating budget from approximately $772,000 in 1988 to over $9,000,000 in 2020.
Carole states that her retirement is bittersweet. “You don’t do something this long without it becoming a major part of your life. I’ll miss the people more than anything – the drivers and staff, as well as all the people who I’ve worked with and become friends with throughout the region and the state. But, it’s time to move on to the next phase of my life. I intend to spend a lot of time outdoors, enjoying riding horseback, working in the yard and my new greenhouse, and just being out in nature, which has always been my happy place.” In closing she said, “I just want
In closing she said, “I just want to thank all of you that have made this job more than just a job and that have contributed so much to the well-being of so many in Central Texas.”