Edward F. King has been named Santa Monica’s new director of the Big Blue Bus.

King, who currently serves as executive director of the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority, will replace Stephanie Negriff, who announced her retirement after 10 years as the transit agency’s director.

“Ed King is an exceptional manager with a proven track record in operations management and transportation planning for several large organizations,” Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould said. “He brings in-depth experience ranging from transit system improvements focusing on service quality and reliability, to strategic transit service planning. He is known for strong management, staff development and budgeting skills,” Gould said.

During his tenure with the San Luis Obispo transit authority, King oversaw all regional and fixed route transit services as well as the capital program for procurement of buses, paratransit vehicles, trolleys and bus stop amenities.

He also focused on operational and funding management improvements, including increasing system-wide ridership and on-time performance. Before heading San Luis Obispo’s transit agency, King was deputy director of Valley Metro Regional Public Transit Authority in Phoenix, where he oversaw transit operations, fleet and facility maintenance, customer service and capital programs.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next director of the Big Blue Bus for the city of Santa Monica,” King said. “I look forward to establishing collaborative relationships with our stakeholders as well as working with the city and Big Blue Bus employees to provide transportation services that improve and enhance the quality of life for the residents and visitors of the city.”

King received a master’s degree in urban planning from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

The appointment follows a nationwide recruitment that attracted more than 50 candidates and interviews with seven finalists over the past month. As Santa Monica Big Blue Bus director, King will receive a base salary of $182,040.