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The Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK)

Throughout the Illinois Quad Cities, the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District, commonly known as MetroLINK, is moving Quad Citians from one destination to another. 
Over 160 employees provide Metro fixed-route bus service that is 100% eco-friendly, running solely on compressed natural gas and battery electric technology. Other services include complementary ADA paratransit and seasonal passenger ferryboat service on the Mississippi River. Communities served include Moline, Rock Island, East Moline, Silvis, Milan, Carbon Cliff, Hampton, and Colona. 
The 3.2 million rides per year taken on MetroLINK provide a vital connection to jobs, education, healthcare, and retail— supporting our local economy and creating a vibrant quality of life. Our economic footprint connects 429 jobs and generates over $46 million in Quad Cities sales revenue. 

About Us

Jeffrey Nelson

CEO / Managing Director MetroLINK, Chair APTA

Jeff Nelson is a public transportation leader who specializes in urban design, land use planning and economic development.  As CEO/Managing Director for the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), Mr. Nelson directs services including Metro fixed route bus, ADA paratransit, and the Channel Cat Water Taxi passenger ferryboat.  During his 39 years as CEO/Managing Director his strategic focus has been on implementing cutting edge programs with an emphasis on economic growth, sustainability, technology, and workforce development. Under his guidance MetroLINK was awarded the American Public Transportation Association “Outstanding Public Transportation Award”.  Other notable leadership recognitions include the Federal Transportation Administration’s “State Leadership Award”, numerous APTA “AdWheel” Awards, APTA “Bus Safety Gold Award”, Metro Magazine “Innovation of the Year Award”, Quad City Chamber of Commerce “Multi Modal” Award, the NAACP “Business Image Award”, and various community and civic sustainability awards for excellence in environmental planning. 

Mr. Nelson has served on a variety of community boards and committees throughout his professional career. He has been actively involved with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for three decades, serving in a number of leadership positions. Currently he serves as Immediate Past Chair of the APTA Board of Directors and Chair of the APTA Diversity and Inclusion Council. Other board affiliates include Chair, Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab; Board Trustee, Two Rivers YMCA; Vice President, Illinois Public Transportation Association; Chair, National Transit Institute at Rutgers; Moline Planning Commissioner; and Moline Police and Fire Commissioner.  Mr. Nelson holds a B.S. in Political Science from Western Illinois University, a M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University, and is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Business “Creating Collaborative Solutions” program.   


Amanda Gravelle
I am a Junior at Augustana College, majoring in Engineering Physics, Environmental Studies, and Art History with an interest in urban planning and transportation. I’m involved in several organizations on campus including the Sierra Club and the Augustana Physics and Engineering Society, and in my remaining free time, I love to play the cello and paint. One of my primary goals as a student is to become more involved in the surrounding community, so I’m incredibly excited to be able to work with MetroLink to address the needs of the Illinois Quad Cities. 
Sarah Villani
My name’s Sarah and I am a sophomore at Augustana College studying Environmental Studies and Geography. I am interested in the environmental sustainability aspects of transportation and how to make them more environmentally friendly
Carter Thompson
Hello, my name is Carter Thompson. I am a junior at Augustana College majoring in Geography and minoring in G.I.S. My interests in the field are walkability, multimodal transportation, historic preservation, and land use/zoning, specifically in making areas more walkable and liveable with less sprawl. I’m interested in this project because I want to explore transportation more and learn more about it. 
Benjamin Castro
I am Ben Castro and I am the Transportation Planner with MetroLINK. I have been with Metro for about a year a half and I have loved every minute here. I graduated from Augustana College in 2021 and studied Geography and Environmental Studies. My interests include things such as environmental justice, sustainable planning, urban centers, and how people interact and shape their landscape.