Richard Cromwell lll  has passed away after an undisclosed illness. Dick began his public service career on a full-time basis with Sunline Transit Agency in 1985.

The many years he spent serving in the private sector served Dick well at the fledgling agency. Back then the agency was in its infancy. Cromwell was recruited for the post by Coachella Valley elected officials and the Riverside County Supervisor.

Dick brought a can-do attitude to the job and wasn’t afraid to “brrsk the dishes” either. It was his leg work that made Sunline Transit Agency the leader in compressed natural gas (CNG) for its fleet of buses. Nationally, transit leaders took notice.

When not working with Sunline, Richard Cromwell was supporting local charities. Amongst those important charities: The United Way of The Desert, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, and more.

Dick preached his own “gospel” of CNG wherever he went. He was CNG’s very first rock star.

A substantial amount of credit for the first-of-its- kind conversion of Waste Management’s fleet was a result of Cromwell’s success at Sunline Transit Agency.

The performance of those buses proved that residential collection vehicles could also do the same. Waste Management Inc. became the nations first to use CNG to power its fleet and it gained a competitive edge in doing so.

Dick Cromwell was devoted to good customer service. He wanted the bus fleet to run on time and offer outstanding service to riders from our Santa Rosa Mountains to the Salton Sea.

Mr. Cromwell was not perfect. He had his missteps and detractors along his long period of service. The air residents breathe is much cleaner today because Dick worked with a great team at Sunline Transit Agency and had his elected boards support to pursue and introduce compressed natural gas here.

Cromwell made a difference. He left the place he called home a better place. He was able to have a vision and then encouraged to pursue it. Thanks to him, the air is cleaner and the buses run on time.

Image Sources

  • Richard Cromwell: Facebook