LIVERMORE -- The Wheels public bus system for Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin is looking for a new executive director to succeed Paul Matsuoka, who retired after more than five years on the job.

Matsuoka retired May 1 from his $169,327-per-year job as the top executive at the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, which carries some 2 million bus passengers annually. He had been the boss there since September 2008.

The authority announced Wednesday it has hired Kathleen Kelly, a transportation and financial consultant, as its interim top executive. She will help conduct the search for the new executive director.

Kelly previously worked at AC Transit, BART, and San Francisco MUNI before retiring in 2011 as AC Transit's chief operating officer.

The transit authority's board hopes to hire the permanent new executive director by September, said Jerry Thorne, Pleasanton mayor and chairman of the transit authority's board.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.