Kansas City, Mo. — Rail transit is quickly becoming an increasingly important transportation mode throughout the United States as highway congestion increases and the costs of owning and operating a vehicle rise. To meet the growing demand for multimodal transportation options, HNTB Corporation has expanded its rail transit practice over the last 12 months by adding 10 highly sought-after industry experts to its leadership team across the United States.
Many Americans are becoming intrigued by the convenience and cost-effectiveness of rail transit. A 2013 America THINKS survey from HNTB Corporation revealed that 76 percent of Americans are open to taking public transportation over driving — up 7 percent from when HNTB last asked that question in 2010. In response to this trend, HNTB has added these 10 experts:
- Selena Asire, P.E., senior project manager of rail transit – Dallas
- William Fellini, P.E., project director and Tarek Hatab, P.E., project director – New York
- Kevin Campbell, RA, CMAA, ASQ, project director of rail – Chicago
- Steven Falkenstein, senior director of rail – Philadelphia
- Kevin Collins, P.E., project director – Bellevue, Wash.
- Graham Christie, P.E., Southern California rail and transit leader – Los Angeles
- Dominic Spaethling, Northern California rail-transit market sector leader – San Francisco
- Patrick Watz, P.E., Great Lakes Division rail-transit practice leader – Minneapolis
- Matthew Pollack, P.E., senior rail project/program manager and practice builder – Atlanta
Currently the firm is working on several high-profile rail and transit programs including:
- Dallas Area Rapid Transit South Oak Cliff Corridor Blue Line Extension – Dallas
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority general engineering contract – Philadelphia
- Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Green Line Extension – Boston
- SunRail and All Aboard Florida – Florida
- M-1 Rail streetcar project – Milwaukee
- Sound Transit University and East Link extensions – Seattle
- Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line Wilson Station Reconstruction – Chicago
In addition to decreasing highway congestion and fuel emissions, rail transit has been proven to save automotive commuters money. According to the American Public Transportation Association’s Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on average, more than $10,174 per year by downsizing to one car — and presumably utilizing their city’s transit options more often. Liz Rao, HNTB vice president and chair public transit services, said she believes the expansion of public rail transit is an important step in establishing comprehensive transit networks that provide commuters with viable alternatives to driving.
“Americans see a range of economic benefits from public transportation,” Rao said. “When it’s all said and done, successful communities thrive when there is a healthy rail transit system in place. This never has been more true as the costs of commuting by car and congestion on America’s highways continue to increase.”