Aaron D. Kelly, AIA, LEED AP

A registered architect with 14 years’ experience and head of RNL’s Los Angeles office, Aaron Kelly delivers award-winning public transportation projects across the nation. When he joined RNL in 1999, he brought along a solid background in construction as the son of a brick mason and team leadership expertise through his NCAA Football career at North Dakota State University.

He has had success in the design of transit facilities of all types and he works to support the goals of transportation agencies by creating safe, efficient, cost-effective, people-oriented, striking facilities.

Since 2009 Kelly has led the design of three major LEED Gold projects serving Los Angeles Metro; the $50 million El Monte Transit Center, the $75 million Division 13 Bus Operations/Maintenance Facility and the $80 million Expo Rail Operations/Maintenance Facility (Net Zero Energy ready). Currently Kelly is leading the design of the $20 million city of Torrance, Calif., Regional Transit Center (LEED Platinum).

He has played leadership roles on a national scale in the design of the Kenosha, Wisc., Transit Bus Operations/Maintenance Facility, the Golden Public Works Facility in Golden, Colo., and the TRANSPO Emil “Lucky” Reznik Bus Operations/Maintenance Facility, in South Bend, Ind., the first LEED-Platinum maintenance facility in the nation.

Kelly is an active member of several transit organizations, including the American Public Transportation Association, the California Transit Association, the Transit Coalition and Mobility 21, and regularly presents to share his knowledge of sustainability and design excellence within the transit industry.


“When I was a kid all I ever wanted to do was build forts and tree-houses … The feeling you get from seeing people using a transit facility you’ve created is gratifying … When we are penny-wise and pound-foolish about investments in the built environment, we’re wasting our hard-earned tax dollars … I hope for a future of public transit that creates civic buildings that invoke pride in the public that it serves”