People & Places: April/May 2016

April 21, 2016

People in the News

Therese McMillan

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced the selection of Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Therese McMillan as Metro’s new chief planning officer. McMillan most recently managed served as the acting administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). She joined the FTA staff in 2009 as deputy administrator. During her years at FTA, McMillan led reform in transit safety, capital planning and oversight, civil rights, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs, and efforts related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Norman Forde


Norman Forde was promoted to vice president of STV. Forde has managed multi-million-dollar projects from specification development through final design and construction. He joined STV in 2008 and has worked with clients throughout North America, including the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration, managing the procurement of new commuter and light rail cars and overseeing initiatives to improve transportation safety technology. A transportation industry veteran with more than 25 years of domestic and international experience, Forde will be responsible for leading STV’s downtown Baltimore office.

Thomas Stringer Jr.

Cincinnati Metro

Thomas Stringer Jr. has joined Cincinnati Metro as senior vice president of operations and chief operations officer. Stringer is responsible for overseeing Metro’s Operations, Fleet and Facilities, Accessible Services, and Planning and Development departments, as well as the Cincinnati Streetcar. Most recently, Stringer served as the senior manager of service delivery for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority in Jacksonville, FL, where he was responsible for the overall management of their fixed-route transportation services. He has held leadership roles with the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials North Carolina and Florida chapters and is currently a member of the Cincinnati chapter.

Scott Goehri, P.E., ENV SP


Scott Goehri, P.E., ENV SP, has been named director of professional services for HDR’s transportation business group. Goehri will develop and manage HDR’s technical practice, including staff resources and service capabilities, to meet the needs of HDR clients and markets. He will provide leadership to market sectors throughout HDR’s transportation program as it relates to improving standards and best practices, and implementing strong quality assurance and risk management standards. Goehri has more than 32 years of experience in the transportation industry, 20 with HDR.

Heather Catron


Heather Catron has been promoted to HDR’s federal transportation director from her previous position as transportation environmental services director. Catron will promote business growth within HDR’s federal transportation program, which currently include six prime Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation contracts. The firm is also engaged in rail, aviation and maritime projects for Department of Defense, National Park Service and Department of Homeland Security customers around the world. Her responsibilities include business and staff development, operations support and strategy implementation.

Brian Frank

CHK America

CHK America announced it named transportation industry specialist Brian Frank to the new position of vice president, business development. Frank will be responsible for developing and implementing strategic expansion plans for CHK America’s digital assets and for executing its sales process from initiation to closing. With more than 20 years of transportation industry expertise to draw from, Frank joins CHK America from Integrated Systems Research Corp., where for the past five years he has served as vice president of business development and government affairs.


Northwest Extension Opens in Phoenix

Valley Metro’s Northwest Extension opened on March 19 to more than 2,100 riders who rode the new service on 19th Avenue between Bethany Home and Dunlap avenues in north Phoenix.

Work on the $327 million project began in January 2013 after incoming leaders dedicated city of Phoenix and Proposition 400 funds to prevent additional delays to the project that would have resulted in the line opening in 2023.

“In order to keep this special day from being delayed by another seven years, it took political courage and a major local investment,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We couldn’t afford to wait because we know that this extension will connect more Phoenix residents to jobs, education and opportunity while attracting billions of dollars of economic investment.”

The Northwest Extension is the Valley’s second light rail extension to open within the last seven months. In the future, seven additional high-capacity extensions are planned, or are currently under construction, that will create a 66-mile system by 2034.

U Link Extension Opens in Seattle

The University Link project is opening six months ahead of schedule and about $200 million under its $1.9 billion budget. The project’s success was supported by strong collaboration with the federal government and partners including the city of Seattle and University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

“Today, we celebrate an historic achievement — delivering new high-capacity light rail that will transform transportation in our region for the next century,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Thousands of commuters will now be able to get to their destination on time, every time, even as our population grows. Thanks to support from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, our representatives in Congress, our staff at Sound Transit and, most importantly, local voters, we are creating the reliable mass-transit system our region needs.”

Hitachi Rail USA Opens Miami Manufacturing Facility

Hitachi Rail USA announced the completion of a manufacturing facility for Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works’ new Metrorail vehicles.

The 140,400 square-feet plant, located in Medley, Florida, will manufacture 136 cars and 272 motor bogies needed to replace the county’s Metrorail fleet.

The assembly of the Metrorail vehicles begins this March, and the first completed vehicles will begin the qualification-testing phase by the end of the year. The first new Metrorail vehicles will be put into service in late 2017, after completing the testing phase. The production of the new Metrorail vehicles will last until the first half of 2019.

Midland Metro Gets ISO 9001 Accreditation

National Express’ Midland Metro has achieved the ISO-9001 accreditation. Director of the Midland Metro, Ben Ackroyd, said, “I’m very proud of the whole team for achieving this standard. Special credit to all the hard work the engineering team have done getting our new fleet of trams up and running.

“I’m particularly pleased because to gain ISO-9001, companies have to demonstrate their absolute commitment to customer satisfaction by setting out — and being judged on — what needs to be in place to consistently meet customer requirements.”

RTA Installing New HD Cameras on All Buses

The Greater Dayton RTA will be one of the first transit agencies in the nation to have a live look into the activities inside and outside any bus. The agency is installing eight HD cameras on each fixed-route bus, and seven on each paratransit vehicle.

Apollo Video Technology has been selected by Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to install the RoadRunner HD mobile video surveillance system across its fleet of trolleys, fixed route and paratransit buses.
“The safety of our customers and our drivers is important to us,” said Deputy Chief Operations Officer Brandon Policicchio. “The camera upgrade project is one component of a much larger communications upgrade that will help ensure the safety of every passenger and every driver,” he added.

The 24 new Gillig 1600 buses are the first of the 181 fixed-route buses and 75 paratransit buses that will have the upgraded camera technology installed. The quality of the video (4-G network with 1080P and 720P streams) will allow high-resolution visual and auditory interaction between a supervisor and a driver in real time, even in low light.

ABB Equipment Boosts Reliability and Efficiency of Montreal Rail Fleet

ABB will supply a total of 26 new auxiliary converters that have been designed to be robust and rugged enough to withstand the of weather conditions as experienced in the Montreal area. The new Bordline auxiliary converter is based on an IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor) technology which is a direct form, fit and function replacement of the existing auxiliary power units (APU).

“The auxiliary converters that will be supplied by ABB for the MR-90 cars are part of a comprehensive maintenance plan that we have put into place that will enable us to improve the reliability and service quality offered to our commuters using the train routes of Deux-Montagnes”, explained Stephane Lapierre, vice-president Operations, at Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT).

Burns Teams With Ansaldo STS on PTC for MBTA

Burns has teamed with Ansaldo STS to furnish a complete positive train control (PTC) system on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Commuter Rail network. MBTA commuter rail trains operate over a network of 14 lines from two main terminals in downtown Boston.

Burns is leading the wayside design, survey data management, wayside transponder design and programming, and technical support and documentation for the $451 million PTC system. The system will provide integrated ACSES II and I-ETMS-based PTC systems on all MBTA commuter rail lines.

Oklahoma City Selects Brookville’s Liberty Streetcars

The city of Oklahoma City finalized a $24.9 million contract with Brookville Equipment Corp. for the supply of five Liberty Streetcars to support the city’s MAPS 3 modern streetcar program. The American-made electric streetcars will operate downtown along a 2-mile east-west loop and a 4.9-mile north-south loop.

The Brookville Liberty Streetcars, which are being designed and manufactured at Brookville's Pennsylvania-based campus, will measure 66 ft. long, 8 ft. wide and include 70 percent low-floor area with 100 percent curb-level boarding for passengers. In addition, the vehicles offer seating for 30 passengers, with the capacity to comfortably transport up to 100 passengers. Notably, the Liberty Streetcars feature more than 70 percent American content, meaning they would meet Buy America compliance if the project is awarded Federal funding in the future.

The Liberty Streetcars will be powered by overhead wires on part of Oklahoma City’s routes and will use a lithium-ion battery onboard energy storage system (OESS) for the balance of the routes.

BART's First Fleet of the Future Train Car Headed West

The inaugural train car from BART’s Fleet of the Future has been completed and is now headed on a cross-country journey from Plattsburgh, NY, to a BART testing facility in Hayward. This first test car will be followed by nine others throughout the year to make BART's first new 10-car test train. Bombardier Transit Corp. is building the fleet.

Once the car arrives, it will undergo many months of rigorous testing before being put into passenger service — a target date of December 2016 if testing goes well and no major re-engineering is required. Key to safety and success of the new fleet will be the initial quality assurance, system integration, and safety tests that will take place before the California Public Utility Commission gives their blessing for passenger service.

First Pure-Electric Double-Deck Buses on Streets of London

A short ceremony welcomed the arrival on London streets of an emissions-free, pure-electric double-decker bus designed and developed for Transport for London (TfL) by BYD.

The vehicle is one of a fleet of five which will shortly be entering service on Route 98 operated on behalf of TfL by Metroline. BYD is working with TfL and Metroline on an introduction program which includes driver training and the installation of fast-charging equipment at Metroline’s Willesden Bus Garage in north London.

The BYD Iron Phosphate batteries deliver 345 kWh of power and can run for up to 190 miles of typical urban driving according to the internationally recognized SORT test conditions. Recharging takes just four hours and can be completed overnight using low-cost off-peak electricity.