HDR to manage public transit transformation for Austin’s CapMetro

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
HDR Engineering

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (CapMetro) Board of Directors, located in Austin, Texas, recently approved the selection of HDR Engineering, Inc. to help manage a multi-year implementation process for its Project Connect, a project aimed at rethinking transportation in the region.

CapMetro said its vision entails the completion of some short-term enhancements to existing infrastructure, as well as to traditional methods of transit including light-rail and commuter rail on specified corridors.

Officials explained that the project also aims to implement the adoption of emerging technologies for the system’s future operations, such as autonomous rapid transit.

“The region’s fast-growing population — expected to double in the next two decades — prompted the public transportation provider to begin drafting a plan for a new system of reliable and congestion-free services to connect the area and move people, not just cars,” HDR said in a statement.

As program manager owner representative, HDR said it expects to provide program and project management staff to expand CapMetro’s capacity as it works toward the implementation of Project Connect.

“Key project partners credited HDR’s depth, professionalism, flexibility and responsiveness for its selection,” said Tom Waldron, HDR’s global transit director.

HDR and its principal subs, Systra USA and Rifeline, will be tasked with various technical duties involving programming, financial and project controls; community outreach and engagement; environmental and engineering review; vehicle and technology assessment; and construction management oversight, according to a statement.

“We look forward to working with CapMetro to enhance their system and advance their comprehensive vision for mobility,” said Brian Buchanan, HDR’s program manager. “This assignment will demonstrate, once again, why HDR is a trusted advisor for our client agencies embarking on high profile, community-transforming mobility initiatives.”

In December of 2018, RT&S reported that HDR had selected Buchanan as its new transit principal project manager.

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