Metro Magazine

JUL 2014

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13 JULY 2014 m ETRO m AGAZINE > on New Transportation Mindset with the automobile. Now, public transit is being looked at much more as not only a safety net for people who need to use it, but also as an investment tool. It is much more about how to use the transit invest- ment to grow a better city and create new investment around the systems. Tere is just a lot of exciting planning going on that had not been seriously undertaken in the last 25 to 30 years. WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR A NEW TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZATION BILL? I am generally an optimist, but ever since the first authorization bill not one has ever been reauthorized on time. In this political environment, if somebody was to tell me that we are going to get the very first reauthorization on time and it was going to be a long term well-funded new bill, I would like to say 'I am drinking your Kool-Aid,' but I just don't see it. Because we have a crisis with the High- way Trust Fund, Congress will find a short-term fx, in my judgment, which will begin to lead us to multiple extensions of the bill. I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see a new reauthorization bill un- til after the 2016 presidential election — I just don't see the political will for people to come together. Tere is no longer such a thing as a bipartisan issue. As much as we tried to argue that, and did success- fully for a very long time, in today's politi- cal environment everything is partisan. I hope I am proven wrong, but I just don't see a new long-term bill in the near future. ANGELA IANNUZZIELLO AECOM VP, Canadian Transit Practice OTHER THAN FUNDING, WHAT ARE THE KEY CHALLENGES FACING TRANSIT PROPERTIES TODAY? One of the key challenges transit prop- erties are facing is their own resistance to embrace the transformational period we are embarking upon in public transit to- day. Te industry is still holding onto the perception that they are going to be fund- ed and continue to operate in the same manner it has been for the last number of decades. We are beginning to see some beginnings of a breakthrough in some of the areas, where the challenge that tran- sit properties have is really a unique way of delivering capital projects and opera- tions in the same way. THERE SEEMS TO BE MORE OF THIS SORT OF THINKING TAKING PLACE IN CANADA, CAN YOU EXPLAIN? There are a couple things Canadians are doing that are different than in the U.S. that contribute to the greater suc- cess. One is Canada has a longer histo- ry of doing more comprehensive tran- sit network planning. Te 'Big Move' for Metrolinx and all of its predecessors, the 'Plan for Vancouver' and its predecessors, the work being done by AMT and STM in Montreal and their preceding plans, all these current projects are really part of a backbone of a transit network, so the proj- ect really drives that whole economic de- velopment — it develops new jobs and can successfully be implemented in the context of a transit network. Also, the role of public sector agencies that are solely focused on public-private partnerships (P3) project delivery, like In- frastructure Ontario and BC Partnerships, are demonstrating its usage in other areas before they ever get to roads and transit projects. What they are doing is providing a forum where all of the legal and com- mercial terms to engage concessionaires are consistent. They are not reinventing the wheel every time. Tis allows the peo- ple that are bidding on those P3 projects to get a consistent package, which makes it an easier environment within which to bid on some of the P3 projects. It also makes it more attractive for people in the private sector to bid. In the U.S., that is not happening. Projects are happening, but they are happening on an individual ba- sis and each project has to re-create that papering, as I like to call it. WHAT IS THE INDUSTRY DOING IN THE LINE OF RECRUITING, TRAINING AND RETENTION? First of all, there is a recognition the people that we're trying to retain and re- cruit come from a diferent mindset. We use to call it a generation gap, in my time, but they come from a different mind- set where they are much more non-au- to oriented — they bike, use public trans- portation, live downtown, and want to work and play in the same place. They also have a much better work/life bal- ance and are much more committed to their environment and their commu- nities. In that context, one of the things I'm doing with individuals I mentor, ei- ther officially or informally, is encour- age them to fnd ways of interacting and working with senior professionals, or sea- soned professionals, to basically soak up as much knowledge as they can, because they are in a position where they will ad- vance in their career at a much faster rate than I ever did. On the other side, I encourage many of my contemporaries to provide the young- er workforce with leadership opportu- nities that will expose them in front of the client, so they can actually be recog- nized for the value of the contributions they bring. Te consulting industry, as a whole, can't really steal employees from one another, because there is not really a lot of people out there. But, if we all take a leadership role in continuing to mentor and provide opportunities to our young- er professionals, we will be really proud of the legacies that we have left behind when we retire. ELIZABETH RAO HNTB Corp. Chair, Public Transit Services HOW DOES YOUR PAST PUBLIC TRANSIT EXPERIENCE HELP YOU IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION AT HNTB?

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