Metro Magazine

JUL 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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My past public transit experience has given me a unique perspective on issues faced by our transit clients — agencies that are continuing to deliver high qual- ity projects and services to the public they serve. This experience includes an understanding of the challenges of tran- sit project development, including suc- cessfully navigating the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts pro- cess so that transit projects can be im- plemented as soon as possible. It also includes experience in alternative proj- ect delivery, such as design-build and P3 implementation, which has helped our transit clients weigh their response to schedule and funding challenges. Finally, I understand that public tran- sit agencies must provide transparency and accountability to their customers and the general public. This experience has allowed me to develop consensus-based solutions for our transit clients. REPORTS SHOW YOUNGER PEOPLE ARE DRIVING LESS…WHAT ARE KEY WAYS TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN THIS DEMOGRAPHIC? In this day and age, younger people, or 'the millennial generation,' approach their transportation choices different- ly than past generations. They use pub- lic transportation as a way to better uti- lize the time spent commuting to work by engaging in social media or other pas- times and to save money for other needs. They are not always dependent on a car for their commute to work, for entertain- ment and shopping — especially where there are good public transportation op- tions. To continue to encourage this trend and keep them riding public transporta- tion, transit agencies must provide fre- quent and reliable service that provides a predictable trip. Improvements to bus and train schedules, including off-peak and late night trips, will encourage con- tinued ridership gains. Millennials' reliance on technolo- gy is a key feature for public transporta- tion agencies to exploit. Transit agencies must continue to fnd ways to streamline fare payment and schedule information through smartphone applications. It is important to note that it is not just millen- nials that will beneft from these improve- ments. Better service and easy access to transit will beneft all users. WHAT IS HNTB DOING TO DEVELOP THEIR WORKFORCE? HNTB recognizes that investing in the development of its workforce is core to successfully delivering infrastructure projects to our client's satisfaction. We have institutionalized a process that en- sures that individual development needs are identified and actions taken to help employees develop in their career. Our employees have three broad tracks they can take and develop over the course of their career: technical, project manage- ment and management. HNTB provides resources and training to support pro- fessional development in each of these tracks. Employees are additionally sup- ported to attend external conferences, as well as through tuition reimbursement to gain degrees, which help them to contin- ue to develop professionally. GEORGE PIERSON Parsons Brinckerhoff President/CEO AS AGENCIES BEGIN EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE PROJECT DELIVERY, DISCUSS THE CONSULTANTS' ROLE IN THE PROCESS? Often times, an agency will not have undertaken a project in a design-build manner, so they are unfamiliar with the process, the risks, the contracting expo- sures, as well as with the behaviors and what is expected of them in the process, as compared to what is expected of the de- sign-build contractor. Based on our design-build experience, as well as other alternative delivery meth- ods, we can work with our clients in ex- plaining the various advantages and dis- advantages of a design-build approach for a given project. Realizing that the con- versation will be diferent for a metro ver- sus a highway design-build project, we can temper our discussion based on our expertise in the particular market. We can and have assisted our clients in leading a discussion on risks inherent in alternative delivery methods, potential legislation in the U.S. dealing with methods other than the traditional design-bid-build, and can advise on the packaging of bids. Also, once they decide the particular path they want to go down and the struc- ture of the project, we help them select the appropriate consultants to put the pack- age together, get the process going, help them oversee the process, and then, ul- timately help them review and select de- sign-build contractors. Ten again upon their request, help them continue to man- age through to the completion and com- missioning of the project. WHAT SORT OF ISSUES TYPICALLY CALL FOR LEGISLATION TO BE CREATED? In some states, the use of design-build is not allowed because of the contracting laws that preclude contractors from do- ing design and designers from being in- volved with construction, or just the laws themselves preclude the use of design- build, so the client has to go in and get that changed. Often times, it is because the laws themselves are outdated or not up- to-date with modern contracting meth- odologies or techniques. Te other corol- lary to that is more and more states do not allow P3 projects, but that is increasing in the other direction. I believe there are about 30 states that do now have P3 leg- islation, and that has been increasing sig- nificantly over the last number of years. Again, these are new contracting meth- ods in a lot of ways, so the laws just need to catch up with the industry. We are not lobbyists; we are consul- tants/planners/engineers who can ad- vise our clients of pertinent legislative is- sues, and we can also review legislation to guide our clients, particularly those who may be less experienced in alternative delivery methods. IS THE USAGE OF P3S GROWING AND IS IT STILL A VIABLE OPTION FOR PROJECTS? Yes, all forms of alternative delivery are continuing to grow in the U.S. While it is more likely to see these various de- livery methods on highway rather than transit projects, the pace at which each is growing is increasing. 14 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JULY 2014 CONSULTANT ROUNDTABLE

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