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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

URS tabs Simonetta to oversee HSR practice


URS Corp. recently named Richard Simonetta vice president and national director of high-speed rail.

To be based in URS’ Columbus, Ohio, office, Simonetta will direct the company’s nationwide high-speed rail practice. The engineering and construction firm currently is working on several high-speed fronts, including the design of two segments of California’s HSR program.

Simonetta has nearly 40 years of experience in the transit industry, most recently as chief executive officer for Phoenix’s Valley Metro Rail Inc., where he oversaw the design, construction and start-up of the region’s 20-mile, $1.4 billion light-rail line, which opened in 2008.

He previously served as CEO/general manager for four other transit agencies, including the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. A former American Public Transportation Association chairman, Simonetta has held several other positions on the APTA executive board. He also served as vice president for North America on the International Association of Public Transport’s executive board.  

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/16/2009